We are just shy of three weeks out from the NHL trade deadline on April 12, which will be complicated this year due to a flat salary cap and COVID protocols. You could even suggest that the trade deadline is kind of a week away for Canadian teams, due to the 14-day mandatory quarantine period if they were to trade for a player from a U.S. team.

Despite the difficulties, teams are making plans, as reported by ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski. So let’s take a look at some of the players being discussed as trade bait with a fantasy-lens.

Taylor Hall, W, Buffalo Sabres: Of course, we wish there was an easy path for Hall to find a home on a contender, but the $8 million salary is not going to be easy for any team to take on. But it’s possible thanks to several teams with players on long-term injury. Obviously, Hall has been brutal with the Sabres and would eagerly welcome a chance to improve his odds of getting a better contract next year. His 1.2 fantasy points per game (FPPG) this season is a far cry from even the 1.8 FPPG he posted last year — let alone the 2.48 or 2.74 he posted in the two seasons prior. Any move for Hall has the potential to make him elite for fantasy again, so stashing him isn’t a horrible idea. It just shouldn’t come as a detriment to your roster in any way, because there is also a chance he remains irrelevant for the rest of the campaign. He has been dropped in about 20 percent of ESPN leagues.

Mattias Ekholm, D, Nashville Predators: While the Predators aren’t a write-off for this season, they don’t need Ekholm to make a postseason push and could be sellers this year. Ekholm is steady and stable, if not exciting for fantasy. He’s posted 1.7, 1.6 and 1.6 FPPG over the previous three seasons, while posting 1.7 FPPG this season (thanks to a bit of a boost from injuries to Roman Josi and Ryan Ellis). He’s a top-40 defenseman for fantasy but any kind of trade wouldn’t likely change that, as he’s unlikely to go somewhere to become a team’s No. 1 defenseman and power-play quarterback.

Rickard Rakell, W, Anaheim Ducks: Perhaps one of the more lucrative players that could change teams from a fantasy perspective, Rakell has suffered along with the rest of the Ducks from a lack of spark this season. Based on his FPPG and games remaining, Rakell would rank No. 256 out of all NHL players for projected remaining fantasy points. But that’s based on his 1.5 FPPG this season. Before a downward trend in offense in recent years, the 27-year-old Rakell posted an elite 2.1 FPPG in 2017-18 after 1.9 FPPG the season prior. He has goal scoring prowess and could turn it on again in an opportune situation.

Kyle Palmieri, W, New Jersey Devils: In the spirit of rebuilding, the Devils could shop Palmieri for future assets. He averaged 1.9 FPPG over the past four seasons, despite posting a paltry 1.3 FPPG this season. But it’s hardly his fault, as the Devils offense just doesn’t have it together. He’s still only 29 years old and has a reasonable enough cap hit ($4.65 million) to be an option for many contenders. His skills at the net could be a boon for teams like the New York Islanders or Minnesota Wild, whose top six lack credible threats all the way through. Like Rakell, he’s available in about half of ESPN leagues.

Eric Staal, C, Buffalo Sabres: To be a fantasy threat following any trade, Staal would really have to land in the right spot. He’s only been marginally fantasy relevant for the two seasons prior to this one, so we can’t lump all the blame on simply being a Sabre. His 1.5 FPPG over the previous two seasons would put him on the bubble for most fantasy leagues, where his current 0.8 makes him a complete non-factor. But to get back to 1.5 or perhaps crest that threshold, Staal would need a scoring line and power-play time, which is an unlikely combination to be available on a contender looking to add him for his veteran presence.

Jonathan Bernier, G, Detroit Red Wings: It’s not an easy task to get a read on the market for goaltenders, and while Bernier might be the best to be likely available, the team most notably in need of help has a sour history with him (Toronto Maple Leafs). I don’t know that we’ll see any impactful goaltender movements at the deadline, but Bernier, who has been doing fantastic work for a Red Wings team near the bottom of the standings, would stand to post some decent fantasy numbers if he could score a decent crease share in a new home. The problem is that getting the adequate minutes is very unlikely with any team looking to add help in net. Barring an injury between now and April 12, any team adding Bernier or another goaltender would be doing so to increase depth, not find a workhorse.

