NHL trade season preview: Eastern Conference

The Capitals are back on top of the Metropolitan Division. Will they make any big moves to load up for another playoff run? Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The turn of the new year in the NHL means it's time for teams to start formulating game plans for the trade deadline. Will they be buyers, sellers or wait to see how things play out in the coming weeks?

There are several key factors that go into these types of decisions, like a team's competitiveness, cap space, players with trade value and draft picks.

Here is a look at where every team in the Eastern Conference stands as we begin trade season:

Note: All cap information is courtesy of CapFriendly.

Atlantic Division

Tampa Bay Lightning (30-9-3)

Projected cap space: $2.0 million
2018 draft picks: Rounds 1-7, Los Angeles' seventh
Top assets: LW Adam Erne, D Slater Koekkoek

Game plan: Running away with the division, the Lightning shouldn't be looking to make any big shakeups, but strengthening their depth should be a priority as they chase a Stanley Cup. Tampa Bay may get phone calls on two former high draft picks who haven't broken through to become full-time NHLers yet. Flipping one or both for proven players could make the league's best team even better.