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Canes Country’s Trade Deadline Big Board: Defensemen

The Hurricanes are practically set on the blueline, but with cap space to spend, a little depth couldn’t hurt.

NHL: JAN 10 Coyotes at Hurricanes Photo by Greg Thompson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The March 3 Trade Deadline is quickly approaching and the Carolina Hurricanes have both the space and money to add some pieces to their already strong roster.

While defense is one of the strengths of the team, it couldn’t hurt to add another body because injuries become such a prevalent thing in the playoffs.

So let’s take a look at what’s available on the market.

Big Swings

Jakub Chychrun - ARI (LD)

  • 24, 6’2”, 220lbs
  • 7 goals, 28 points, 36 games played
  • Two additional years remaining of a six year, $4.6 million AAV contract
Jakub Chychrun 2022-23 Player Card
Jakub Chychrun Career Impacts

The biggest name on the defense market, Chychrun has been on the trade block for two straight deadlines, so Bill Armstrong isn’t going to just rush into a deal.

However, at just 24 and still under a solid contract, Chychrun is am excellent two-way defenseman that any team would want to have.

His transition game would be a welcome addition to Carolina’s blueline and he’d fit well into the aggressive, jump-in style that the Canes employ. He would also give the Hurricanes an extra year of security on the blueline with some tough roster decisions coming up in the next few years.

Mattias Ekholm - NSH (LD)

  • 32, 6’4”, 215lbs
  • 5 goals, 18 points, 54 games played
  • Three additional years remaining of a four year, $6.25 million AAV contract
Mattias Ekholm 2022-23 Player Card
Mattias Ekholm Career Impacts

Rumors out of Nashville is that players are starting to become available and Ekholm is one of those names. He’s been a great two-way play driver throughout his career and while he’s starting to get up there in age, he’s been a consistent player regardless.

His defensive game has come back around this season and he’s generating a lot of offense so he’d be a good complement to the Canes’ blueline and again would add a little more security.

The obvious concerns are his age and contract length though.

Erik Karlsson - SJS (RD)

  • 32, height, weight
  • 18 goals, 76 points, 58 games played
  • Four additional years remaining of an eight year, $11.5 million AAV contract (NMC)
Erik Karlsson 2022-23 Player Card
Erik Karlsson Career Impacts

Karlsson has hit the reset button on his career in a major way and is absolutely dominating the NHL on the offensive side of the puck. His 76 points have him sitting sixth in the entire league and he’s outpaced the nearest defensemen by 17 points.

He’s been absolutely electric all season, dazzling with some vintage displays of skill and while the defense has been bad, it’s actually been better than the last few seasons.

Obviously the cap hit and contract length and defensive play are all major red flags, but could you imagine a player this offensively gifted on the Canes? It’s just so fun to think abut.

Depth Defensemen

Kevin Shattenkirk - ANA (RD)

  • 34, 6’0”, 212lbs
  • 2 goals, 16 points, 50 games played
  • Last year of a three year, $3.9 million AAV contract
Kevin Shattenkirk 2022-23 Player Card

Shattenkirk is an aging veteran at this point, but he’s still been able to put up solid results on a very bad Anaheim team. His bread and butter throughout his career had been his ability to quarterback a power play and drive offense and so he may be a good piece in a sheltered role on Carolina’s blueline.

Shayne Gostisbehere - ARI (LD)

  • 29, 5’11”, 180lbs
  • 9 goals, 29 points, 49 games played
  • Last year of a six year, $4.5 million AAV contract
Shayne Gostisbehere 2022-23 Player Card

Gostisbehere has been able to have a slight career resurgence after being shipped out to the desert from Philadelphia. He’s producing well on the power play and has been able to steadily pick up points and he’s playing solid hockey again. He could be a good pickup for a sheltered third pairing to add some offense.

Jack Johnson - CHI (LD)

  • 36, 6’1”, 227lbs
  • 0 goals, 4 points, 55 games played
  • Last year of a one year, $950,000 AAV contract
Jack Johnson 2022-23 Player Card

This was just for giggles, honestly.

