Fantasy hockey rankings: Ten players who would benefit from a trade

How would a trade change James van Riemsdyk's production? Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

With just four and a half weeks until the NHL's trade deadline, the potential re-homing of a player has to be taken into consideration when ranking. Right now, Patrick Kane doesn't belong in the top 250 based on his production with the Chicago Blackhawks this season. But if you believe, as most do, that he has a chance to escape the Blackhawks for a postseason run with a competitor, he still deserves a spot on the rankings.

Teams will have in the ballpark of 20 games remaining following the March 3 trade deadline, which is about two-thirds of what each player's total games remaining. Sure, Kane might play another dozen games with the Blackhawks and continue to average a lowly 1.6 fantasy points per game (FPPG), but he might also spend upward of 20 games with a different team and earn significantly better FPPG.

Who else is on the trading block and could be impacted on by wheeling and dealing? Let's crib from a few "trade bait" sources around the league and see how they are faring in the rankings.

Timo Meier, W, San Jose Sharks (down two spots to No. 24): The big boost for Meier moving teams will come from being on a better power play. The Sharks rank 25th in the NHL with only 27 power-play goals. An opportunity to move to a team with an advantage that scores more frequently will push Meier to the top-20 fantasy player that he is inside.

Bo Horvat, C, Vancouver Canucks (up one spot to No. 26): While the gut reaction might be that Horvat's potential will wane moving to a competitor, but I don't think that's the case. While any team acquiring Horvat will have a No. 1 center already on the roster, it's not like Horvat's been playing in isolation of such a case already. Horvat and Elias Pettersson have only played 13 minutes together at five-on-five this season, so Horvat should be able to maintain his epic pace while moving teams.

Jakob Chychrun, D, Arizona Coyotes (down three spots to No. 53): Similar to Horvat, one might think a competitor acquiring Chychrun would have a defenseman already at the pinnacle of the depth chart. But that's OK. Chychrun has shared the offensive weight for the Coyotes with Shayne Gostisbehere -- at least until Gostisbehere was injured this week. So a move to a competitor probably doesn't hurt Chychrun's output much. That said, it's unlikely he gets a boost from a trade as very few teams looking to acquire him will bring him in as the No. 1 defenseman.

Brock Boeser, W, Vancouver Canucks (up one spot to No. 215): Only two years removed from a pace that would have topped 30 goals, Boeser has stagnated on the Canucks lineup and a trade would be best at this stage. There is always room for a top-six winger somewhere, but for Boeser to turn this season around it's essential his new destination has a role on a talented, top power play for him. The situation with the Canucks right now is actually conducive to success, so this change of scenery would need to be a good one.

Max Domi, C/W, Chicago Blackhawks (up 13 spots to No. 225): The question here is whether Domi actually has some real potential outside of the Blackhawks. Considering he's done about as well as Kane on this fantasy void, Domi has potential if he gets moved to a competitor with a role for him. The trick is that it has to be a real role, not like last season when the Carolina Hurricanes added him as a fourth liner.

John Klingberg, D, Anaheim Ducks (enters top 250 at No. 237): His one-year "show me" contract is not working out as planned, but to Klingberg's credit, the Ducks have been a hot mess on offense, ranking dead last in the league for scoring. Surely Klingberg's offensive abilities haven't dried up. If a team acquiring him has a role on the blue line for a power-play quarterback, Klingberg will be a fantasy boon for the season's final month and a half.

Ryan O'Reilly, C, St. Louis Blues (just missed ranks): Still out for a couple of weeks, O'Reilly has been irrelevant to the fantasy realm this week with the exception of a hot week or two. His 1.2 FPPG are a sad showing. That said, I think you'll see O'Reilly rise in these ranks as the deadline looms closer. O'Reilly is a playmaker and he's had little help in the Blues lineup this season, playing most of his time with Brandon Saad and Josh Leivo. If a team with a hole at second-line center adds O'Reilly, he would likely become a fantasy play again quickly.

Matt Dumba, D, Minnesota Wild (just missed ranks): It's been a slow fade for Dumba from the power-play quarterback we saw in 2017-18. If the Wild move Dumba, it has to be to a team that needs him to patrol the blue line on the advantage. That's a pretty tall order.

