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4 young players the Calgary Flames could target in a trade this off-season

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Photo credit:© Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Robert Munnich
27 days ago
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In his season ending press conference Calgary Flames general manager Craig Conroy mentioned to the media that he is interested in the idea of acquiring younger players in a trade to help expedite the Flames re-tool.
Conroy mentioned Montreal as a team who has made those types of trades in the past. He was referring to the following two deals:
The Canadiens spent draft capital to acquire a 21-year-old Kirby Dach and a 22-year-old Alex Newhook.
That is the type trade the Flames could look at making this off-season.
With that in mind, who are some of the young, 18–25-year-old players around the NHL that might be available in a trade? I took a look at every roster in the NHL and made a list of four difference making players who could potentially be available this summer.

Martin Necas – C/RW – Right Shot – 25 Years Old – 6’2, 189 Pounds – Carolina Hurricanes – RFA

By all accounts, it sounds like Martin Necas and the Carolina Hurricanes won’t be able to come to an agreement on a long-term contract extension which will make him available via trade this off-season.
Necas is a fast, talented, top six centre. He is the type of player who is good for 20+ goals and 50+ points a year. Necas could be a solid second line centre for the Flames for a long time. He was rumoured to be part of a trade package offered to the Flames in the summer of 2022 for Matthew Tkachuk. But that deal never came to fruition. However, it does show the Flames have had interest in Necas in the past.
The only issue with Necas is that he is going to be turning 26 on Jan. 15. Is that out of the Flames age range for this type of deal?
Potential Trade Proposal
To Calgary: Martin Necas
To Carolina: 2024 1st-round pick (28th overall), 2024 3rd-round pick, Andrew Mangiapane (20% Retained)

Marco Rossi – C/LW – Left Shot – 22 Years Old – 5’9″, 182 Pounds – Minnesota Wild – 1 Year Remaining – $863,333 AAV

It doesn’t make much sense for the Minnesota Wild to move Marco Rossi because of his age, contract and skill level. But there are rumours that the Wild are willing to at least listen to offers on their talented centre.
Rossi is coming off his first full season in the NHL. And it was a successful one where he put up 21 goals and 19 assists. He has bounced between the NHL and AHL since the pandemic where he was hit with a bad case of COVID-19 and has felt the effects of long COVID. It’s prevented him from being able to stick around in the NHL up until last season.
This is the type of player the Flames should be going in on. He’ll be 23 at the start of next season. He is immensely talented, is the perfect age and is just coming into his own as a player.
Potential Trade Proposal
To Calgary: Marco Rossi
To Minnesota: 2024 1st-round pick (28th Overall) & Andrew Mangiapane (50% Retained)

Trevor Zegras – C/LW – Left Shot – 23 Years Old – 6’0″, 185 Pounds – Anaheim Ducks – 2 Years Remaining – $5,750,000 AAV

Zegras might not be the best target for the Flames. But he is a 23 year old centre who could be on the trade block this off-season, hence why he’s on the list.
The Ducks have an abundance of talented centres in their organization, which could make Zegras expendable. We know that Zegras has all the talent in the world. He scores highlight reel goals and gets fans out of their seats, which is great. But the knock against him is that he’s not willing to become a responsible, 200-foot player. But why would teams want to change him and take away what makes him such a special player?
Would it be fun if the Flames were able to acquire Zegras? Absolutely. Does it make sense long term? I’m not sure. I have a hard time seeing Zegras wanting to sign with the Flames on a long-term extension once his contract is up. But he is the type of player Conroy would be interested in acquiring.
Potential Trade Proposal
To Calgary: Trevor Zegras
To Anaheim: 2024 1st-round pick (28th Overall) & Matt Coronato

Kent Johnson – C/LW – Left Shot – 21 Years Old – 6’0″, 178 Pounds, Columbus Blue Jackets – RFA

I don’t know if Johnson is going to be on the trade block this summer, but you have to wonder if he might end up there. Things have not gone well for Johnson and the Blue Jackets. He continues to get sent up and down between the NHL and AHL. He was a healthy scratch on multiple occasions. And he clearly butted heads with Jackets head coach Pascal Vincent.
The Blue Jackets are about to hire a new general manager. That person might want to make a splash and give the Jackets a piece to get them into playoff contention. Kent Johnson could be a good trade chip to use.
Acquiring Johnson makes sense for the Flames. He will be 22 years old to start next season which puts him in the perfect age range. He is from western Canada. And there is a spot open for him at centre in the Flames top nine forward group.
Potential Trade Proposal
To Calgary: Kent Johnson
To Columbus: 2024 1st-round pick (28th overall), Dallas’ 2024 2nd-round pick, 2025 5th-round pick

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