Vladislav Gavrikov - CBJ (LD)

  • 27, 6’3”, 221lbs
  • 3 goals, 10 points, 52 games played
  • Last year of a three year, $2.8 million AAV contract
Vladislav Gavrikov 2022-23 Player Card

Another one of the bigger names on the market, the thing Gavrikov does really well is kill penalties. He’s a bigger bodied defenseman that can add a little bit of grit and physicality to the team and provides that organizational depth. However, with so much interest surrounding him, his price may be higher than his value.

Justin Braun - PHI (RD)

  • 36, 6’2”, 205lbs
  • 0 goals, 1 points, 37 games played
  • Last year of a one year, $1 million AAV contract
Justin Braun 2022-23 Player Card

Braun has been a go-to deadline acquisition for a while now and that’s because at 36, he’s still providing very solid defensive results. A savvy veteran that can put up results is always a plus for teams.

Brian Dumoulin - PIT (LD)

  • 31, 6’4”, 207lbs
  • 0 goals, 12 points, 56 games played
  • Last year of a six year, $4.1 million AAV contract (M-NTC)
Brian Dumoulin 2022-23 Player Card

Well, well, well. If the Penguins continue their downward spiral, they may very well become sellers at the deadline. Dumoulin was a former Hurricanes draft pick, traded to Pittsburgh in the Jordan Staal deal, and while he’s had a bit of tougher results this year due to injuries and whatnot, he still has been a very good defenseman throughout his career and is a two-times Stanley Cup Champion at that

Dmitry Orlov - WSH (LD)

  • 31, 5’11”, 214lbs
  • 3 goals, 19 points, 42 games played
  • Last year of a six year, $5.1 million AAV contract (M-NTC)
Dmitry Orlov 2022-23 Player Card

In the same boat as the Penguins, if the Capitals don’t pick up up soon, they may start having to shed pieces. Orlov has been a staple of the Washington blueline for years and is a very good two-way player. He’s tough, has scored clutch goals before and has that veteran experience.

Nick Jensen - WSH (RD)

  • 32, 6’1”, 205lbs
  • 1 goals, 21 points, 58 games played
  • Last year of a four year, $2.5 million AAV contract
Nick Jense 2022-23 Player Card

A very under-the-radar player, Jensen has been the Capitals best defensive defenseman for a couple of years now. He’s put up great results in tough minutes and would be a very savvy target.

Trevor van Riemsdyk - WSH (RD)

  • 31, 6’3”, 191lbs
  • 6 goals, 16 points, 58 games played
  • Last year of a two year, $950,000 AAV contract
Trevor van Riemsdyk 2022-23 Player Card

A little familiarity never hurts. TvR has been excellent in Washington and so maybe the Canes could bring him back to provide a little depth. Wouldn’t be a terrible idea.

Erik Gustafsson - WSH (LD)

  • 30, 6’0”, 197lbs
  • 7 goals, 33 points, 57 games played
  • Last year of a one year, $800,000 AAV contract
Erik Gustafsson 2022-23 Player Card

Gustafsson is an interesting player because before this year, he was on an expressway out of the NHL. He had an amazing year in Chicago in 20180-19 and then proceeded to be terrible every year after that. Now, he’s doing great again. So it’s hard to gauge just what kind of player he is or will be elsewhere.

Buyer Beware

John Klingberg - ANA (RD)

  • 30, 6’3”, 190lbs
  • 7 goals, 22 points, 48 games played
  • Last year of a one year, $7 million AAV contract
John Klingberg 2022-23 Player Card
John Klingberg 2022-23 Isolated Impact

Klingberg bet on himself, taking a one-year deal with Anaheim to try and drum up that big contract he was after and it couldn’t have backfired more on him. His offense has been okay, but the defense is out of this world bad.

If a team thinks that they can cover for those deficiencies, than sure take a shot, but they have just been really, really bad. There’s risk and reward but this seems more like straight up punishment.

Luke Schenn - VAN (RD)

  • 33, 6’2”, 225lbs
  • 3 goals, 21 points, 55 games played
  • Last year of a two year, $850,000 AAV contract
Luke Schenn 2022-23 Player Card

Every year a big tough veteran garners a lot of attention and this year it’s Schenn again. He’s had pretty poor results in Vancouver and just doesn’t have the foot speed for the game today. Someone’s going to pay for him, but it really shouldn’t be Carolina.

Check back in tomorrow for the final part where we go over the trade capital the Hurricanes have to offer.