James van Riemsdyk, W, Philadelphia Flyers (just missed ranks): A specialist on the power play, if a competitive team that needs a fourth forward on the advantage decides to pursue van Riemsdyk, he could be a late-season fantasy add.

Jonathan Toews, C, Chicago Blackhawks (just missed ranks): Toews has shown some flashes of still being relevant, but it's hard to tell how good he has actually been with the lowly Blackhawks. The right trade and the right role could bring him back to relevance. Basically, Toews and O'Reilly are the door prize for any teams that miss out on Horvat, which could be a good thing for Toews.

Elsewhere in the rankings ...

Forward notes

Auston Matthews, C, Toronto Maple Leafs (down 17 spots to No. 21): The timing is decent, as the breaks in NHL action mean a multi-week absence might only be six games for Matthews. The trickle down effect of this should depress William Nylander for a couple of weeks. Michael Bunting moved to the wing with John Tavares and Mitch Marner and also earned some power-play time, so he might be OK.

Jack Eichel, C, Vegas Golden Knights (down 15 spots to No. 61): Chandler Stephenson's offense has dried up, Mark Stone is out of the lineup for a while yet and the Knights have looked listless in dropping seven of eight. It's no surprise that Stone has missed those eight games, as ESPN's Greg Wyshynski pointed out he is the "glue guy." Eichel can only do so much in a vacuum, so he's ranked down for now.

Jake DeBrusk, W, Boston Bruins (up 54 spots to No. 119): The injury absence has dropped DeBrusk to 45.7% of rosters, but he's due back shortly after the break. He should be on 100% of rosters thanks to his 2.1 FPPG and role on the top line.

Defense notes

Seth Jones, D, Chicago Blackhawks (up seven spots to No. 71): Speaking of the trade deadline, there has to be some concerns about how Jones will fare following what is projected to be a mass exodus from the Hawks roster by March 3. He's holding his own just fine now, and thankfully his hits, blocked shots and shots stats are solid -- his 3.46 fantasy points per 60 from just those categories ranks well compared to his peers.

Kris Letang, D, Pittsburgh Penguins (up 21 spots to No. 87): The 9.0 fantasy points he scored in his return to the Penguins is elevating his totals, but it's just good to have Letang back in his role again. Hopefully the Penguins can find a spark to bring their offense more in line with how good it is on paper.

Goaltender notes

Vitek Vanecek, G, New Jersey Devils (up 13 spots to No. 59): A nine-game winning streak has Vanecek with the second-most fantasy points from the crease in the past four weeks. With the Devils pushing to the finish line and with less solid results from Mackenzie Blackwood, Vanecek could start seeing more than his 62% crease share from the past month.

Jeremy Swayman, G, Boston Bruins (up 89 spots to No. 113): This behind Juuse Saros and Vanecek for fantasy points in the past month, Swayman is in a rotation with Linus Ullmark and is a must-start now for fantasy. Still only rostered in 64.0 percent of leagues, it's worth checking on his availability.

