The 2019-20 NHL regular season is now underway. As fans settle in for another season of hockey action, they’ll also keep an eye on the rumor mill to determine which players could become NHL trade candidates.
Earlier this week, we examined this season’s Eastern Conference NHL trade candidates. Here’s a look at those in the Western Conference.
Tyler Toffoli, Los Angeles Kings
A versatile forward with three 20-plus goal seasons on his resume, Toffoli is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July. The Kings might prefer re-signing the 27-year-old winger, but they’re rebuilding and have too many aging players carrying hefty contracts.
If the Kings fail to get Toffoli re-signed before the trade deadline, they could shop him if they’re out of playoff contention by then.
Kyle Turris, Nashville Predators
A foot injury limited Turris to just 23 points 55 games in his first season with the Predators. A healthier season should result in better numbers. However, he carries a hefty $6 million annual salary-cap hit through 2023-24.
Off-season whispers suggested Turris could be traded if he doesn’t improve. That won’t be easy to do without picking up part of that cap hit.
Nikolaj Ehlers, Winnipeg Jets
Streaky production and a shoulder injury contributed to Ehler’s 37 points in 62 games last season. With the Jets’ blueline depleted by trade and free agency during the off-season, the 23-year-old Dane surfaced in the rumor mill as a possible trade chip to fetch a top-four defenseman.
Ehler’s carries an annual average value of $6 million through 2024-25. That contract could be difficult to move without taking a high-salaried player in return.
Ondrej Kase, Anaheim Ducks
Despite being plagued by injuries, the 23-year-old Kase has potential as a scoring winger. In 2017-18 he tallied 20 goals in 66 games.
Kase was linked to the Ducks’ rumored attempt to acquire defenseman Justin Faulk before he was shipped to the St. Louis Blues. It’s believed Ducks general manager Bob Murray remains interested in landing a right-shot rearguard. Kase could be used as trade bait to address that need.
Michael Frolik, Calgary Flames
Frolik was almost shipped to the Minnesota Wild for Jason Zucker at last season’s NHL trade deadline. Having bounced around the Flames’ lineup last season under head coach Bill Peters, the veteran winger probably doesn’t fit into their long-term plans.
Slated for unrestricted free agent status in July, Frolik could hit the trade block at some point this season. His 10-team no-trade list, however, could be a sticking point.
Chris Tanev, Vancouver Canucks
Canucks GM Jim Benning resisted moving Tanev but could finally pull the trigger if unable to re-sign him before the trade deadline. The physical right-shot defenseman could draw interest as a playoff rental.
Jesse Puljujarvi, Edmonton Oilers
Selected fourth overall in the 2016 NHL draft, Puljujarvi struggled to play up to expectations in Edmonton. The 21-year-old winger is a restricted free agent currently skating in Finland as he waits for a trade.
If Puljujarvi isn’t re-signed by Dec. 1, he’ll be ineligible to play the remainder of this season. Oilers GM Ken Holland seeks a quality draft pick plus a promising prospect or young player in return.
Julius Honka, Dallas Stars
Honka, 23, is another former first-round pick and restricted free agent skating overseas awaiting a trade.
Rumors linked the defenseman to the Anaheim Ducks, Montreal Canadiens, and Winnipeg Jets. Given his struggles cracking the Stars roster, he’s expected to fetch at most a third-round draft pick.