Forwards on the move

Tyler Motte, W, Vancouver Canucks (enters ranks at No. 200): He’s back from an ankle injury and he picked up right where he left off with throwing the body around. He’s managed to maintain 2.0 FPPG this season thanks to his hits. He ranks among the top 25 for hits in the league despite playing only 19 of 36 games for the Canucks. In fact, he’d probably rank a lot higher if the Canucks didn’t have the fewest games left in the NHL.

Robby Fabbri, W, Detroit Red Wings (enter ranks at No. 216): Recent hat trick aside, Fabbri has been doing well with the minutes he has been getting all season — and those minutes are increasing. Ranking 113th in the NHL among skaters for fantasy points per 60 minutes (FPP60), Fabbri has gone from an average of 15 minutes per game in January, to 16 in February to 17 in March. He’s currently on a line with Dylan Larkin and Anthony Mantha.

Defensemen on the move

Jonas Brodin, D, Minnesota Wild (up 36 spots to No. 102): He’s doing a little bit of everything and the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Currently ranking 15th among defensemen for projected remaining fantasy points (based on FPPG), Brodin is criminally underrepresented on rosters at just 60 percent of ESPN leagues. He won’t wow you with points or even lead in blocked shots, but put it all together and you have fantasy relevance.

Noah Hanifin, D, Calgary Flames (enters ranks at No. 233): It’s not a surprise to see new coach Darryl Sutter boot Rasmus Andersson from the power-play quarterback role, but it is surprising that the move wasn’t to go back to Mark Giordano. Hanifin is getting a chance to flash his chops at the moment, and he certainly is the right age and pedigree status to have a breakthrough. I’d watch and see for now, but the Flames are going to find their footing under Sutter at some point. If it happens while Hanifin is in the right spot, he could benefit.

Shayne Gostisbehere, D, Philadelphia Flyers (up nine spots to No. 171): ESPN leagues don’t count plus/minus by default, but defensive woes are still a big hurdle for Gostisbehere because he needs to be in the lineup to score fantasy points. When he is out there consistently, he is doing all the things he used to do that made him a fantasy darling in 2017-18 (shoot, shoot and shoot some more, on and off the power play). But, he’s also seeing plenty of press box as coach Alain Vigneault doesn’t appreciate the defensive play. If he were a regular and based on his FPPG this season, he’d be among the top 120 projected fantasy skaters going forward. But it’s hard to rely on that when he isn’t a guaranteed lineup presence.

Goaltenders on the move

Jack Campbell, G, Toronto Maple Leafs (enters ranks at No. 220): There is zero question that Campbell has popped off when in net this season. And there is no question that Frederik Andersen has not. Among goaltenders with a minimum 10 percent crease share for their team, Campbell ranks No. 1 in FPP60 at a ridiculous 8.95 during his 240 minutes (second in the league is Andrei Vasilevskiy at a more reasonable 5.21). Andersen ranks 47th out of the 67 qualified goaltenders — right behind Jonathan Quick and just ahead of Mikko Koskinen — with 1.62 FPP60. We’ll see what Campbell does with a fantastic opportunity now that he’s healthy and Andersen is hurt, but the four games isn’t enough to get super excited about. It is, however, enough to make sure he is not a free agent in your league, just in case he remains dialed in.

New to rankings

Tyler Motte (No. 200), Robby Fabbri (216), Jack Campbell (220), Wayne Simmonds (226), Alex Nedeljkovic (227), Mattias Ekholm (232), Noah Hanifin (233), Jason Dickinson (243).

Just missed

Juuse Saros, Brock Nelson, Calvin de Haan, Scott Mayfield, Nikita Zaitsev, James Reimer, Tyler Bertuzzi, Frank Vatrano, Kevin Labanc, Ryan Hartman, Alex Killorn, Robby Fabbri, Kirby Dach, Tyler Seguin, Joonas Donskoi.

Dropped out

Erik Gustafsson, Jake Allen, Tyler Myers, Joshua Norris, Alexis Lafreniere, Nick Leddy, Nico Hischier, Andrew Mangiapane.

