NHL Trade Tips: Seeking Upside from Injury Bouncebacks

NHL Trade Tips: Seeking Upside from Injury Bouncebacks

This article is part of our NHL Trade Tips series.

This week's edition examines a few trade targets who should be in store for strong finishes to the 2023-24 season after contending with some injury problems. For trade-away options, we look at a few players whose fantasy stock has dropped but who could still bring back solid value in potential deals. 

TRADE FOR 

Shea Theodore, D, Golden Knights (80 percent rostered) 

Theodore sat out 35 consecutive contests because of an upper-body injury that required surgery to repair in late November. He took part in the pregame warmups Monday after being activated from long-term injured reserve but didn't return to the lineup in a 4-0 win over San Jose. Theodore is expected to return to action in Tuesday's contest versus Nashville. He makes for a great target if you're looking to shore up your defense group, especially if rival fantasy managers are facing a roster crunch to get him back into their lineups. 

Theodore has generated four goals, 14 assists, 52 shots on net and 26 blocked shots in 20 appearances this campaign. He has accounted for two tallies and eight helpers on the power play. Theodore's long layoff may have made him rusty, but it could also present an opportunity to acquire him at a lower price if you choose to exercise some patience. 

Example of a completed deal from the Yahoo Trade Market: Theodore for Pavel Buchnevich 

Boone Jenner, C/LW, Blue Jackets (46 percent rostered) 

Jenner has registered 17 goals and 22 points while being limited

This week's edition examines a few trade targets who should be in store for strong finishes to the 2023-24 season after contending with some injury problems. For trade-away options, we look at a few players whose fantasy stock has dropped but who could still bring back solid value in potential deals. 

TRADE FOR 

Shea Theodore, D, Golden Knights (80 percent rostered) 

Theodore sat out 35 consecutive contests because of an upper-body injury that required surgery to repair in late November. He took part in the pregame warmups Monday after being activated from long-term injured reserve but didn't return to the lineup in a 4-0 win over San Jose. Theodore is expected to return to action in Tuesday's contest versus Nashville. He makes for a great target if you're looking to shore up your defense group, especially if rival fantasy managers are facing a roster crunch to get him back into their lineups. 

Theodore has generated four goals, 14 assists, 52 shots on net and 26 blocked shots in 20 appearances this campaign. He has accounted for two tallies and eight helpers on the power play. Theodore's long layoff may have made him rusty, but it could also present an opportunity to acquire him at a lower price if you choose to exercise some patience. 

Example of a completed deal from the Yahoo Trade Market: Theodore for Pavel Buchnevich 

Boone Jenner, C/LW, Blue Jackets (46 percent rostered) 

Jenner has registered 17 goals and 22 points while being limited to 38 appearances this season. He has displayed plenty of multi-category upside, racking up 49 goals, 89 points, 374 shots on net, 126 blocked shots and 209 hits over 127 outings in 2021-22 and 2022-23, despite battling through injury issues. It's taken some time but the 30-year-old forward finally appears to be working himself into an offensive rhythm this campaign. As a result, Jenner makes for an intriguing acquisition for fantasy managers. 

Entering Tuesday night's action, he has potted four goals during a three-game point streak. Jenner has added 17 shots, 16 hits and three blocks during that stretch while averaging 23:50 of ice time. He was mentioned in trade speculation ahead of the March 8 deadline, but President of Hockey Operations and Interim General Manager John Davidson quickly poured cold water over those rumors shortly after the firing of former GM Jarmo Kekalainen. Jenner is not expected to be moved by Columbus, which provides more certainty and clarity for fantasy poolies. The risk of him slipping to a third-line role on a new team is gone, so his ice time and usage in all key situations should be expected to continue.

Example of a completed deal from the Yahoo Trade Market: Jenner and Jonathan Marchessault for Nazem Kadri and Cole Caufield 

Viktor Arvidsson, LW/RW, Kings (51 percent rostered) 

After sitting out the first 50 games of 2023-24, Arvidsson is quickly making up for lost time following his recovery from back surgery in October. Since making his season debut on Feb. 15 versus New Jersey, he's collected two assists, 12 shots on goal and four blocked shots through three appearances. Arvidsson's rostered percentage has been growing, so fantasy managers interested in his services may need to trade for him to get him in their lineups for the stretch run. 

Arvidsson has always been a high-volume shooter, averaging over three shots per game in five of his previous seven seasons. He finished with just over 225 shots in each of the past two campaigns, while scoring 20 times across 66 appearances in 2021-22 and 26 times over 77 outings in 2022-23. Arvidsson's line, which includes Phillip Danault and Trevor Moore, has logged the most even-strength ice time on the Kings since his return. Arvidsson has also been seeing time on the top power-play combination. 

Example of a completed deal from the Yahoo Trade Market: Arvidsson, Drew Doughty and Bryan Rust for Ryan Graves, Nico Hischier and Logan Cooley

TRADE AWAY 

Sean Durzi, D, Coyotes (69 percent rostered) 

Durzi ended a seven-game pointless slump with an assist in Monday's 6-3 loss to Edmonton. He has been held off the scoresheet in 13 of his past 18 outings. Durzi has been a solid fantasy blueliner this campaign, but you probably could move him for a more consistent offensive contributor. 

Despite being a popular drop recently, Durzi should have decent trade value. He is still a bit overvalued in some fantasy circles because of his spot on Arizona's top power-play unit and his blocked shots total (108). 

Example of a completed deal from the Yahoo Trade Market: Durzi and a 9th-round pick for Drew Doughty and a 10th-round pick 

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, G, Sabres (56 percent rostered) 

Luukkonen has taken over as Buffalo's No. 1 netminder and has a .933 save percentage over his past 14 outings. He has posted a record of 8-6-0 during that span, but there have been some red flags along the way. As a result, Luukkonen makes for a good sell-high candidate. 

Luukkonen has gone 5-5-0 over his last 10 starts. He has three shutouts over that stretch, which is more than likely an unsustainable pace. The 24-year-old netminder also only has three victories in an eight-game stretch from Jan. 20-Feb. 19. It also doesn't help that Buffalo's defense corps is without the services of Mattias Samuelsson, who will miss the rest of the 2023-24 campaign, and Owen Power, who is week-to-week with a hand injury. Additionally, Luukkonen's numbers could take a hit with the team set to enter into a difficult portion of the schedule against several high-quality opponents after this week.

Example of a completed deal from the Yahoo Trade Market: Luukkonen and Eeli Tolvanen for Logan Thompson and Alex Tuch

Seth Jones, D, Blackhawks (50 percent rostered) 

Jones had plenty of bounceback appeal going into the 2023-24 campaign but has fallen short of those expectations. He only has one goal on 94 shots in 41 appearances this season to go along with 15 assists and 91 blocked shots. Jones is probably a drop candidate at this stage, but it's worth seeing what you can get for him in a trade before combing through the waiver wire. 

Jones should be able to improve upon his career-low 1.1 shooting percentage before the end of 2023-24. Still, it took him 31 games and 72 shots on net to get his first goal of the season. Jones' point production has been spotty at best. He only has one helper despite 18 shots across his past eight appearances. 

Example of a completed deal from the Yahoo Trade Market: Jones and Brandon Montour for Erik Karlsson and Mike Matheson 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Corey Abbott
Corey Abbott is an avid sports fan who has been writing fantasy hockey for 15-plus years.
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