NHL Trade Deadline Player Rankings: Top Targets for 2024 Deadline

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Pittsburgh Penguins' Jake Guentzel prepares for a face-off during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Florida Panthers in Pittsburgh, Friday, Jan. 26, 2024.
(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Michael DeRosa @ Mar 07, 2024, 8:16 AM

The 2024 NHL Trade Deadline is almost here, and we have seen several former top trade targets, such as Noah Hanifin, Adam Henrique, Vladimir Tarasenko, and Sean Walker, get moved. However, deadline day is not here yet, and more moves are coming.

Let’s discuss the 10 best players still available now. 

NHL Trade Deadline Player Rankings

RankPlayerTeamLast Week
1Jake GuentzelPenguins1
2Jakob ChychrunSenatorsNR
3Pavel BuchnevichBlues7
4Jacob MarkstromFlames4
5Tyler ToffoliDevils10
6Reilly SmithPenguinsNR
7Elias LindholmCanucksNR
8Jake DeBruskBruinsNR
9Frank VatranoDucks9
10Linus UllmarkBruinsNR

1. Jake Guentzel – Penguins 

With the Penguins’ playoff hopes significantly low, Jake Guentzel is expected to be moved. Several teams have been linked to the star winger, including the Canucks, Oilers, Rangers, Hurricanes, Red Wings, and Panthers.

2. Jakob Chychrun – Senators

With Noah Hanifin off the board, Jakob Chychun is the best defenseman available. His market is starting to heat up significantly, as the Lightning, Red Wings, Flyers, Panthers, Kings, Flames, Capitals, and Blues have been linked to him. He is a legitimate top-pairing defenseman who plays both sides, so the high amount of interest is understandable. 

3. Pavel Buchnevich – Blues

While the Blues are having a decent season, they are shopping Pavel Buchnevich. The star winger will be a pending UFA after next season, and St. Louis is looking to take advantage of his high trade value. The Sabres, Golden Knights, Oilers, Kings, Hurricanes, and Canucks have expressed interest. 

4. Jacob Markstrom – Flames 

Jacob Markstrom needs to be watched extremely closely over the next two days. Recently, the star goaltender was almost traded to the Devils, but the deal fell through. With this news, it is clear that the Flames are more than willing to move on from their starter, and teams needing goaltenders will be calling. Besides New Jersey, the Hurricanes have been connected to him. The Kings should also be watched. 

5. Tyler Toffoli – Devils 

While the Devils are trying to sign Tyler Toffoli to an extension, they have also understandably made him available for trade. With the Devils’ playoff hopes significantly decreasing, Toffoli is now a big-time trade chip on their roster. Teams connected to the sniper include the Kings and Oilers.

6. Reilly Smith – Penguins 

Guentzel may be the Penguins’ biggest trade chip, but they have another notable forward in Reilly Smith, who could find a new home this week. The fit has not been there in Pittsburgh, and he could be a valuable addition to a contender’s middle six if acquired. Some teams eyeing him include the Panthers, Avalanche, Hurricanes, and Golden Knights. 

7. Elias Lindholm – Canucks 

Elias Lindholm has shockingly found his way back into the rumor mill just one month after being acquired by the Canucks. Vancouver’s new top target is Guentzel, and it has been reported that they are willing to trade Lindholm to the Bruins to free up the cap space to make a move happen.

8. Jake DeBrusk – Bruins

The Bruins are looking to make a notable splash before the deadline. However, they lack cap space and draft picks, so Jake DeBrusk has been creating a lot of chatter in recent weeks. It makes sense, as he is a pending UFA, and extension talks between him and the Bruins have not gone well. He also has struggled this season, so a change of scenery could be on the way. 

9. Frank Vatrano – Ducks 

Frank Vatrano is having a career-best season with the Ducks. With Anaheim being in the middle of a big-time rebuild, there is a real shot that they will deal with the skilled winger before the deadline passes. He would be a notable addition to a contender’s middle six and power play. Teams linked to him include the Red Wings, Rangers, Avalanche, and Islanders. 

10. Linus Ullmark – Bruins

There has been chatter about the prospect of the Bruins moving on from Linus Ullmark before the deadline. They need cap space, and they already have star goalie Jeremy Swayman, who can run the crease on his own. The Devils are expected to target Ullmark if they miss out on Markstrom, so this is something to watch. 

When’s the 2024 NHL Trade Deadline?

The 2024 NHL Trade Deadline is on Friday, March 8, 2024, at 3:00 p.m. ET. Leading up to the final minute, we will see several trades completed. 

Who’s the Top NHL Trade Candidate in 2024?

Jake Guentzel is the NHL’s top trade candidate in 2024. Snipers of his ability are rarely available on the trade market, and he will be a massive addition for a contender if he is traded. How the Penguins perform over the next week will determine if he gets dealt.

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