Fantasy hockey top-250 rankings

1. Andrei Vasilevskiy, G, TB (G1)
2. Auston Matthews, C, Tor (C1)
3. David Pastrnak, RW, Bos (RW1)
4. Connor McDavid, C, Edm (C2)
5. Brad Marchand, LW, Bos (LW1)
6. Victor Hedman, D, TB (D1)
7. Philipp Grubauer, G, Col (G2)
8. Alex Ovechkin, LW, Wsh (LW2)
9. Nathan MacKinnon, C, Col (C3)
10. Patrice Bergeron, C, Bos (C4)
11. Leon Draisaitl, LW, Edm (LW3)
12. Steven Stamkos, C, TB (C5)
13. Max Pacioretty, LW, Vgs (LW4)
14. Mikko Rantanen, RW, Col (RW2)
15. Patrick Kane, RW, Chi (RW3)
16. Anze Kopitar, C, LA (C6)
17. Mark Scheifele, C, Wpg (C7)
18. Aleksander Barkov, C, Fla (C8)
19. Mitchell Marner, RW, Tor (RW4)
20. Joe Pavelski, RW, Dal (RW5)
21. Alex DeBrincat, LW, Chi (LW5)
22. Charlie McAvoy, D, Bos (D2)
23. Mark Stone, RW, Vgs (RW6)
24. Artemi Panarin, LW, NYR (LW6)
25. Jeff Petry, D, Mon (D3)
26. Drew Doughty, D, LA (D4)
27. Marc-Andre Fleury, G, Vgs (G3)
28. John Carlson, D, Wsh (D5)
29. Alex Pietrangelo, D, Vgs (D6)
30. Logan Couture, C, SJ (C9)
31. Sean Couturier, C, Phi (C10)
32. Alec Martinez, D, Vgs (D7)
33. Jonathan Huberdeau, LW, Fla (LW7)
34. Nicklas Backstrom, C, Wsh (C11)
35. Ondrej Palat, LW, TB (LW8)
36. Sidney Crosby, C, Pit (C12)
37. Jakob Chychrun, D, Ari (D8)
38. Semyon Varlamov, G, NYI (G4)
39. Filip Forsberg, LW, Nsh (LW9)
40. Vincent Trocheck, C, Car (C13)
41. Ivan Provorov, D, Phi (D9)
42. Evander Kane, LW, SJ (LW10)
43. Adam Fox, D, NYR (D10)
44. Chris Kreider, LW, NYR (LW11)
45. Connor Hellebuyck, G, Wpg (G5)
46. Kyle Connor, LW, Wpg (LW12)
47. James van Riemsdyk, LW, Phi (LW13)
48. John Klingberg, D, Dal (D11)
49. Darnell Nurse, D, Edm (D12)
50. Alexander Radulov, RW, Dal (RW7)
51. Brayden Point, C, TB (C14)
52. Jake Guentzel, LW, Pit (LW14)
53. Sebastian Aho, C, Car (C15)
54. Gabriel Landeskog, LW, Col (LW15)
55. Cale Makar, D, Col (D13)
56. Patric Hornqvist, RW, Fla (RW8)
57. Jack Eichel, C, Buf (C16)
58. Dougie Hamilton, D, Car (D14)
59. Vladimir Tarasenko, RW, StL (RW9)
60. Nikolaj Ehlers, LW, Wpg (LW16)
61. Kris Letang, D, Pit (D15)
62. Joel Farabee, LW, Phi (LW17)
63. Shea Theodore, D, Vgs (D16)
64. Roman Josi, D, Nsh (D17)
65. Anthony Cirelli, C, TB (C17)
66. Brayden Schenn, C, StL (C18)
67. John Tavares, C, Tor (C19)
68. Elias Lindholm, RW, Cgy (RW10)
69. Dustin Brown, RW, LA (RW11)
70. Brent Burns, D, SJ (D18)
71. Roope Hintz, C, Dal (C20)
72. Andrei Svechnikov, LW, Car (LW18)
73. Blake Wheeler, RW, Wpg (RW12)
74. Mika Zibanejad, C, NYR (C21)
75. Alex Tuch, RW, Vgs (RW13)
76. Aaron Ekblad, D, Fla (D19)
77. Jacob Markstrom, G, Cgy (G6)
78. Seth Jones, D, Cls (D20)
79. Tyler Toffoli, RW, Mon (RW14)
80. Morgan Rielly, D, Tor (D21)
81. Sam Reinhart, RW, Buf (RW15)
82. Mikhail Sergachev, D, TB (D22)
83. Igor Shesterkin, G, NYR (G7)
84. Josh Anderson, RW, Mon (RW16)
85. Johnny Gaudreau, LW, Cgy (LW19)
