Five Trade Candidates to Watch as 2021-22 NHL Season Approaches

Jack Eichel

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The 2021-22 NHL schedule begins on Tuesday, Oct. 12. Here’s a look at several players already featuring prominently in the rumor mill as trade candidates.

Jack Eichel, Buffalo Sabres

Eichel’s ongoing standoff with the Sabres over which medical procedure he’ll undergo for a herniated disc in his neck has also stalled the club’s efforts to move him. Stripped of his captaincy after failing his training-camp medical, there’s no end in sight to this impasse.

Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues

Concerns over Tarasenko’s thrice-repaired shoulder plus his $7.5-million cap hit dampened his value in the trade market.’s Dan Rosen speculates he could finish this season with the Blues if they remain a playoff contender. 

Tomas Hertl, San Jose Sharks

Hertl’s eligibility for unrestricted free agent status next summer is generating growing speculation over his future with the Sharks. The 27-year-old center hinted at accepting a hometown discount but playing for a winner remains a priority. His fate could be tied to the Sharks’ performance this season.

Filip Forsberg, Nashville Predators

The Predators traded Ryan Ellis and Viktor Arvidsson during the summer. Forsberg could be next if the pending UFA isn’t signed before the March trade deadline. The Tennessean‘s Gentry Estes believes he’ll be moved unless the Predators are better than expected this season.

Joonas Korpisalo, Columbus Blue Jackets

The Blue Jackets signing Elvis Merzlikins to a five-year contract extension could spell the end of the Korpisalo’s tenure in Columbus. The 26-year-old goaltender claimed he wasn’t bothered by Merzlikins’ new deal and intends to focus on the upcoming season. A UFA at season’s end, Korpisalo could draw interest from clubs seeking depth between the pipes.