NHL Rumors: 3 Impact Players Emerging As Trade Candidates

As the Conference Finals continue and four teams remain, the other 28 general managers are trying to plot out their ideal offseason. It's expected to be a busy one when it comes to the trade market as several teams are looking to shake things up, meanwhile as expected, salary cap space is becoming a premium across the league. For today's piece, let's examine a few impact players across the league who are likely going to be traded this summer:

Patrik Laine, Columbus Blue Jackets

It was great to see Patrik Laine bounce back in 2021-22, as he recorded 56 points in 56 games, one year after recording only 21 points. Laine has shown he's still holding a ton of potential and development in his game and there's certainly 40-goal seasons still within him. The Finnish forward is a restricted free-agent and there's been minimal reported on how contract talks are going. With another hefty qualifying offer coming his way, Laine may just accept another one-year deal and hit free agency as a 25-year-old after next season. The Blue Jackets don't want to see another star walk for nothing so if contract talks aren't going as planned this offseason, look for Laine to be traded.

Conor Garland, Vancouver Canucks

The Vancouver Canucks are trying to prioritize their core and it appears Conor Garland could be the odd man out. Management would love to get J.T Miller and Brock Boeser signed long term, however cap space is hard to come by in western Canada. Garland is a shifty winger who can play anywhere in a team's top-six. Last season he recorded 52 points in 77 games for the Canucks and his contract pays him $4.95 million through the 2025-26 season. The Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, Buffalo Sabres, New Jersey Devils and Nashville Predators are teams to keep an eye on here as a few of them have been linked to Garland for years. The Devils in particular would love to get their hands on him and we'll see who can meet Vancouver's demands.

Brent Burns, San Jose Sharks

The San Jose Sharks are looking to split up Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson and considering contract amount compared to production, expect there to be much more interest in Burns. The veteran rover is getting up their in age at 37, however he keeps his body in amazing shape and showed in 2021-22, he's still got it. Burns put up 54 points last season, appearing in every game and showing he can be reliable as ever. The wild and wacky defenseman has three seasons left on his deal at $8 million and holds all the cards as his no-trade protection is situated where he submits a list of three teams he's willing to be traded too. At this point it's hard to say where Burns would be willing to be moved too, but it's worth noting he has a ton of family in Ontario, and perhaps would consider a move closer to 'home'.

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