86. Thatcher Demko, G, Van (G8)
87. Matt Dumba, D, Min (D23)
88. Jacob Trouba, D, NYR (D24)
89. Jamie Benn, LW, Dal (LW20)
90. Ryan O’Reilly, C, StL (C22)
91. Matthew Tkachuk, LW, Cgy (LW21)
92. Patrik Laine, RW, Cls (RW17)
93. Devon Toews, D, Col (D25)
94. Brady Tkachuk, LW, Ott (LW22)
95. Tom Wilson, RW, Wsh (RW18)
96. Tomas Hertl, C, SJ (C23)
97. Tyson Barrie, D, Edm (D26)
98. Sergei Bobrovsky, G, Fla (G9)
99. Jordan Staal, C, Car (C24)
100. J.T. Miller, C, Van (C25)
101. Jean-Gabriel Pageau, C, NYI (C26)
102. Jonas Brodin, D, Min (D27)
103. David Perron, RW, StL (RW19)
104. T.J. Oshie, RW, Wsh (RW20)
105. Thomas Chabot, D, Ott (D28)
106. Kaapo Kahkonen, G, Min (G10)
107. Timo Meier, RW, SJ (RW21)
108. Travis Konecny, RW, Phi (RW22)
109. Mark Giordano, D, Cgy (D29)
110. Shea Weber, D, Mon (D30)
111. Kirill Kaprizov, LW, Min (LW23)
112. Rasmus Ristolainen, D, Buf (D31)
113. Jaroslav Halak, G, Bos (G11)
114. Robin Lehner, G, Vgs (G12)
115. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, C, Edm (C27)
116. Neal Pionk, D, Wpg (D32)
117. Pierre-Luc Dubois, C, Wpg (C28)
118. Samuel Girard, D, Col (D33)
119. Mats Zuccarello, RW, Min (RW23)
120. Victor Olofsson, RW, Buf (RW24)
121. Bryan Rust, RW, Pit (RW25)
122. Tristan Jarry, G, Pit (G13)
123. Frederik Andersen, G, Tor (G14)
124. Kevin Lankinen, G, Chi (G15)
125. Brock Boeser, RW, Van (RW26)
126. Kailer Yamamoto, RW, Edm (RW27)
127. Adrian Kempe, C, LA (C29)
128. Ryan Strome, C, NYR (C30)
129. Mathew Barzal, C, NYI (C31)
130. Nazem Kadri, C, Col (C32)
131. Ilya Samsonov, G, Wsh (G16)
132. Nick Ritchie, LW, Bos (LW24)
133. William Nylander, RW, Tor (RW28)
134. Ryan McDonagh, D, TB (D34)
135. Joel Eriksson Ek, C, Min (C33)
136. Jordan Binnington, G, StL (G17)
137. Mike Smith, G, Edm (G18)
138. Petr Mrazek, G, Car (G19)
139. Nick Suzuki, C, Mon (C34)
140. Brendan Gallagher, RW, Mon (RW29)
141. Adam Larsson, D, Edm (D35)
142. William Karlsson, C, Vgs (C35)
143. Elias Pettersson, C, Van (C36)
144. Dominik Kubalik, LW, Chi (LW25)
145. Pavel Buchnevich, RW, NYR (RW30)
146. Kyle Palmieri, RW, NJ (RW31)
147. Ryan Pulock, D, NYI (D36)
148. Tuukka Rask, G, Bos (G20)
149. Jake Muzzin, D, Tor (D37)
150. Justin Faulk, D, StL (D38)
151. Josh Morrissey, D, Wpg (D39)
152. Martin Necas, C, Car (C37)
153. Evgeni Malkin, C, Pit (C38)
154. Taylor Hall, LW, Buf (LW26)
155. Cam Atkinson, RW, Cls (RW32)
156. Keith Yandle, D, Fla (D40)
157. Boone Jenner, C, Cls (C39)
158. Chandler Stephenson, C, Vgs (C40)
159. Quinn Hughes, D, Van (D41)
160. Kevin Hayes, C, Phi (C41)
161. Teuvo Teravainen, RW, Car (RW33)
162. Anton Khudobin, G, Dal (G21)
163. Nino Niederreiter, RW, Car (RW34)
164. Carter Verhaeghe, C, Fla (C42)
165. Oliver Bjorkstrand, RW, Cls (RW35)
166. Jack Hughes, C, NJ (C43)
167. Max Comtois, LW, Ana (LW27)
168. Kevin Fiala, C, Min (C44)
