The Washington Capitals look as though they are just about out of contention for the playoffs, so don’t be surprised if they become sellers at the trade deadline and kickstart not a rebuild, but a replenishment. While quite a few notable players like Tom Wilson, Alexander Ovechkin, Dylan Strome, and John Carlson will stick around thanks to their respective contracts, there are a few players whom the Caps can send elsewhere for a fair price.
With a slate of seasoned veterans, Washington could use these prospective trades to bring in some enticing prospects and draft picks if they play their cards right. This wouldn’t just set the stage for a replenishment, but perhaps also stocking some younger talent or future assets in the form of draft picks.
Anthony Mantha will fit well with a team looking for a sound scorer
Anthony Mantha is one name you will hear thrown around often, and he is the likeliest trade candidate in the nation’s capital. Mantha is enjoying a rebound season amidst what has become a down year for the Capitals, so teams looking to add one more piece to their scoring depth would love to see him in town.
While he has just 24 points so far in 2023-24, Mantha also scored 16 goals, putting himself in a position to perhaps snag a new career-high. He has also found the net often when he decides to shoot the puck, securing a 20.5 shooting percentage, with 15 of those goals coming at even strength.
He’s also logging just 13:54 of ice time, so particularly teams looking for someone on their bottom-six will call up the Capitals to see if they can work out a deal for Mantha. Someone like the Los Angeles Kings, who have yet to find a prolific scorer even on their top lines, could be the best suitor.
In this scenario, the Caps trade Mantha to the Kings, who, thanks to their lack of salary cap space, would need Washington to retain 45 percent of Mantha’s contract. This shouldn’t be a major issue, as Mantha will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. In return, the Kings will give the Capitals a first-round pick in 2024, a second-rounder in 2025, plus Arthur Kaliyev.