The Journey: Prospect Trade Bait

Brayden Olafson


The spectacle of the modern NHL trade deadline has begun to see its entertainment value erode from the early days of TSN’s TradeCentre. The league and mainstream sports media typically cover the event, and the days leading up to it form a very veteran-centric perspective. Unfortunately, prospects who haven’t already made a name for themselves at major international tournaments or been drafted in the first round of a prior NHL entry draft get a very small amount of love. 

For every pending UFA who will be dealt in the month to come, several budding prospects will likely go in the opposite direction. So, who are they? What do they have to offer? and what else won’t you hear from the major outlets when the trade breaks? Ladies and gentlemen, The Journey presents Prospect Trade Bait!

The teams who are the most likely buyers, AND have a relatively significant hole to fill in their lineup will be the most interesting teams to discuss, as they’ll be the most likely to pony up to satisfy their needs. I’ve chosen three teams from each conference who I think are the most likely to go shopping this February, let’s talk about what’s in their change purse. 

Toronto Maple Leafs

Needs: Backup goalie

Who can help? Jack Campbell (Los Angeles Kings)

What’s it gonna cost? 

The Kings currently have one of, if not the most tantalizing prospect pools in the entire league. It’s tough to find a hole that they would seek to fill in exchange for their current backup netminder, however, when push comes to shove the Leafs should be desperate, and they have some currency to play with. It’s entirely possible that the Kings would prefer a current NHL player in exchange for Campbell, but for argument’s sake, Campbell would probably cost the Leafs at least one of these prospects:

Adam Brooks – The Leafs have put a ton of work into developing Adam Brooks to the point where he is on the cusp of becoming a player who is capable of making an NHL impact. The former Regina Pat carries the toolbox of a modern middle-six NHL forward who can contribute offense occasionally and bring energy to every shift. 

Ian Scott/Joseph Woll – Either of the Leafs’ top goaltending prospects are coveted by the Buds Both have bee