Insiders Predict Trade Destinations For Top 6 Targets

We’ve all heard the names by now. Elias, Lindholm, Chris Tanev, Sean Monahan… The players most likely to be traded by the March 8 deadline. And speculation has been running rampant as to where they, and the other top available names, might be headed. Today, insiders Chris Johnson and Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic have made their calls as to the landing spots for each of the top six trade candidates over the next couple of months. 

Elias Lindholm

We begin with the Calgary Flames and their top two stars expected to be sent packing. For Lindholm, LeBrun figures that the Boston Bruins simply make too much sense, and that the Flames centre will be sent to Beantown. 

Johnson figures the Colorado Avalanche are the most "highly motivated" buyers for Lindholm. He also figures that the Avs have the kind of assets that can get a deal done here with Calgary, unlike the Bruins.

Chris Tanev

Lindholm's teammate Tanev should wind up with the New Jersey Devils according to LeBrun. He can even see this being a blockbuster trade that could also include Flames netminder Jacob Markstrom, another position of need for the Devils.

Johnson figures the Calgary rearguard will end up with the team that has seemingly been tied to him all season, and that’s the Toronto Maple Leafs. It was, after all, Toronto GM Brad Treliving who signed Tanev to the four-year deal that will be expiring at the end of this season.

Jake Guentzel

The Penguins might still choose to re-sign their pending UFA, but if they fail to, he will end up with the New York Rangers if LeBrun is correct.  The Rangers are a Cup contender and another top-six winger like Guentzel could push them over the top.

Johnson figures that “no buyer makes more sense“ than the Edmonton Oilers. He sees Guentzel as being the shoot-first winger who'll benefit most by playing with Leon Draisaitl.

Jake Allen

Talks are heating up for the Montreal Canadiens' keeper, and the Carolina Hurricanes have had goaltending troubles all season long. LeBrun sees Allen as the answer here.

Johnson, however, can see Allen winding up with the New Jersey Devils, a team, as noted above, that's looking to stabilize their goaltending situation.

Ilya Lyubushkin

Another pending UFA defenceman, Lyubushkin should wind up with the Toronto Maple Leafs, according to LeBrun. The solid defender is well known to the Leafs organization after having played 31 games for them two seasons ago.

Johnson, however, sees Lyubushkin going to the Dallas Stars.

Sean Monahan

If the Colorado Avalanche miss out on Lindholm, then LeBrun can see them pivoting to Monahan as a solid backup plan at center.

The Winnipeg Jets are showing themselves to be a solid contender this season and Johnson sees them as a landing spot for Monahan when GM Kevin Cheveldayoff looks to add a rental at the deadline.

 Photo: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports