With the fantasy trade deadline in standard ESPN leagues just around the corner, here's a look at one player to trade now from each NHL team. Please keep in mind that these candidates fall in line with re-draft leagues only. For instance, we aren't suggesting swapping away a top Calder candidate in deep dynasty and keeper leagues for short-term gain.
Note: The default trade deadline in standard ESPN fantasy hockey leagues is Friday, Feb. 23 at noon ET. Check your league's settings to see when your deadline falls.
On track for his first 60-point season, the 28-year-old centerman might attract some trade interest in deeper fantasy leagues. Why move him? The ex-Devil's 13 goals on only 62 shots since his trade to the Ducks suggest a realistic regression in the scoring department. Also of note, Henrique's current assignment on Anaheim's No. 1 power play could fizzle out if the club acquires a top-six forward ahead of the deadline, as has been suggested.
The 32-year-old defenseman is on a impressive run with three goals and four assists in five games. There's no time like the present if you're thinking of shopping Goligoski, who often runs hot and cold in spurts. There's little reason to expect an extended upswing in the veteran's minus-21, a common symptom of competing for the perennial-work-in-progress Coyotes.
If you can get some player of fantasy substance in return for Backes based on his recent mini-flurry of a goal and four assists in four games, go for it. The 33-year-old forward isn't producing on the power play, seeing top-six minutes or even racking up PIM like he used to.
Sophomore Evan Rodrigues isn't Jack Eichel. So Okposo can't really be expected to produce in the same fashion alongside Eichel's substitute as he had been before losing the Sabres' top center to an ankle injury. Then there's also the prospect of losing fellow winger Evander Kane to a contender via trade. All in all, points may be tougher to come by for Okposo in this season's waning months, unless he settles back in on a top line with Ryan O'Reilly. The power forward has produced rather dependably since October -- including a rather dry December -- accumulating 32 points in 45 games.
If the Flames trade for a top-six winger, Ferland won't likely be long for that coveted spot alongside Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau. Plus, the 25-year-old forward could also lose his gig on Calgary's secondary power play. The 2010 fifth-round pick isn't near the same productive player away from his current company.
The latest round of line shuffling in Carolina sees Teravainen split from top-scorer Sebastian Aho and No. 1 center Jordan Staal. That doesn't strike as a shift in the 23-year-old's favor. With 45 points in 57 games, Teravainen is on pace for his career-best season by a country mile -- or was on pace, in any case. We'll see how long this new-look lineup lasts.
Even the mighty Blackhawks sniper has stumbled of late, logging zero points (minus-six) in four straight. There's no doubt Kane will get back into his usual scoring groove, but when and to what degree? Lurching well outside of the West's playoff picture, this Chicago club is frustrated from the top down. In a bold move than could either pop or fizzle, consider dealing Kane to a fellow manager more than willing to gamble on a strong finish from the winger despite team-wide struggles, especially if you could use a top-tier asset at another position.
For the first time since returning from a groin injury, goalie Semyon Varlamov appeared tack-like sharp in Wednesday's 44-save shutout victory over the Montreal Canadiens. Just one game, sure, but it's one that might serve as impetus in getting the Avalanche netminder back on track, meaning fewer chances for Bernier to shine moving forward.
Unless you expect a big drop-off from top forward Artemi Panarin, there are few overachieving performers to exploit from this Columbus club right now. Quite the opposite, actually. Bjorkstrand could conceivably lose his scoring line spot to a incoming trade acquisition, and he is currently boasting extra fantasy appeal with three goals and two assists in three games. However, the 22-year-old winger remains largely available in the majority of ESPN leagues.
This might be a stretch, but if the Stars go through with acquiring a top-six scoring winger ahead of the trade deadline, Radulov could be in danger of falling off the club's No. 1 line in a strive for balance. Also to consider is the forward's drop in production though February and March last year with the Canadiens after making an impressive splash though his first four months. Fatigue and burnout could be a factor with the former KHLer. Again, food for thought.
