Skip to content

5 potential trade destinations for Laine

Len Redkoles / National Hockey League / Getty

Patrik Laine is one of the league's most intriguing young stars. He's still just 22 years old and has shown the potential to be one of the league's most dangerous goal-scorers, ranking seventh in the league with 138 tallies since his NHL debut in 2016.

After signing a two-year bridge deal last season, Laine showed up in 2019-20 with an improved 200-foot game and registered a career-high 35 assists while potting 28 goals. However, the Winnipeg Jets are reportedly considering trading Laine to address other needs on their roster.

Here's a look at some of the teams that could try to acquire the 2016 second overall pick.

Colorado Avalanche

Brian Babineau / National Hockey League / Getty

With a stacked crop of young talent and plenty of cap space, the Avalanche can't be ruled out as players in any scenario. It wouldn't be a surprise to see general manager Joe Sakic pursue Taylor Hall in free agency, but Laine would certainly make sense if the team looks to add a younger winger at a lower cost.

The Avalanche have over $22 million in projected cap space but have several players in line for new deals, including restricted free-agent rearguards Nikita Zadorov and Ryan Graves. Both players would add some much-needed size and grit to the Jets' back end, but a potential swap would likely be contingent on either agreeing to a new contract.

Tyson Jost and Nazem Kadri are intriguing options at center and could interest Winnipeg with veteran pivot Bryan Little's career in jeopardy. Jost would replace Laine's youth, while Kadri would give the Jets a strong two-way center who's in his prime.

What a deal could look like:

Avalanche acquire Jets acquire
F Patrik Laine D Ryan Graves/Nikita Zadorov
D Connor Timmins
F Tyson Jost

Carolina Hurricanes

Mark Blinch / National Hockey League / Getty

The Hurricanes have one of the deepest defensive corps in the NHL - and now depth down the middle, too, with Vincent Trocheck's arrival - so it's no surprise they've reportedly expressed an interest in acquiring Laine. The Hurricanes can easily fill the Jets' needs.

Trocheck is two seasons removed from recording 31 goals and 75 points with the Florida Panthers and has proven he has what it takes to serve as a team's dependable No. 2 center. The 27-year-old has two seasons remaining on his deal with an annual cap hit of $4.75 million, and he fits Winnipeg's win-now mentality.

It would be tough for the Hurricanes to part ways with defenseman Brett Pesce, but the 25-year-old has played increasingly well since his debut in 2015 and would surely be an attractive player to the Jets. With a deep defensive group that includes Dougie Hamilton and Jaccob Slavin, the Hurricanes would be able to withstand the loss and continue moving forward as one of the league's more exciting teams.

What a deal could look like:

Hurricanes acquire Jets acquire
F Patrik Laine F Vincent Trocheck
D Brett Pesce

Columbus Blue Jackets

Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Blue Jackets have also reportedly shown interest in Laine already, and we saw last postseason what the club's core is capable of when paired with high-end offensive talent.

Columbus still managed to knock out the high-powered Toronto Maple Leafs in the qualifying round this year despite losing Artemi Panarin and Matt Duchene to free agency last offseason, and adding a winger of Laine's ilk could be what the team needs to make a deep playoff run.

Seth Jones isn't going anywhere, nor is Zach Werenski, but the Blue Jackets still have a couple of blue-liners who could serve as a serious upgrade for Winnipeg. David Savard would be the most realistic starting point, but the 29-year-old is set to become an unrestricted free agent after 2020-21, which adds an element of risk for the Jets. Columbus could work out a sign-and-trade to give the Jets some assurance, and also add another impact player or a draft pick.

What a deal could look like:

Blue Jackets acquire Jets acquire
F Patrik Laine D David Savard
F Josh Anderson
2021 3rd-round pick

New Jersey Devils

Andy Marlin / National Hockey League / Getty

The Devils boast one of the league's youngest teams, headlined by No. 1 picks Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier. The 22-year-old Laine could be the player who helps propel the Devils back to their former status as a perennial contender.

New Jersey has two defensemen who can fill Winnipeg's needs. The first is P.K. Subban, who's coming off his worst season but is also a past Norris Trophy winner. Despite carrying an annual cap hit of $9 million, Subban is owed only $10 million in actual money over the next two seasons, which makes his high cap hit easier to swallow.

The second option is Damon Severson. The 26-year-old has proven he can contribute offensively - he recorded 19 goals and 70 points in 151 games over the past two seasons - and could settle in nicely on Winnipeg's second pairing.

New Jersey would ultimately have Pavel Zacha to offer as a center. Still just 23 years old, Zacha was selected with the sixth pick in the 2015 draft but has failed to find his footing in the NHL, as he has just 37 goals and 108 points in 266 games.

The Devils are an intriguing landing spot for Laine, but they'd likely need to part with one of their three first-round picks in 2020 to sweeten the deal.

What a deal could look like:

Devils acquire Jets acquire
F Patrik Laine D Damon Severson
F Pavel Zacha
2020 1st-round pick (via Vancouver)

Minnesota Wild

Dave Sandford / National Hockey League / Getty

The Wild are one of the most adept defensive teams in the league, and adding a lethal scorer such as Laine would undoubtedly take them to the next level. General manager Bill Guerin has made it known that the club wants to add a first- or second-line center, but Minnesota has only two right-shot forwards in its lineup, so acquiring another player with that tendency wouldn't be an awful Plan B.

Matt Dumba's name has been tossed around in trade rumors, and the 26-year-old would make for a strong starting point in Guerin's bid. Dumba has three years remaining on his current deal, which carries an annual cap hit of $6 million. Perhaps adding a second-round pick that converts to a first-rounder if Laine signs with the Wild beyond 2020-21 could sweeten the pot.

What a deal could look like:

Wild acquire Jets acquire
F Patrik Laine D Matt Dumba
2021 2nd-round pick F Joel Eriksson Ek
Conditional 2021 1st-round pick (from Pittsburgh)

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox