The NHL Trade market is out of sorts at the moment with the biggest fish already off the board and prices soaring, leaving the Montreal Canadiens in a good position.
With the likes of Timo Meier, Ryan O’Reilly and Vladimir Tarasenko already off the board, and Patrick Kane seemingly laser-focused on the New York Rangers, the market for forwards is now wide open.
The Canadiens already jumped on the trade market by flipping veteran forward Evgenii Dadonov to the Dallas Stars for speedster Denis Gurianov, but they could still make a few moves before Friday, especially with the way things are going.
The likelihood of Jonathan Drouin finding himself on another team in a similar deal to that of Dadonov increases as he continues to line up solid performances of late, especially while playing at centre.
There is also the slight chance that Sean Monahan could still be moved for a draft pick filled with conditions tied to his ability to play games for his acquiring club down the line.
However, one thing that has sparked attention for the Canadiens since the trades of Timo Meier and Tanner Jeannot is the potential boost in value for Josh Anderson.
Anderson fits that similar mould of power-forward, goal-scoring style that is so rare to come by in the NHL, and there are a lot of buyers that were looking at Meier that walked away empty-handed.
Teams like the Calgary Flames and Vegas Golden Knights, are looking for goal-scoring power forwards with size and still have a plethora of trade assets left to make moves, but have a dwindling pool of available candidates before the NHL Trade Deadline.
Jeannot returned Cal Foote, a 2025 1st-round pick, a 2024 2nd-round pick, and a trio of mid-round picks in 2023 to the Nashville Predators from the Tampa Bay Lightning. That’s the equivalent of two 1st-round picks, a 2nd and more; quite the haul for a role player with some upside and a cost-controlled contract.
Meier, the main piece in the trade between the San Jose Sharks and the New Jersey Devils, returned prospect Shakir Mukhamadulin, a 2023 1st-round pick, a conditional 2nd-round pick in 2024, a 2024 7th-round pick, Fabian Zetterlund, Andreas Johnsson and Nikita Okhotiuk.
Another trade that revolves around the equivalency of at least two 1st-round picks, with the possibility of a third 1st-rounder should certain conditions be met.
Thus, it wouldn’t be outlandish to think that the Canadiens, who aren’t openly shopping Anderson, just like the Predators weren’t openly shopping Jeannot, could extract an interesting return in this current market.
Anderson has already potted 17 goals on the season in 57 games so far, with six goals in his last 14 games since being placed on the top line with Nick Suzuki.
There are four days left to the NHL Trade Deadline, and Anderson’s play has done nothing but improve. The Canadiens shouldn’t openly shop him, but, if the market continues to soar the way it has over the last week, the Montreal Canadiens shouldn’t hesitate to strike if an offer presents itself.
It may very well be the height of Anderson’s value and it could bring back some pretty interesting assets from the right buyer.