With seven points in six games, the veteran forward could be peaking as a fantasy asset this season. There isn't altogether much to look forward to for the veteran forward in Detroit with some linemates likely headed elsewhere and a playoff spot well out of reach. If this is as good as it gets for the Zetterberg, best trade him now.
He's worth moving right now, while he's back on a top scoring line with Connor McDavid, before the 29-year-old winger is shipped elsewhere or potentially shuffled back down the Oilers' lineup. Just the other night, McDavid and Maroon combined for two goals in a losing effort to the Florida Panthers.
Florida Panthers: James Reimer, G (15.4 percent)
If there's any market at all for Reimer, that window is quickly closing. The pending return of Roberto Luongo means Florida's No. 2 could see extremely limited action down the stretch. However, after missing more than two months to a lower-body injury, Luongo is far from a sure thing. The Panthers' regular backup is coming off two straight wins, albeit adventurous, following his own groin issue. A fantasy manager lacking goaltending depth may still feel Reimer is worth a flier down the stretch.
Author of one of the most impressive bounce-back campaigns this season, Brown is starting to show signs of slowing down, with only one goal and five assists in 14 contests. The 33-year-old could also eventually lose his gig on the right side of top center Anze Kopitar in the ensuing shuffle following Jeff Carter's healthy return (end of February?). We're thinking 21-year-old Adrian Kempe earns a shot on Kopitar's wing if Brown relinquishes it. The 2014 first-round selection has been filling in for Carter on the Kings' second scoring line.
Montreal Canadiens: Jeff Petry, D (47.7 percent)
Montreal's No. 1 defenseman Shea Weber could be back as early as next week. That means Petry's altogether successful stint anchoring the Canadiens' top power play is probably nearing an end. Of the 30-year-old's 26 points this season, 14 have counted with the extra skater, including each of three recent goals. Consider offering Petry to a fellow manager less assured of Weber's pending return. To be fair, many hoped the veteran blueliner would be recovered from his foot injury by now. It's been two months.
Seeing fewer minutes as a secondary asset at even strength and with the man advantage, Staal has nonetheless erupted for five goals and three assists in six games (plus-eight) this February. He's hot right now. If inclined, shop the 33-year-old veteran around before his next cool off.
Hear us out. With an eye to playoff success, those running the Predators made it clear in the preseason that they didn't intend to run Rinne out there 60 games. With Nashville's No. 1 having already started 41 times, that leaves another 15 or so appearances through the club's remaining 27 contests (and a lot more Juuse Saros). If that math doesn't work for you, and you're otherwise flush with quality goaltending, consider shopping Rinne for a massive return.
His anomalous run of five goals and three assists in eight games could net you a greater return than warranted. Palmieri's productive success solely hinges on skating on a line with star Taylor Hall since falling off the Devils' No. 1 power play.
On pace for a career-best 65-point season, Lee will have a tough time sustaining his current shooting rate of 20.1 percent. Maybe it'll be 60 points, instead of 65. While still an impressive number, trading a fantasy player on stride for a large figure who eventually settles for less is what the game's all about.
Last season saw Grabner erupt for 26 goals in his first 53 games of the regular season and one in his final 23. One. Fast forward a year, and the 30-year-old speedster has 23 goals though 56 contests. Perhaps a concerning pattern. Plus, there's a potential trade in the works sending Grabner to fill some unknown role. Managers interested in moving the Rangers' second-line winger might choose to hop to it.
Duchene's recent upswing in production with the Senators -- seven goals and nine assists in 17 games -- could be in for a leveling off if linemate Mike Hoffman is indeed traded, as rumored, in the coming days. We're not yet sure what ex-King Marian Gaborik brings to that top-line table (or how long that experiment lasts). While Duchene undoubtedly has long-term fantasy value as Ottawa's No. 1 center, the next couple of months feel volatile with a rebuild underway.
Yes, he's having a career year as the top-line center with his team of seven seasons, and sure, he's probably in for a strong finish, but perhaps not at the point-per-game pace to which we've become accustomed. Couturier's shooting percentage of 17.2, as compared to his career rate of 10.8, suggests we can probably anticipate a slight drop-off in goals. Managers in need of some pizzazz at another position could probably net a real gem in exchange for the blossomed 25-year-old.
