NHL Rumors: 3 Central Division Defensemen Expected to Be Traded This Summer

Welcome to the latest series at NHLTR where we'll dive into each division across the NHL and examine the most likely trade candidates. Forwards, defensemen and goaltenders, you will see them all as it's expected to be a wild and wacky summer of transactions. 

For round five, let's dive into defensemen from the central division who could be changing jerseys for the 2022-23 season:

Jakob Chychrun, Arizona Coyotes

After a full season of trade rumors, Jakob Chychrun remained a member of the Arizona Coyotes. This in large part, has to do with the asking demands of Coyotes management as they quickly realized teams weren't going to offer a four-piece package of top prospects and first-round picks. With the demands slightly less now, look for the young defenseman to be moved at the NHL entry draft or early on this offseason. Chychrun is 24 years old and signed to a reasonable annual cap hit of $4.6 million, meanwhile his trade protection doesn't kick in until 2023-24. Last season he tallied 21 points in 47 games and battled injuries throughout the year. However, it shouldn't scare teams away and expect the Coyotes to cash in on their asset this summer.

Matt Dumba, Minnesota Wild

The Wild have some serious cap issues and Matt Dumba and his $6 million cap hit for next season could be a prime trade candidate. It's a touch expensive for a defenseman who only put up 27 points in 57 games last season and it's been several seasons since he's been healthy for the entire year and capable of reaching the 50-point mark. Dumba isn't a top-pair defenseman and is getting paid like one. Wild general manager Bill Guerin may move on from Dumba in order to keep restricted free agent Kevin Fiala in Minny. Look for trade chatter to pick up once the Stanley Cup Playoffs conclude.

Jake McCabe, Chicago Blackhawks

The rebuilding Blackhawks are going to try and shed some money and get younger, so veteran defenseman Jake McCabe has become a prime trade candidate. The 28-year-old is signed through the 2024-25 season, and holds no-trade protection against seven teams he'd like to avoid. The bruising defenseman is best suited in a shut-down role and showed in his first season in Chicago he's capable of chipping in offensively, with a career-high 22 points in 75 games. He's yet to sniff the postseason in his career and if he wants to get a taste of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, he'll likely have to leave Chicago to do so next season. Look for teams to reach out to Chicago this summer and expect to see McCabe and his $4-million cap hit shipped out of the windy city this offseason.

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