169. Denis Gurianov, LW, Dal (LW28)
170. P.K. Subban, D, NJ (D42)
171. Shayne Gostisbehere, D, Phi (D43)
172. Conor Garland, RW, Ari (RW36)
173. Jakub Voracek, RW, Phi (RW37)
174. Claude Giroux, LW, Phi (LW29)
175. Bo Horvat, C, Van (C45)
176. Evgeny Kuznetsov, C, Wsh (C46)
177. Miro Heiskanen, D, Dal (D44)
178. Jonathan Marchessault, LW, Vgs (LW30)
179. Christian Dvorak, LW, Ari (LW31)
180. Erik Karlsson, D, SJ (D45)
181. Vitek Vanecek, G, Wsh (G22)
182. Drake Batherson, C, Ott (C47)
183. Sean Monahan, C, Cgy (C48)
184. Eeli Tolvanen, LW, Nsh (LW32)
185. Oliver Ekman-Larsson, D, Ari (D46)
186. Ilya Sorokin, G, NYI (G23)
187. Mike Hoffman, LW, StL (LW33)
188. Andre Burakovsky, LW, Col (LW34)
189. Torey Krug, D, StL (D47)
190. Rasmus Andersson, D, Cgy (D48)
191. Carey Price, G, Mon (G24)
192. Elvis Merzlikins, G, Cls (G25)
193. Matt Grzelcyk, D, Bos (D49)
194. Dylan Larkin, C, Det (C49)
195. Brandon Tanev, LW, Pit (LW35)
196. Clayton Keller, C, Ari (C50)
197. Scott Laughton, LW, PHI (LW36)
198. Rasmus Dahlin, D, Buf (D50)
199. Ryan Graves, D, Col (D51)
200. Tyler Motte, LW, Van (LW37)
201. Zach Werenski, D, Cls (D52)
202. Jared Spurgeon, D, Min (D53)
203. Jakub Vrana, C, Wsh (C51)
204. Joonas Korpisalo, G, Cls (G26)
205. Jordan Eberle, RW, NYI (RW38)
206. Zach Hyman, LW, Tor (LW38)
207. Brian Elliott, G, Phi (G27)
208. Antti Raanta, G, Ari (G28)
209. Tomas Tatar, LW, Mon (LW39)
210. Alex Iafallo, LW, LA (LW40)
211. Calvin Petersen, G, LA (G29)
212. Jack Roslovic, C, Cls (C52)
213. Esa Lindell, D, Dal (D54)
214. David Savard, D, Cls (D55)
215. Colton Parayko, D, StL (D56)
216. Robby Fabbri, C, Det (C53)
217. Jordan Kyrou, C, StL (C54)
218. Adam Boqvist, D, Chi (D57)
219. Connor Murphy, D, Chi (D58)
220. Jack Campbell, G, Tor (G30)
221. Phil Kessel, RW, Ari (RW39)
222. Nick Schmaltz, C, Ari (C55)
223. Duncan Keith, D, Chi (D59)
224. Chris Driedger, G, Fla (G31)
225. Oliver Wahlstrom, RW, NYI (RW40)
226. Wayne Simmonds, RW, Tor (RW41)
227. Alex Nedeljkovic, G, Car (G32)
228. Jordan Greenway, LW, Min (LW41)
229. Rickard Rakell, C, Ana (C56)
230. John Gibson, G, Ana (G33)
231. Brett Pesce, D, Car (D60)
232. Mattias Ekholm, D, Nsh (D61)
233. Noah Hanifin, D, Cgy (D62)
234. Cam Talbot, G, Min (G34)
235. Yanni Gourde, LW, TB (LW42)
236. Jonathan Bernier, G, Det (G35)
237. Jeff Carter, C, LA (C57)
238. Jaccob Slavin, D, Car (D63)
239. Andrew Copp, C, Wpg (C58)
240. Mikael Granlund, LW, Nsh (LW43)
241. Carter Hart, G, Phi (G36)
242. Justin Schultz, D, Wsh (D64)
243. Jason Dickinson, C, Dal (C59)
244. Ty Smith, D, NJ (D65)
245. Miles Wood, LW, NJ (LW44)
246. Nick Foligno, LW, Cls (LW45)
247. Kasperi Kapanen, RW, Pit (RW42)
248. Darcy Kuemper, G, Ari (G37)
249. Anthony Mantha, RW, Det (RW43)
250. Pavel Zacha, C, NJ (C60)

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