NHLTR's Top-5 Trade Candidates for 2023

The NHL trade deadline is March 3 and with 2023 upon us, there's going to be some serious trade chatter picking up over the course of the next few weeks. While there's already been some heavy rumors circulating throughout the late stages of 2022, get ready for some big names to be discussed, including the following five players:

Patrick Kane

One of the biggest superstars to get traded in the past 10 years, Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane is expected to waive his no-movement clause and leave behind his legacy in the Windy city. Kane isn't scoring like we're used to, however he's still a major threat on the ice and the kind of impact player who can take a team over the hump. What we know so far is the fact he's likely going to choose a team not only to get traded to for the playoff run, but also to re-sign with next summer. Favorites so far are the New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings. Other teams in the mix include the Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders. 

Bo Horvat

Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat will not be discussing any of the trade speculation surrounding him, so we'll do it for him. Horvat is in the prime of his career and is having a career season at the perfect time. He's only making $5.5 million and doesn't hold any trade protection. He's unique because even teams out of the playoff picture will be making serious bids for his services. The Canucks want a young center, a right-handed defenseman and at least one first-round pick. Vancouver is lost, Horvat should be happy he's getting out. Favorites include the Colorado Avalanche, Washington Capitals; meanwhile other teams in the mix will be the Edmonton Oilers, Maple Leafs, Penguins and Dallas Stars. 

Ryan O'Reilly

Speaking of captains, St Louis Blues leader Ryan O'Reilly makes the list. The Blues can't seem to string wins together and now sit four points out of a playoff spot. If the team continues to head in the wrong direction, O'Reilly is very likely to get moved. The Maple Leafs will make a huge offer as they've held internal discussions, meanwhile there could be a reunion in Colorado as the Avs will also be very interested. O'Reilly's resume speaks for itself, he's a factor in all aspects of the game, and will surely be one of the biggest names dealt at the deadline should St Louis not be able to get on track.

Jonathan Toews

Speaking of resumes, Blackhawks legend Jonathan Toews makes the list based off his accolades alone. Toews has a full no-movement clause and the Blackhawks are expected to hold some talks with him and Kane over the next couple of weeks. Toews likely ends up in Washington, Winnipeg or Colorado, with the Oilers and Penguins rounding out the top five.

Erik Karlsson

San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson sits sixth in the NHL in scoring with 51 points in 38 games. The Sharks are committed to the rebuild and will be willing to retain 50% of Karlsson's $11.5 million cap hit for the next four seasons. This deal won't necessarily be a blockbuster as even with 51 points this season, the trade value of Karlsson is still a mystery considering his health history and this bounce-back season. Some feel a second-or-third round pick plus a mid-level prospect will do the trick.

There's our top-5 trade candidates as we start 2023. Updated list to come February 1st.

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