ESPN fantasy NHL top-250 rankings

1. Connor McDavid, C, Edm (F1)
2. David Pastrnak, RW, Bos (F2)
3. Leon Draisaitl, LW, Edm (F3)
4. Nathan MacKinnon, C, Col (F4)
5. Jack Hughes, C, NJ (F5)
6. Rasmus Dahlin, D, Buf (D1)
7. Roman Josi, D, Nsh (D2)
8. Mikko Rantanen, RW, Col (F6)
9. Andrei Vasilevskiy, G, TB (G1)
10. Nikita Kucherov, RW, TB (F7)
11. Cale Makar, D, Col (D3)
12. Kirill Kaprizov, LW, Min (F8)
13. Tage Thompson, C, Buf (F9)
14. Linus Ullmark, G, Bos (G2)
15. Elias Pettersson, C, Van (F10)
16. Juuse Saros, G, Nsh (G3)
17. Connor Hellebuyck, G, Wpg (G4)
18. Matthew Tkachuk, LW, Fla (F11)
19. Steven Stamkos, C, TB (F12)
20. Jake Oettinger, G, Dal (G5)
21. Auston Matthews, C, Tor (F13)
22. Alex Ovechkin, LW, Wsh (F14)
23. Igor Shesterkin, G, NYR (G6)
24. Timo Meier, RW, SJ (F15)
25. Ilya Sorokin, G, NYI (G7)
26. Bo Horvat, C, Van (F16)
27. Alex Pietrangelo, D, Vgk (D4)
28. Travis Konecny, RW, Phi (F17)
29. Kyle Connor, LW, Wpg (F18)
30. Jason Robertson, LW, Dal (F19)
31. Aleksander Barkov, C, Fla (F20)
32. Erik Karlsson, D, SJ (D5)
33. Brayden Point, C, TB (F21)
34. Tim Stutzle, LW, Ott (F22)
35. Josh Morrissey, D, Wpg (D6)
36. Brad Marchand, LW, Bos (F23)
37. Charlie McAvoy, D, Bos (D7)
38. Adam Fox, D, NYR (D8)
39. Sidney Crosby, C, Pit (F24)
40. Mitchell Marner, RW, Tor (F25)
41. Zach Hyman, LW, Edm (F26)
42. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, C, Edm (F27)
43. Pierre-Luc Dubois, C, Wpg (F28)
44. Nikolaj Ehlers, LW, Wpg (F29)
45. Brady Tkachuk, LW, Ott (F30)
46. Alexandar Georgiev, G, Col (G8)
47. Mikhail Sergachev, D, TB (D9)
48. John Tavares, C, Tor (F31)
49. Victor Hedman, D, TB (D10)
50. Jordan Kyrou, C, StL (F32)
51. Sebastian Aho, C, Car (F33)
52. Tristan Jarry, G, Pit (G9)
53. Jakob Chychrun, D, Ari (D11)
54. Roope Hintz, C, Dal (F34)
55. Frederik Andersen, G, Car (G10)
56. Mika Zibanejad, C, NYR (F35)
57. Mats Zuccarello, RW, Min (F36)
58. Moritz Seider, D, Det (D12)
59. Vitek Vanecek, G, NJ (G11)
60. Alex Tuch, RW, Buf (F37)
61. Jack Eichel, C, Vgk (F38)
62. William Nylander, RW, Tor (F39)
63. Dougie Hamilton, D, NJ (D13)
64. Filip Forsberg, LW, Nsh (F40)
65. Mark Scheifele, C, Wpg (F41)
66. Nico Hischier, C, NJ (F42)
67. J.T. Miller, C, Van (F43)
68. Alex DeBrincat, LW, Ott (F44)
69. Darcy Kuemper, G, Wsh (G12)
70. Thomas Chabot, D, Ott (D14)
71. Seth Jones, D, Chi (D15)
72. Jake Guentzel, LW, Pit (F45)
73. Elias Lindholm, RW, Cgy (F46)
74. Patrice Bergeron, C, Bos (F47)
75. Brandon Hagel, LW, TB (F48)
76. Jared Spurgeon, D, Min (D16)
77. Jacob Trouba, D, NYR (D17)
78. Miro Heiskanen, D, Dal (D18)
79. Rasmus Andersson, D, Cgy (D19)
80. Joe Pavelski, RW, Dal (F49)
81. Logan Thompson, G, Vgk (G13)
82. Dylan Larkin, C, Det (F50)
83. Adam Larsson, D, Sea (D20)
84. Brent Burns, D, Car (D21)
85. Tomas Hertl, C, SJ (F51)
