Erik Karlsson

10 best players available ahead of the 2023 NHL trade deadline

Home » NHL » 10 best players available ahead of the 2023 NHL trade deadline

There are many great NHL trade deadline candidates in 2023 as the deadline approaches.

With star players on bad teams with expiring contracts, there is a lot of talent up for grabs for teams looking to make a deep playoff run.

Top 10 NHL trade deadline candidates in 2023

The goal for teams trading away great players is to get a lot in return and not end up making one of the worst trades in NHL history. For the teams hoping to improve, it is important for them to trade for one of the best players available at the 2023 NHL trade deadline without giving too much to get them.

There are a lot of valuable pieces available. Some players on the trading block are approaching their prime and are still fairly new in the league, while others are heading toward the end of their careers and can provide a team with a veteran presence in the locker room.

10. Shayne Gostisbehere

Shayne Gostisbehere has spent the last year and a half with the Arizona Coyotes and is one of the top defensemen on the trade market.


Gostisbehere is 29 years old and has the most points by a defenseman on the Coyotes so far this season. He is currently on pace to collect more than 50 points, which he has only done twice before in his career.

Gostisbehere’s cap hit for this season is $4.5 million, and his current contract is up following the season. He would be a great fit for teams looking for an offensive defenseman, as he currently plays a lot of power play minutes for Arizona.

9. Jonathan Toews

Despite being 34 years old, Jonathan Toews still has some juice left in the tank for a playoff team to take a chance on him.

Toews, who has a cap hit of $10.5 million, is an unrestricted free agent after this season. The issue is trying to work out a deal with such a big cap hit and with a player who is nearing the latter stages of his career. Toews also has a no-movement clause, which could make a deal a lot more complicated.

What cannot be ignored is the veteran presence and leadership he possesses which would certainly help a young team battling for a playoff spot.


8. Vladislav Gavrikov

Another unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2022-23 season, teams will be targeting Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov as the trade deadline nears.

He should receive more attention than he is heading into the deadline, as Gavrikov does all the right things of a more defensive defenseman. He is a great penalty killer who is not afraid to block shots and is only 27 years old.

With a cap hit of just $2.8 million, there will be a lot of playoff teams looking to add Gavrikov as a potential second-pair defenseman.

7. John Klingberg

John Klingberg is a 30-year-old defenseman who currently plays for the Anaheim Ducks. With the Ducks having one of the worst records in the league, it is likely the team will move on from him at the deadline.

Klingberg signed a one-year deal with Anaheim prior to the start of the season that has a modified no-trade clause with 10 teams Klingberg is willing to be traded to. The Ducks will be hoping for a pick or prospect in return for the pending unrestricted free agent.

Klingberg has not had the best season so far with just 15 points in his first 38 games, but there will still be teams looking to add the experienced defenseman. He has been to the playoffs four times in his career, collecting 35 points in 59 career postseason games.

6. Timo Meier

Currently averaging a point per game this season, Timo Meier can add a lot of value to any team looking to turn themselves into a Stanley Cup contender.

With the San Jose Sharks being among the worst teams in the NHL, almost everyone on the team is available to be traded. Meier has a cap hit of $6 million and will become a restricted free agent at the end of the season.

It will be interesting to see which teams would go after the 26-year-old as he is likely a playoff rental. Meier has not been to the playoffs since 2019, where he had 15 points in 20 games.

5. Brock Boeser

The Vancouver Canucks season is spiraling out of control, meaning that Brock Boeser could be on the market at the trade deadline.

Boeser is currently in the first year of a three-year deal with the Canucks that carries a cap hit of $6.65 million each season. Although just 25 years old, Boeser has struggled the last couple of years. His contract is not terrible though, and the Canucks should be able to get a deal done if they decide to trade him.

4. Patrick Kane

A three-time Stanley Cup champion and a Hart Memorial Trophy winner, Patrick Kane can add a ton to a playoff contender.

Kane is set to become an unrestricted free agent, and it looks as though his time with the Chicago Blackhawks is coming to an end. The Blackhawks will hope to get something in return for the 34-year-old, who has a cap hit of $10.5 million this season.

It will be Kane’s decision whether he stays or goes at the deadline, as he has a full no-movement clause in his contract. Kane has 132 points in 136 postseason games and has not been to the playoffs since 2020.

3. Jakob Chychrun

Jakob Chychrun is one of the best players available at the 2023 NHL trade deadline.

Chychrun is a 24-year-old defenseman, which is a hot commodity in the NHL. With a $4.6 million cap hit this season and the following two, the Arizona Coyotes have a high asking price for the 2016 first-round pick. Since coming back from injury in November, Chychrun has already surpassed 20 points in less than 30 games this season.

Chychrun has been upfront about playing elsewhere, and it appears that a deal will take place before the trade deadline. It will be interesting to see how big the return is for the young defenseman.

2. Erik Karlsson

Erik Karlsson is one of the highest-paid NHL players currently, which made a deal seem impossible prior to the 2022-23 season.

Now, Karlsson is having the best season of his career. He is averaging more than a point per game and is on pace for over 100 points.

The issue will still be the money though, as Karlsson carries a cap hit of $11.5 million through the 2026-27 season. It will take a lot to figure out a deal, but there will be teams who will try anything to get the 32-year-old defenseman.

1. Bo Horvat

Bo Horvat sits atop this list of NHL trade deadline candidates in 2023.

Negotiations between Horvat and the Canucks have not looked good as of late as the likelihood of the 27-year-old center being traded before the trade deadline increases. Horvat is having a career year as he is on pace for over 55 goals this season.

With Horvat becoming an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, Vancouver cannot risk losing him in free agency. If they are unable to lock him up to an extension by the trade deadline, the Canucks need to move him to ensure they receive something back in return.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *