According to the latest NHL trade rumors, Patrik Laine could be traded. Here are the 3 best suitors for him.
Even though the Stanley Cup Playoffs are still going on, with a shortened NHL offseason, eliminated teams are making moves. According to the latest NHL trade rumors, the top name on the market could be Winnipeg Jets forward Patrik Laine.
This is according to TSN’s Frank Servalli. In his most recent Trade Bait column, he listed Laine at number five. The Jets have some significant holes to fill in their lineup and those holes might only be fillable via the trade market.
First, why would teams want to trade for Laine? Well, he’s one of the best goal scorers on the planet. It’s that simple. Yes, Laine is admittedly a fairly one-dimensional player. A one-trick pony, if you will. But his one dimension and trick happens to be scoring goals, which is extremely difficult to do.
Also, keep in mind Laine is still very young. He’s merely 22 years old. Laine has a lot of room to grow. Maybe he can improve his defense enough to where he’s respectable. It’s not like he’s been getting great coaching with the Jets.
Secondly, why would the Jets want to trade such an excellent goal scorer? It’s simply because the Jets have holes to fill at center and on their blueline. They can’t fill all of those holes via free agency. Nikolaj Ehlers has a long-term deal. Kyle Connor outproduced Laine last year. That leaves Laine as the most likely trade option.
Now, Laine’s $6.75 million cap hit isn’t ideal. Neither is the one year he has left on his current contract, after which he’ll be a restricted free agent (and primed for a pay raise). But Laine is such a unique player, I think teams are still going to be willing to pay a heavy price tag to get him. An extension might have to be a part of the deal, though.
Before we dive into the top three suitors for Laine, let’s look at some honorable mentions.
This might sound crazy, but an Oliver Ekman-Larsson for Patrik Laine trade could make sense for both sides. Both the Arizona Coyotes and the Winnipeg Jets would have to make other moves, but the Coyotes need scoring and the Jets need defense. This trade would address those needs.
The Flyers have a surplus of defensemen. A package including Shayne Gostisbehere and Scott Laughton would likely get the Jets’ attention. But would the Flyers do it? I’m honestly not sure.
On paper, the Columbus Blue Jackets would be a great fit for Patrik Laine. They need offense desperately. But unless the Jets would take a package built around either David Savard or Vladislav Gavrikov or the Blue Jackets would be willing to include Zach Werenski or Seth Jones, I don’t think it’s happening.