86. Jesper Bratt, RW, NJ (F52)
87. Kris Letang, D, Pit (D22)
88. Artturi Lehkonen, LW, Col (F53)
89. Martin Jones, G, Sea (G14)
90. Joel Eriksson Ek, C, Min (F54)
91. Aaron Ekblad, D, Fla (D23)
92. Drake Batherson, C, Ott (F55)
93. Valeri Nichushkin, RW, Col (F56)
94. Jeff Skinner, LW, Buf (F57)
95. Patrik Laine, RW, Cls (F58)
96. Evgeni Malkin, C, Pit (F59)
97. Matty Beniers, C, Sea (F60)
98. Kevin Fiala, C, LA (F61)
99. Logan Couture, C, SJ (F62)
100. Andrei Svechnikov, LW, Car (F63)
101. Pavel Buchnevich, RW, StL (F64)
102. Quinn Hughes, D, Van (D24)
103. Brandon Montour, D, Fla (D25)
104. Artemi Panarin, LW, NYR (F65)
105. Anze Kopitar, C, LA (F66)
106. Nazem Kadri, C, Cgy (F67)
107. Martin Necas, C, Car (F68)
108. Justin Faulk, D, StL (D26)
109. Vince Dunn, D, Sea (D27)
110. Evander Kane, LW, Edm (F69)
111. Mathew Barzal, C, NYI (F70)
112. Noah Dobson, D, NYI (D28)
113. Jeremy Swayman, G, Bos (G15)
114. Jeff Petry, D, Pit (D29)
115. Chris Kreider, LW, NYR (F71)
116. Dylan Cozens, C, Buf (F72)
117. Rickard Rakell, C, Pit (F73)
118. Claude Giroux, LW, Ott (F74)
119. Jake DeBrusk, LW, Bos (F75)
120. Sean Durzi, D, LA (D30)
121. Devon Toews, D, Col (D31)
122. Ivan Provorov, D, Phi (D32)
123. Johnny Gaudreau, LW, Cls (F76)
124. Jamie Benn, LW, Dal (F77)
125. Brock Nelson, C, NYI (F78)
126. Boone Jenner, C, Cls (F79)
127. Ilya Samsonov, G, Tor (G16)
128. David Krejci, C, Bos (F80)
129. Vincent Trocheck, C, NYR (F81)
130. Alec Martinez, D, Vgk (D33)
131. Filip Gustavsson, G, Min (G17)
132. Erik Gustafsson, D, Wsh (D34)
133. Ben Chiarot, D, Det (D35)
134. Pheonix Copley, G, Wsh (0)
135. Darnell Nurse, D, Edm (D36)
136. Clayton Keller, C, Ari (F82)
137. Marc-Andre Fleury, G, Min (G18)
138. Scott Laughton, C, Phi (F83)
139. Mark Stone, RW, Vgk (F84)
140. Patrick Kane, RW, Chi (F85)
141. Blake Wheeler, RW, Wpg (F86)
142. Anders Lee, LW, NYI (F87)
143. Phillip Danault, C, LA (F88)
144. Lawson Crouse, LW, Ari (F89)
145. Carter Verhaeghe, C, Fla (F90)
146. David Savard, D, Mon (D37)
147. Tony DeAngelo, D, Phi (D38)
148. Sam Reinhart, RW, Fla (F91)
149. Eeli Tolvanen, LW, Nsh (F92)
150. Morgan Rielly, D, Tor (D39)
151. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, G, Buf (G19)
152. Tyler Toffoli, RW, Cgy (F93)
153. Hampus Lindholm, D, Bos (D40)
154. Stuart Skinner, G, Edm (G20)
155. Jonathan Huberdeau, LW, Cgy (F94)
156. K'Andre Miller, D, NYR (D41)
157. Drew Doughty, D, LA (D42)
158. Tyson Barrie, D, Edm (D43)
159. Robert Thomas, C, StL (F95)
160. Owen Tippett, RW, Phi (F96)
161. Jared McCann, LW, Sea (F97)
162. Vladimir Tarasenko, RW, StL (F98)
163. Andrei Kuzmenko, LW, Van (F99)
164. Jack Campbell, G, Edm (G21)
165. Filip Hronek, D, Det (D44)
166. Chandler Stephenson, C, Vgk (F100)
167. Jake McCabe, D, Chi (D45)
168. Matt Murray, G, Tor (G22)
