Photo: Los Angeles Daily News
With the NHL Trade Deadline less than two weeks away, it’s time to start looking at some potential defensemen that the Washington Capitals could target. We previously looked at possible trade candidates for depth on the forward end (here). General Manager Brian MacLellan has acquired at least one defenseman at each trade deadline during his tenure as the team’s GM and will likely want to add some depth as the Capitals have been dealing with multiple injuries on the third-pairing this season. Here are a few possible candidates:
Cody Ceci – Ottawa Senators
Remaining Contract: One-year, $4.3 million cap hit (can become RFA July 1)
TSN Trade Bait Board Rank: 23
Ceci, 25, has posted five goals, 14 points, and a -18 rating, tied for the second-worst rating on the Senators, in 52 games this season. He has posted an assist in three consecutive games, recording four in that span. In 418 career NHL games, all with the Senators, Ceci has 30 goals, 111 points, and a -56 rating. His best season came in 2015-16 when he posted 10 goals, 26 points, and a +9 rating, the only time in his career when he had a positive rating.
While averaging 22:36 worth of ice-time per game, including a team-high 2:36 on the penalty kill, Ceci has recorded 73 hits, a team-leading 103 blocked shots, 14 takeaways, and 38 giveaways this season.
Colton Parayko – St. Louis Blues
Remaining Contract: three years after this season with a cap hit of $5.5 million
TSN Trade Bait Board Rank: 33
Parayko, 25, has tallied nine goals and a +15 rating (second on the Blues) in 55 games this season but has just 18 points. He played at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey for Team North America. The defenseman has three assists in his last two games and one goal and five points in his last five outings. Entering this season, Parayko posted at least 33 points in each of his first three seasons in the NHL, including 35 the past two.
While averaging 22:45 per game, second on the Blues, Parayko has posted 84 hits, a team-leading 102 blocked shots, 18 takeaways, and 31 giveaways this year.
Alec Martinez – Los Angeles Kings
Remaining Contract: two years after this season with a cap hit of $4 million
TSN Trade Bait Board Rank: 35
Martinez, 31, has posted three goals, 10 points, and a +3 rating (first among Kings defensemen and second on the roster) in 42 games this season. He posted assists in consecutive games. Martinez scored plenty of clutch goals during the Kings’ run to the Stanley Cup in 2014, including the game-winning goal in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals and the Stanley Cup-clincher. Overall, he posted five goals and 10 points in 26 games during that postseason run and played in both of the Kings championship runs (2012 also). His experience in the playoffs would certainly attract the Capitals to him. Martinez had his best season in 2015-16 when he posted nine goals and 39 points.
While averaging 20:59 per game, including 1:56 on the penalty kill, Martinez has tallied 59 hits, a team-leading 97 blocked shots, nine takeaways, and 52 giveaways (the second-highest total on the team) this season.
Ben Lovejoy – New Jersey Devils
Remaining Contract: One-year with a cap hit of $2.67 million (can become UFA July 1)
TSN Trade Bait Board Rank: 41
Lovejoy, 34, has recorded one goal, seven points, and an even rating in 47 games this season. The defenseman won two Stanley Cups, both with the Pittsburgh Penguins (2009, 2016). His best season came in 2013-14 when he tallied five goals, 18 points, and a +21 rating with the Anaheim Ducks.
Lovejoy averages 17:25 worth of ice time, including 3:48 while shorthanded (fourth-highest on the team) per game, with the Devils this season. Defensively, he has posted 51 hits, 68 blocked shots (third on the Devils), 18 takeaways, and 22 giveaways.
Chris Tanev – Vancouver Canucks
Remaining Contract: Two-years, $4.45 million cap hit
TSN Trade Bait Board Rank: 42
Tanev, 29, has posted two goals, 12 points, and a +2 rating in 52 games this season. His best season came in 2014-15 when he recorded two goals, 20 points, and a +8 rating. His career-high in goals is six, which was set in 2013-14.
Tanev averages 20:38 minutes per game, including 3:16 on the penalty kill. Defensively, he has 29 hits, a team-leading 117 blocked shots, 20 takeaways, and 32 giveaways (the third-most on the Canucks).
Nathan Beaulieu – Buffalo Sabres
Remaining Contract: One-year, $2.4 million (can become RFA on July 1)
TSN Trade Bait Board Rank: 45
Beaulieu, 26, has posted three goals, seven points, and an even rating in 27 games this season. He has not played since January 30. His best season came in 2016-17 when he tallied four goals, 28 points, and a +8 rating in 74 games with the Montreal Canadiens.
While averaging only 14:46 per game, Beaulieu has 32 hits, 25 blocked shots, four takeaways, and 12 giveaways this season.
By Harrison Brown