Trade Targets: Chicago’s Alex DeBrincat is No. 1 player available ahead of wild NHL offseason

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Buckle up. Exactly five weeks remain until the NHL Draft – and there will be a flurry of offseason activity from now until the Montreal Canadiens pick at No. 1 in a buzzing Bell Centre.

Daily Faceoff is back with our first Trade Targets board of the offseason. On Deadline Day, all of the top seven players on our board were moved, and in all, 27 players who appeared on our list were traded during the deadline period – making it one of the most accurate predictors of the action that’s ahead.

Heading into this offseason, the No. 2 overall pick is in play, along with a 41-goal scorer, a heartbeat center, an All-Star goaltender, and maybe even one of the league’s most consistent scorers.


Daily Faceoff’s Trade Targets 

1. Alex DeBrincat
Left Wing, Chicago Blackhawks
Age: 24
Stats: 82 GP, 41 G, 37 A, 78 Pts
Contract: 1 more season, $6.4 million AAV
Scoop: The question seems to be ‘when’ and not ‘if’ the Hawks will move the two-time 40-goal scorer. Is it this summer, or before next season’s trade deadline? If it seems odd that the rebuilding Blackhawks would want to move a sniper just hitting his prime with more goals than Nathan MacKinnon and Brad Marchand over the last four seasons, consider these three points: 1) DeBrincat is Chicago’s best trade chip to begin stockpiling future assets; 2) By the time Chicago gets to where they want, he will be middle-aged by NHL standards; 3) With a $9 million qualifying offer due at the end of next season, they’d need to pay big to keep him on what should be a struggling squad.

2. Kevin Fiala
Left Wing, Minnesota Wild
Age: 25
Stats: 82 GP, 33 G, 52 A, 85 Pts
Contract: Pending RFA, $5.1 mil qualifying offer, Arbitration eligible
Scoop: There is no doubt, no question that the Wild would like to find a way to keep Fiala, who was such a big part of their offense last season. But with $12.7 million coming in dead cap space next season due to the Zach Parise and Ryan Suter buyouts, Fiala may simply be a luxury Minnesota cannot afford on an AAV somewhere between $7 and $8 million. The hope has to be a full season of Matt Boldy will fill the void, along with whatever useful and (comparatively) inexpensive pieces GM Bill Guerin can get in return for Fiala. It’s easy to envision Fiala playing alongside fellow Swiss countryman Nico Hischier in New Jersey.

3. Jakob Chychrun
Left Defense, Arizona Coyotes
Age: 24
Stats: 47 GP, 7 G, 14 A, 21 Pts
Contract: 3 more seasons, $4.6 million AAV
Scoop: As his name swirled in rumors last season, Chychrun said he learned one lesson: “Stay off the phone.” Chychrun also hinted in his end-of-season media availability that he isn’t up for more scorched earth rebuild in the Valley of the Sun. “That stuff is important to me. I want to be in a position where I’m getting ready to play [in the playoffs], not packing up and leaving the boys.” Will the Coyotes get their return? The four-piece package Arizona asked for was met with polarizing views from other GMs.

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