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Frank Seravalli

TSN Senior Hockey Reporter

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There’s a new sheriff in town atop the TSN Trade Bait board with just 12 days to go until the NHL’s trade deadline.

Columbus Blue Jackets stalwart defenceman David Savard has climbed into the top spot, knocking Nashville Predators blueliner Mattias Ekholm off his post for the first time this season as the Preds have vaulted into the final playoff spot in the Central Division.

That’s caused Ekholm and Predators pending free agent winger Mikael Granlund to tumble out of the top five. It’s not accurate to say Predators GM David Poile has pulled his players off the market, but it is fair to say he is willing to give his team every opportunity until the April 12 deadline to show itself playoff worthy.

It’s been quite the opposite in Columbus, which dropped back-to-back games against Detroit over the weekend, causing Savard and team captain Nick Foligno to shoot up the board.

According to HockeyViz.com, the Blue Jackets have just an 11 per cent chance to make the playoffs in the Central, while Nashville is up to a 48 per cent shot. 

That development may also cause the Toronto Maple Leafs to consider Plan B on their quest to add a forward, as Nashville’s Granlund was believed to be their primary target.

New Jersey Devils winger Kyle Palmieri slid into the No. 2 spot, ahead of Buffalo’s Taylor Hall. While trade talks have heated up on Hall, Palmieri has four times as many goals this season and his contract at $4.65 million is infinitely more tradeable than Hall’s $8 million hit.

Interest continues to remain strong in Detroit centre Luke Glendening, who is up to No. 9.

Florida goalie Chris Driedger and Philadelphia centre Scott Laughton were the two new names to join Trade Bait as the list expanded to 30 names in play.

With Spencer Knight now signed, Florida has the flexibility to move Driedger if so inclined, as he is also a potential Expansion Draft target. 

The Flyers also have a decision to make with Laughton. The pending UFA is due for a raise, on pace for his second straight 45-point season over 82 games and he plays his role to perfection as a feisty, 200-foot player. If the Flyers fall further out of the playoff mix, GM Chuck Fletcher may have to consider moving him.

St. Louis blueliner Vince Dunn, Vancouver winger Jake Virtanen and Calgary forward Sam Bennett rejoined the board after some time off.

Here is TSN Hockey’s latest Trade Bait board, which always seeks to blend a player’s prominence with his likelihood of a deal:

 

Trade Bait - March 31

 
Trend Player Pos Age GP G P Cap Hit Years
Embedded Image 1. David Savard, CBJ RD 30 36 1 6 $4.25M UFA
  2. Kyle Palmieri, NJ RW 30 33 8 17 $4.65M UFA
  3. Taylor Hall, Buf LW 29 34 2 18 $8M UFA
  4. Nick Foligno, CBJ LW 33 37 6 15 $5.5M UFA
  5. Jonathan Bernier, Det G 32 17 2.78 .918 $3M UFA
Embedded Image 6. Mattias Ekholm, Nsh LD 30 30 5 15 $3.75M 1
  7. Mikael Granlund, Nsh C 29 33 8 15 $3.75M UFA
  8. Toronto's Top Prospect              
Embedded Image 9. Luke Glendening, Det C 31 35 3 9 $1.8M UFA
  10. Alex Goligoski, Ari LD 35 35 1 5 $5.48M UFA
  11. Ryan Dzingel, Ott LW 28 22 7 10 $3.375M UFA
  12. Chicago's Cap Space              
  13. Chris Driedger, Fla G 26 15 2.19 .927 $850K UFA
  14. Brandon Montour, Buf RD 26 32 2 10 $3.85M UFA
  15. Rickard Rakell, Ana RW 27 36 7 22 $3.79M 1
Embedded Image 16. Scott Laughton, Phi C 26 31 7 17 $2.3M UFA
  17. Vince Dunn, StL LD 24 33 5 12 $1.875M RFA
  18. Devan Dubnyk, SJ G 34 17 3.18 .898 $2.17M UFA
Embedded Image 19. Tanner Pearson, Van LW 28 33 6 11 $3.75M UFA
  20. Bobby Ryan, Det RW 33 33 7 14 $1M UFA
  21. Marc Staal, Det LD 34 37 2 6 $5.7M UFA
  22. Colin Miller, Buf RD 28 32 3 6 $3.88M 1
  23. Marcus Sorensen, SJ LW 28 21 1 4 $1.5M UFA
  24. Jamie Oleksiak, Dal LD 28 33 3 8 $2.14M UFA
  25. Dmitry Kulikov, NJ LD 30 33 0 2 $1.15M UFA
  26. Sam Bennett, Cgy C 24 34 4 7 $2.55M RFA
  27. Jake Virtanen, Van RW 24 32 4 4 $2.55M 1
  28. Alex Kerfoot, Tor C 26 35 5 15 $3.5M 2
  29. Jake DeBrusk, Bos LW 24 21 3 7 $3.68M 1
  30. Tony DeAngelo, NYR RD 25 6 0 1 $4.8M 1