Toronto Maple Leafs and Buffalo Sabres: Trade Value Rankings Part 6

Toronto Maple Leafs. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images)
Toronto Maple Leafs. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images) /
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Connor McDavid
Connor McDavid #97 of the Edmonton Oilers. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images) /

The games most elite players

(3) Andrei Vasilevskiy – TB (Age: 26/Cap Hit: $9.50M/8 Years Left)

Since being selected 19th overall in 2019, Vasilevskiy has become the NHL’s best goaltender.  He debuted with Tampa Bay in 2014-15, playing 16 games and recording a 2.36 GAA and .918 SV%.

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He has been remarkably consistent ever since and has led the Lightning to the 2020 Stanley Cup Finals.  The Russian was nominated for his third straight Vezina Trophy as the league’s top goaltender.  He won the award last year.

His run in the 2020 playoffs has been sublime, posting a 1.82 GAA and .931 SV% in 19 games, at the time of writing.  The 26-year-old starts an eight-year contract extension next season, at an average annual value of $9.5 million.  He appears to be worth every penny for the Lightning.

(2) Nathan MacKinnon – COL (Age: 25/Cap Hit: $6.30M/3 Years Left)

MacKinnon came into the league after being the first overall selection in 2013 and won the Calder Trophy.  During that rookie campaign, the Cole Harbour native posted 63 points, a plus-20 rating and 26 penalty minutes in 82 games.

MacKinnon took a step back the next season but has improved each year since.  The centre had his best season in 2019-20, recording 93 points in 6 games.  For his career, MacKinnon has 495 points in 525 games played.

The 2020 playoffs cemented his place as one of the NHL’s best when MacKinnon recorded 25 points in just 15 games.  At a cap hit of just $6.3 million for three more seasons, MacKinnon is a steal for the Avalanche.

(1) Connor McDavid – EDM (Age: 23/Cap Hit: $12.50M/6 Years Left)

If it is possible to outplay the immense expectations that come with being the first overall pick, Connor McDavid has done it.  He joined the Oilers in 2015-16 and had 48 points in 45 games.

He has since recorded point totals of 100, 108, 116 and 97 in a shortened regular season.  For his career, McDavid has 469 points in 351 games.  Yes, you read that correctly.  McDavid is still just23-years-old and should only get better from here.

The Oilers captain is the highest-paid player in the league, at $12.5 million annually, but there is no team in the league who would refuse to pay him that.  For that reason, he is the NHL’s most valuable trade asset.

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What did you think of the Top 10 trade assets in the league?  Was there anyone left out of the Top 50 who you think deserved to be there?  Let us know in the comments below!