NHL Rumors: Top 7 Forward Trade Candidates This Summer

Bleacher Report's Lyle Richardson has highlighted some of the top forward trade candidates this summer, focusing on significant names with trade rumors swirling around them. 

Leading the list is Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner, whose $10.9 million cap hit and full no-movement clause complicate trade scenarios. 

Despite these obstacles and the Leafs' early playoff exit, Marner's elite skill set keeps him in the trade rumor spotlight, making him a prominent candidate for teams seeking a game-changing talent.

Anaheim Ducks' Trevor Zegras and Columbus Blue Jackets' Patrik Laine are also key figures on Richardson's list. 

Zegras, with two years left on his $5.8 million annual contract, has drawn significant interest from teams like the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers, despite the Ducks' high asking price. 

Laine, who is currently addressing mental health issues, has two years remaining on his $8.7 million AAV contract and a 10-team no-trade list. 

While his situation is complex, his high-upside scoring potential makes him an intriguing option for teams like the Minnesota Wild and Seattle Kraken looking for offensive firepower.

Other notable forwards include Winnipeg Jets' Nikolaj Ehlers and Rutger McGroarty, New York Rangers' Kaapo Kakko, and Carolina Hurricanes' Martin Nečas. 

Ehlers' uncertainty over signing a contract extension with the Jets has fueled trade speculation, while McGroarty's development plan disconnect with the Jets has made him a trade topic, potentially fetching a first-round pick or a top prospect. 

Kakko, despite his new one-year, $2.4 million contract, remains in trade discussions as the Rangers seek cap space. 

Nečas, who recently filed for salary arbitration, tops Richardson's list due to his skillful playmaking and unresolved situation with the Hurricanes, making him a prime trade candidate this summer.

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