The 25-year-old forward is nowhere near as valuable as when skating on the right side of Sidney Crosby, and with forward Conor Sheary healthy again, Rust might not stick in his current top-line assignment. If there's somehow a market for the fourth-year Penguin in your exceptionally deep fantasy league, take advantage before the moment passes.
The explosion for four goals and two assists in two recent games notwithstanding, Pavelski, shifted to center, hasn't been as productive without regular linemate Joe Thornton (out indefinitely). With Tomas Hertl nursing a minor shoulder injury and defenseman Brent Burns subsequently subbing in up front, it all feels a bit desperate and weird. More relevant, it makes a decent case for dangling Pavelski in exchange for a high-quality return, especially if fellow fantasy managers are still smitten with last week's productive eruption.
For good reason, the Blues want Jake Allen mentally and physically in-tune ahead of what they hope is a lengthy adventure through the postseason. So despite Hutton's far superior play in regular showings through January, a tilting of the starting scales is already underway in St. Louis. While Hutton surrendered four goals in Tuesday's overtime loss to Nashville, Allen started the two previous contests and wasn't at all terrible. Think about shopping Hutton around to fellow managers less convinced he won't remain the Blues' go-to down the stretch -- before that becomes reality.
The Lightning actively shopping for a prominent blue-line presence ahead of the trade deadline means Sergachev's second-pair and secondary power-play assignments are in jeopardy. The 19-year-old rookie has already experienced a downswing in production (four assists in 14 games), even earning a night off in the press box. But many are clearly still taken with the promising young defenseman, as indicated by his percentage rostered. Altogether, it strikes as an appropriate occasion to pull the trade chute on Sergachev in re-draft leagues.
One caveat: This fits only if the defenseman's recent injury isn't at all serious. With 15 points in his past 12 games (never mind Wednesday's aborted effort versus Columbus), Gardiner's fantasy value has no direction to glide but downhill. The 27-year-old Leafs' blueliner has never produced near this clip for an extended period, and much of his scoring riches were earned while the club's top offensive-defenseman, Morgan Rielly, was recovering from an upper-body injury. Again, as long as Gardiner is healthy, fantasy managers should capitalize nicely on his current inflated value.
As with other first-year full-time players, fatigue is a worry here. The 20-year-old has already played a dozen more games this season than he did last year combined at the University of North Dakota and with the Canucks. And we've got a way to go. Again, this suggestion applies to re-draft leagues only; there's no way you let Vancouver's Calder candidate loose in dynasty/keeper competition.
There's little to find fault with in any of what the former Blue Jacket has accomplished as a top-line center with the Knights this season, but that seemingly unsustainable 24.2 shooting percentage is bothersome. On pace for 42 goals, Karlsson isn't realistically favored to hit that mark unless he starts shooting more, and there's nothing to suggest he's so inclined. Anticipate a leveling off in the goals department for the 25-year-old as the campaign wears on.
If the Capitals acquire defenseman Mike Green or some reasonable facsimile in the next few days, Niskanen's days on Washington's secondary power play are likely numbered. Not that the offensive-defenseman has made much of those opportunities, earning exactly zero points with the man advantage this campaign. Lagging behind last season's scoring pace altogether with only 17 points in 42 games, Niskanen could still garner a reasonable return based on reputation, and fantasy managers desperate for 'D' help might roll the dice.
Boasting 34 points in 45 games, Perreault is currently sitting pretty on a top unit with Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler. However, the 30-year-old veteran might be in danger of losing that assignment if/when Winnipeg acquires a top-six winger ahead of Feb. 26. In fact, with Patrik Laine, Bryan Little and Nikolaj Ehlers filling out the second scoring line, Perreault could fall out of the Jets' top six altogether. Fantasy managers in deeper leagues may want to capitalize on his position and numbers before such a tumbling takes place.