169. Neal Pionk, D, Wpg (D46)
170. Joel Edmundson, D, Mon (D47)
171. Nick Suzuki, C, Mon (F101)
172. Ville Husso, G, Det (G23)
173. Sergei Bobrovsky, G, Fla (G24)
174. John Carlson, D, Wsh (D48)
175. Viktor Arvidsson, RW, LA (F102)
176. Carter Hart, G, Phi (G25)
177. Jake Walman, D, Det (D49)
178. Adrian Kempe, C, LA (F103)
179. Anthony Duclair, LW, Fla (F104)
180. J.T. Compher, RW, Col (F105)
181. Jason Zucker, LW, Pit (F106)
182. T.J. Oshie, RW, Wsh (F107)
183. Jacob Markstrom, G, Cgy (G26)
184. Brayden McNabb, D, Vgk (D50)
185. Sam Bennett, LW, Fla (F108)
186. Michael Bunting, LW, Tor (F109)
187. Thatcher Demko, G, Van (G27)
188. Matt Duchene, C, Nsh (F110)
189. Nick Schmaltz, C, Ari (F111)
190. Cam Talbot, G, Ott (G28)
191. Shea Theodore, D, Vgk (D51)
192. Matt Boldy, LW, Min (F112)
193. Tyler Bertuzzi, LW, Det (F113)
194. Andre Burakovsky, LW, Sea (F114)
195. Ryan Graves, D, NJ (D52)
196. Kevin Hayes, C, Phi (F115)
197. Brayden Schenn, C, StL (F116)
198. Luke Schenn, D, Van (D53)
199. Lucas Raymond, LW, Det (F117)
200. Adam Henrique, C, Ana (F118)
201. Trevor Zegras, C, Ana (F119)
202. Filip Chytil, RW, NYR (F120)
203. Torey Krug, D, StL (D54)
204. Anton Forsberg, G, Ott (G29)
205. Tom Wilson, RW, Wsh (F121)
206. Evan Rodrigues, C, Col (F122)
207. Jean-Gabriel Pageau, C, NYI (F123)
208. Daniel Sprong, RW, Sea (F124)
209. Jordan Binnington, G, StL (G30)
210. Mason McTavish, C, Ana (F125)
211. Ondrej Palat, LW, NJ (F126)
212. Gabriel Vilardi, C, LA (F127)
213. Evgeny Kuznetsov, C, Wsh (F128)
214. Brandon Tanev, LW, Sea (F129)
215. Brock Boeser, RW, Van (F130)
216. Jake Sanderson, D, Ott (D55)
217. Karel Vejmelka, G, Ari (0)
218. Esa Lindell, D, Dal (D56)
219. Kirby Dach, C, Mon (F131)
220. Dmitry Orlov, D, Wsh (D57)
221. Pavel Francouz, G, Col (G31)
222. Matt Roy, D, LA (D58)
223. Scott Mayfield, D, NYI (D59)
224. Tyler Seguin, C, Dal (F132)
225. Max Domi, C, Chi (F133)
226. Nicholas Paul, C, TB (F134)
227. Connor Murphy, D, Chi (D60)
228. Noah Hanifin, D, Cgy (D61)
229. Connor Clifton, D, Bos (D62)
230. Dan Vladar, G, Cgy (0)
231. Marcus Pettersson, D, Pit (D63)
232. Dawson Mercer, C, NJ (F135)
233. Brady Skjei, D, Car (D64)
234. Bryan Rust, RW, Pit (F136)
235. Mattias Ekholm, D, Nsh (D65)
236. Mark Giordano, D, Tor (D66)
237. John Klingberg, D, Ana (D67)
238. Jaccob Slavin, D, Car (D68)
239. Jonas Siegenthaler, D, NJ (D69)
240. Taylor Raddysh, RW, Chi (0)
241. Rasmus Ristolainen, D, Phi (D70)
242. Radko Gudas, D, Fla (D71)
243. Jonas Brodin, D, Min (D72)
244. Troy Terry, C, Ana (F137)
245. Teuvo Teravainen, RW, Car (F138)
246. Gustav Forsling, D, Fla (D73)
247. Brett Pesce, D, Car (D74)
248. Victor Olofsson, RW, Buf (F139)
249. Dominik Kubalik, LW, Det (F140)
250. Damon Severson, D, NJ (D75)

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