Even though the NHL trade deadline isn’t for another three weeks, many fantasy leagues have already seen their own trade deadlines pass.
The trade deadline was this past Saturday in one of my dynasty leagues. In another one of my keeper leagues, deals are allowed until the Sunday after the NHL trade deadline.
If your deadline hasn’t happened yet, it’s time to take stock of where you realistically are in your quest for a championship. If you’re in a keeper league and are out of the running, you need to start looking at potentially trading your one-year wonders for underachieving young players that could help you win a championship down the line.
Below are 10 of those players you should be looking at acquiring within the next few weeks. For this list, we’re looking at players under the age of 25. I’m staying away from the obvious players that will cost plenty, as it would be difficult to trade for a Moritz Seider or a Trevor Zegras, for example. Instead, the players on this list will be those you might be able to acquire at a lower price than it will cost in the offseason or even next year. You want to acquire players before they break out, not after. Think of Cole Caufield as an example. You could have gotten him for much more affordable before Marty St. Louis was brought in as Montreal’s coach. Now that Caufield has 10 points in his last eight games, his value has jumped.
This doesn’t mean you’ll get these players inexpensively, but you’re hoping the other GM is frustrated or wants to make a big move. Not all GMs would be willing to trade players before they break out, but it’s worth checking in on the less-savvy GMs.
10. Yegor Chinakhov
The Russian rookie hasn’t been all that noticeable from a fantasy perspective this year, as he has six goals and 11 points in 43 games. There was a stage when he was pointless in 14 straight games, and he has three in his last 10. He was also a healthy scratch on Sunday afternoon. So why recommend trading for him? Simple. The Blue Jackets will do everything they can to see him succeed. They went off the board choosing him in the first round of the 2020 draft (some didn’t have Chinakhov on their draft board at all). They do not want to see him fail. It may take a few years (think Jesse Puljujarvi without the two years playing overseas), but the team won’t hold him back.
9. Anthony Beauvillier
I once called Beauvillier one of the top 10 most overhyped young players. I still stand by that statement, but overhyped does not mean you don’t want them on your team. This is an excellent time to grab the 24-year-old player. He has a habit of starting slow, so he may be cheaper now than he will be in a few weeks when/if he heats up. This season was also tough for the Islanders with a crazy road trip to start the season and then Covid issues, so one wouldn’t blame you if you chose to ignore this season for Islanders players when evaluating them this summer.
8. Martin Necas
Not every player has a linear production line that is continuously moving up. Some go up and down. Necas was underrated last season when putting up a 63-point pace