The trade deadline is just three weeks away and the Golden Knights are already gearing up to be active. Looking at the roster, it seems clear the target for this year’s deadline in Vegas will be a forward. With every team still with 8-12 games on their schedule before March 8th, I thought it would be easier to go through every bad team to cover every potential seller.
Here’s one player from each of the worst 12 teams in the league that could make sense for the Golden Knights. (Today is teams 32-27, tomorrow is 26-21.)
$5 million – Expiring Contract
2023-24: 38gp, 10g, 14p, 1.0 point shares
Johnson has been fairly productive this year on a terrible Chicago team, when healthy. The numbers are nowhere near what they were when he was in Tampa, but there’s a strong case he could have a resurgence back on a good team. This is a guy who scored 72 points in a season back in 2014-15 and posted 45+ points for three straight years between 2016-19. He’s a decent power play weapon and can play center or wing. Chicago would have no problem eating half of the salary and it’s not crazy to think they could find a third party to eat another $1.25 if necessary as well. He has the Stanley Cup pedigree the VGK front office loves and even posted a 23-point postseason once upon a time. The perfect fit, no, but could be quite cost-effective based on the situation in Chicago.
San Jose Sharks
$3 million – Expiring Contract
2023-24: 47gp, 9g, 17a, 1.1 point shares
You might remember Duclair from the Stanley Cup Final where he scored in Game 1 against the Golden Knights. Or, maybe you’ll remember him from the 31-goal season he posted in Florida in 2021-22. Duclair’s numbers have been down in San Jose and he battled through injury all of last year which hurt his totals, but he has shown the ability to score when played with excellent players. He’s a bit one-dimensional though, which would mean he’d likely have to play in an offensive role and can only play on the wing. But, he’s definitely a power play option and has a season under his belt where he scored nine PP goals. The salary is manageable (especially when you consider San Jose could hold some of it) and he kind of fits the Phil Kessel role that has been missing since VGK let the Ironman walk away.