Top 10 Trade Bait Players (2020)

Tom Collins

2020-02-24

There are three non-game days in the hockey calendar that every fan looks forward to: Trade deadline day, the draft, and the first day of free agency.

Today is the first on that list, and many fantasy hockey leagues also have trade deadlines this week. This is also the time of year when the perceived values of many players start to fluctuate.

Below are 10 players whose name has been showing up as trade targets. For many players on this list, a trade should actually devalue them, but many fantasy general managers will believe that the trade will bring new life and may be willing to overpay.

Please note this column was written and submitted Sunday night, so some of the players on this list may have been traded by the time you are reading this.

10. Erik Gustafsson

Numerous people wasted a lot of high picks on Gustafsson last offseason. I am one such person, drafting Gustafsson fourth overall in my keep-17 points-only pool. Last year, he put up 60 points in 79 games, including 18 on the power play. This year, he has only 26 points. A complete disappointment. What's worse is that his numbers in shots and blocked shots are also down significantly from a year ago. There are not too many places where he can go and be in a position to run a team's power play, so fantasy owners need to hope he stays with the Hawks and can rebound.

9. Jean-Gabriel Pageau

Pageau has certainly picked a good year to break through with a career campaign. His 24 goals mark the first time he's cracked 20 goals, and his 39 points are only four off his career high. He's averaging 19:18 per night and he wasn't even getting power-play time until the middle of December. Since Dec. 11, he's been on the top unit and has seven power-play points in that time. Wherever he goes, he probably won't be averaging 19 minutes a night with top power-play time, so the best move for him fantasy wise is to stay with the Sens.

8. Robin Lehner

It's difficult for a goalie traded at the deadline to have any value. After all, every single team battling for a playoff spot already has a number one netminder. However, that changed on Saturday night, when Carolina lost both Petr Mrazek and James Reimer to injury. Carolina was forced to call up both of their AHL goalies