Coyotes’ Who Should Put Their Houses on the Market

It should come as no one’s surprise that the young Arizona Coyotes are sellers at this year’s trade deadline. With the deadline quickly approaching, here are a few Coyotes who should put their houses on the market or inform their landlord that they are moving out because they will likely get traded.

Nick Bjugstad

Bjugstad has 11 G- 10 A- 21 P in 50 GP and +/- rating of 7. These offensive stats are quite impressive, given that Bjugstad averages around 26 seconds of powerplay time per game. He also has a 3/4 shootout record this season. Additionally, Bjugstad has been a regular penalty killer- averaging over two minutes of short-handed ice time per game, a physical game- he has averaged two hits per game and is fourth on the team with 104 hits and a prior record of being strong on faceoffs, last season, Bjugstad had a 55.5% faceoff win percentage with Minnesota.

Aside from his 6’6” and 209 lbs stature, Bjugstad only has a 900K cap hit. Given his low cap hit and his strong performance, many teams will likely be acquiring Bjugstad, especially if they are looking for more depth, hoping to qualify for playoffs, or make a deep run in the playoffs.

Nick Ritchie

After failing to meet expectations in Toronto, Ritchie has shown that he can be a difference-maker and strong player in Arizona. Ritchie currently has a 9G – 12A- 21 P in 47 GP. He plays really well on the powerplay, as evidenced by his 4 powerplay goals and 10 powerplay goals this season. Ritchie has an intimating statue of 6’3” and 230 lbs, and he plays a physical game; he is currently second on the team with 133 hits and has 12.23 hits per 60 minutes.

Teams that are looking for more forward depth and physicality will likely be interested in Ritchie’s services. He has a reasonable cap hit of $2.5 million.  Teams like the Calgary Flames, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning, and New York Islanders might make a push for Nick Ritchie.

Jakob Chychrun

It should come as no one’s surprise that Jakob Chychrun is on this list. Besides, he requested a trade last season, has been playing amazingly and only has a $4.6 million cap hit. Teams that are reportedly interested in Chychrun include the LA Kings, Buffalo Sabres, Minnesota Wild, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Boston Bruins.

Karel Vejmelka

Gary Bettman famously said, “nobody tanks…”. Nobody refers to players and coaches but does not include management. It would not be surprising if the management puts #TankforBedard into high gear and trades Vejmelka away. Given that strong goaltending is needed to win games and make a deep playoff run, teams with subpar goaltending, such as the Pittsburgh Penguins and Buffalo Sabres, will likely inquire and propose a trade for Vejmelka. Besides, Vejmelka only has a$2.725 million cap hit and has the ability to steal games. He is currently tied for 4th in the NHL with 3 shutouts.

Management will likely be comfortable moving away from Vejmelka since Ivan Prosvetov has been developing and playing well with the Tuscon Roadrunners this season. Thus, it is only a matter of time before Prosvetov gets his shot in the NHL.

My list does not include Shayne Gostibehere, a Coyote that many people believe will be traded. As a result of Gostisbehere’s recent upper-body injury, he may return to the lineup right before the trade deadline. If that is the case, teams will need to gamble on Gostibehere and hope that he can find his game post-recovery. My prediction is that teams will not be comfortable with the risk or trade pieces that Arizona asks in return, and Gostibehere will end the year a Coyote. Let’s see whether I am correct.

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