Top 15 Players Likely To Be Dealt Before The 2016 NHL Trade Deadline

The NHL trade deadline is one of the most exciting days on the NHL calendar and, in terms of player movement, its only competition is July 1st, when free agency begins. However, that day doesn't really hold a candle to trade deadline day. The deadline happens during the season, when fans of most NHL fanbases are hoping their team can trade for a piece that might help them become a contender for hockey's biggest prize, the Stanley Cup. If you've watched the marathon of coverage provided by the NHL Network or TSN, then you're likely aware that there have been a variety of huge deadline deals that have propelled a team to go on a serious run to the cup. The most obvious example being the 2006 Carolina Hurricanes, who picked up Mark Recchi and Doug Weight at the deadline, who combined to score 32 points in the playoffs.

If you're looking for a more recent example, look no further than the 2014 Los Angeles Kings, who picked up Marian Gaborik before the deadline and he gave them 14 goals and 22 points as they won their second Stanley Cup in three years. He's been terrible this year, but his pickup was instrumental in the Kings getting themselves another ring.

However, if you're too aggressive, you might overpay and severely regret it. Just ask the San Jose Sharks, who gave up Josh Gorges and a first round pick for Craig Rivet in 2007.  The Habs got a solid young defenseman and a pick that turned into their current captain, Max Pacioretty. On the other hand, the Sharks got a defender who was -5 during their playoff run, which ended in the second round.

Many of the players listed below will be moved, but will be they be the missing piece required to make a Cup run? That remains to be seen.

*This list will update as each player is moved.

15 Keith Yandle 

Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

14 Eric Gryba

Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

13 Kris Versteeg

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

12 Roman Polak 

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

11 Jonathan Drouin 

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Well, when a player makes a trade request, it's easy to conclude that they're a player that might be traded. However, this is a truly unique case. Jonathan Drouin was the third overall pick in 2013 and is an incredibly talented young forward who's yet to break into Tampa's stacked lineup. He's also signed for another year on a cheap deal, before he becomes a restricted free agent, meaning the Lightning are in absolutely no rush to move him. To add one final layer, they might be losing Steven Stamkos in the summer (or before in a trade, if they panic), so they shouldn't be moving talented young forwards.

10 Kris Russell/Dennis Wideman

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

9 Cam Ward

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

8 Shane Doan

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

7 Radim Vrbata

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

6 Cam Atkinson

Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

5 Chris Kunitz

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

4 David Legwand

Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

3 Eric Staal

James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

2 Karri Ramo / Jonas Hiller

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

1 Andrew Ladd

Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

The Winnipeg Jets have made their choice. At the start of the year, the Jets had two huge impending free agents in Dustin Byfuglien and Andrew Ladd. As a budget team, it was clear they could only sign one of them long-term and they gave BIG bucks to Byufglien, so it seems clear that Andrew Ladd will be on the move. Their captain hasn't been great this year and it's possible that this eventuality is weighing on him. He apparently wants a sizable contract and he likely won't get it in Winnipeg, so why wouldn't the Jets try to get value for him since they're nowhere near playoff contention?

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Top 15 Players Likely To Be Dealt Before The 2016 NHL Trade Deadline