The NHL trade deadline is in a week, and with it comes the trade deadline for many fantasy leagues.
I've always been a big believer that if you have a chance to win the title, you go for it. With many leagues having slim pickings on the waiver wire, making a significant trade could be the last chance to improve your team for a stretch run.
So, who to target? Obviously, it would be easy to recommend trading for Leon Draisaitl, David Pastrnak and Nathan MacKinnon, but those guys generally won't be available or would cost you so much that you won't have enough serviceable players to win a title.
Below are 10 players that could be had for a cheaper price that could be worth looking into. Obviously, league settings play a huge role, as does a general manager's value. You could be low on a player, but someone else is willing to pay a much higher price for that same player.
I'm also going on the basis that you're looking to contend for the rest of this year. If you're already out of it and looking toward next year, you want to focus on trading your overperforming players for underperformers such as Alex Debrincat, Tyler Seguin or Dylan Larkin, or injured players such as Jake Guentzel or Dougie Hamilton.
Hall may not be cheap to acquire, but it may be cheaper to get him now rather than in a week or so. Hall has 21 points in 25 games with the Coyotes, who are struggling lately while fighting for a playoff spot. There has been plenty of speculation that Hall could be traded, but there are some reports that the Coyotes will keep him and try to re-sign him this offseason. It could work out both ways for Hall owners. If he stays in Arizona, he will be leaned upon tremendously as he's really the only offensive player they have. If he's dealt, he'll wind up in a better situation and with better linemates than he has now.
Many have given up on Pavelski this season, but he's finally starting to heat up. Pavelski missed a couple of games last week, but has nine points in his last seven games to go along with 19 shots, eight hits and six blocked shots. What's behind such a crazy bounce back? A lot of it can be chalked up to his role with the top power-play unit. He's been on the ice for 62 per cent of the team's power-play ice time since the start of February (in January, it was around 52 per cent), and Pavelski has responded with five man-advantage points in his last nine games.
There hasn't been much focus on Hoffman this year, but he's putting up another fantasy-worthy campaign. He's on pace for 30 goals, 65 points, 236 shots and 25 power-play points. These numbers are down from last year, but in general, are on par with what he usually averages. His name has come up frequently in trade discussions, but much of his value is dictated by his man-advantage minutes. Right now, he's averaging almost four minutes of power-play time a night. If he is dealt and can continue to get top power-play minutes on a contender, his value should increase, so you may be able to get him cheaper now.
Perron has been a consistent point producer the last two-and-a-half seasons, which may have been overlooked because of his time on the IR. This season, he's been able to stay healthy, which is why his 77-point pace may come as a shock to some. He's on the top line with Ryan O'Reilly, but the biggest difference for him has been his power-play time. A fixture on the top unit since the start of the season, Perron's 25 power-play points are already seven points better than his career high. Some fantasy general managers might be enticed to trade away the 31-year-old Perron for a pick or a prospect.
Bergeron is often the overlooked player on the Bruins' dominant top line, but don't overlook his value down the stretch. Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak may get the headlines, but Bergeron is on pace for a career high in goals, and has an 80-point pace over an 82-game season. However, he's missed some time, so his numbers may not seem as high as others on a point-per-game pace.
Strome has been a revelation this year, and another example that sometimes, all a player needs is an opportunity. That's what happened for Strome this year. Playing regularly with Artemi Panarin, Strome has already matched a career high in points, and is on pace for 70, which no one would have anticipated before the season began. He's also on the top power-play unit. He now has five points in his last four games, and is routinely getting more than 20 minutes per night.
Now might be the best time to pick up Petry, as the last five games haven't been kind to him (zero points and a minus-four as the Habs knocked themselves out of a playoff spot). However, Petry is one of the most underappreciated players in fantasy hockey. He's on pace for 191 shots, 204 hits and 97 blocked shots. Throw in his 47-point pace, and he's giving you numbers that many other defensemen can't. You should also give a small boost to those on-pace numbers as Petry will be getting more ice time and power-play time with Shea Weber out of the lineup for the next week or two.
Gaudreau has not had a great season, and you've already missed your chance to buy Johnny Hockey at his lowest value about a dozen games ago. He is now on a hot streak of 11 points in his last 10 games, but that production has brought him to a 67-point pace, so there's still a chance you could get him at a lower cost than you should be able to. Remember, this is a player that had an 80-point pace in three of his previous four seasons, so you should believe more in his historical production rather than the struggles he had earlier this year.
I've been a big proponent of Pekka Rinne for a while, as he was at worst a 1A option despite his age. Even after the coaching change, Rinne started four of first six games. That usage stopped at the start of February. Saros has started five of the last seven games for Nashville, and came in relief for one game. In those six games, Saros is 4-1 with 1.95 GAA and a .939 SV %. Saros owners can rejoice! He's finally the number one goalie they've been patiently waiting for. If you're not a Saros owner, maybe you can sell the other guy on Saros' seasonal numbers, which are still pretty pedestrian.
At the end of the season, most people will put Wheeler's campaign in the disappointment category. After all, he had back-to-back 91-point seasons going into this year, so his 70 points have to be leaving fantasy general managers frustrated. He had a slow start, but has 39 points in his last 38 games. There have been some bright sides to his season. He's on pace for 25 goals, which would be only three off a career high. His 92 hits put him on pace for 127, which would be his third-highest ever and the highest since 2014-15. As a bonus, he's been taking way more faceoffs this year, winning 321 (demolishing his career high of 166).