The Price of Trevor Zegras: Who’s Willing to Pay Up?

Trevor Zegras Michigan Goal against Seattle Kraken goaltender Joey Daccord during the third period of the Ducks’ 3-2 loss Saturday at Honda Center.
Trevor Zegras Michigan Goal against Seattle Kraken goaltender Joey Daccord during the third period of the Ducks’ 3-2 loss Saturday at Honda Center. (Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

Trevor Zegras has two seasons left on his contract with the Anaheim Ducks but has recently been the center of trade talks. If he’s next on the chopping block, what are the Ducks looking for in return?

Trevor Zegras is a dynamic and highly skilled forward with a playmaking skill that sets him apart on the ice. Known for his exceptional vision, creativity, and puck-handling abilities, Zegras has a style of play that thrills fans.

What truly sets Zegras apart is his flair for the dramatic and willingness to attempt high-risk, high-reward plays. This unique skill set is often referred to as “soft-skill” a term that has been used frequently in discussing what return the Ducks might get for Zegras. 

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Over the past few days, a few front runners in the “Zegras race” have come forward. The Habs, Senators, Flyers, and Flames all being among the most prominent franchises. 

Of all the teams looking to score the skilled forward, where would he fit best, and what would the asking price be?

Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens have been linked to Trevor Zegras for a while now, but NHL insider Pierre LeBurn of the Athletic recently reopened that rumor mill on June 4th, writing, “I believe Anaheim and Montreal have re-connected on Zegras.”

Despite his outlining their interest, LeBurn didn’t believe the Habs to be aggressively pursuing this move. Much of the speculation surrounding this trade suggests that the Ducks would be asking for Reinbacher and/or Ghule in return. While this is not a ridiculous ask, I don’t think it aligns with the goals of the Habs moving forward.

There’s no doubt that GM Kent Hughes and the Montreal Canadiens are looking for offensive star power, however, in the middle of their rebuild, would they really be willing to give up key prospects to fill that hole? 

In an interview with Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic on June 3, Hughes was asked what his approach to bolstering the team’s roster on the offensive front this offseason.

“If we can get a player, if we can trade up in the draft, we have to look at any way that we can improve this team,” Hughes said. “We won’t be limited to something that has to make us better next season. But if it does, call that icing on the cake.”

Related Post: Report: Trevor Zegras on the Trade Block

Reinbacher and Ghule are home grown players, drafted by the Canadiens organization. The pair of strong defencemen have been centerpieces of the Montreal rebuild. While Kent Hughes is open to reinforcing his budding offense, moving those pieces might be too big of an ask for Hughes. 

While the Habs are definitely on the hunt for an offensive asset, Zegras may not be the best fit for this roster. Chemistry wise, there may not be a better fit. Zegras has an established relationship on the ice with Cole Caufield and is in the right age range to fit in well with this team off the ice.  

Habs fans seem to be split on the prospect of having Zegras in Montreal. Some believe the offensive reinforcement should be welcomed with open arms, and others don’t like Zegras’ style of play. His “soft skill” isn’t admired by everyone, especially those gritty hockey fans in Montreal.

Ottawa Senators

This week, a fresh report surfaced, revealing that the Ottawa Senators have shown keen interest in the dynamic forward Trevor Zegras from the Anaheim Ducks, according to sources cited by The Fourth Period.

In what was a crucial year for the Senators rebuild, they fell short. Over the past few years, Ottawa was supposed to make a playoff push and finally take a step forward in their rebuild. 

However, the 14th place team in the Eastern Conference took a major step back. 

It makes sense that the Sens would be looking for some offense to power their core. They averaged 3.05 GPG (20th) and had a power play that worked at 18% (24th) last season and adding a healthy Trevor Zegras to the mix would definitely boost those numbers. 

Yet, for good reason many believe that Zegras would not be a good fit in Ottawa. As we’ve referred to, Zegras is full of talent, but the Senators already have a lot of the skills he brings. 

Some may argue, “You can never have too much skill.” However, excessive emphasis on soft skills can be detrimental. While these skills can be an asset, if a team’s skilled players lack a collective commitment to defense and physicality, it can result in a team that is easily exploited by opponents, leading to significant challenges.

If there’s one thing that has been Zegras’ downfall, it’s his defense. The Anaheim forward has a career +/- of -40, and while that may be inflated due to playing with a lackluster Ducks team, it still tells the story of Zegras’ lack of defensive skill. 

With a Senators team that is lacking strong goaltending and averaging 3.43 GAPG (27th), a one way center is not what they need. 

I’ve seen a few mock trades floating around, and I agree that one of the only ways Zegras to the Sens could work is if it involved sending Josh Norris to the Ducks. Zegras and Norris are similar players with lots of talent, but a lack of physical play, not to mention the injury issues they both face. 

While I think this trade would work in the Sens favour, I don’t believe it is something the Ducks would go for. If they’re looking to trade Zegras, there would be no point in bringing in an identical forward in Josh Norris, unless, of course, they received a boatload of draft picks in return, something the Sens should not be willing to give up.

Philadelphia Flyers

Zegras has been linked to the Flyers since his Anaheim bestie Drysdale was traded to Philly back in January. 

But is this seriously something that could happen?

Personally, I think this is the least likely fit due to one major factor. John Tortorella.

The Flyers are going through a cultural shift with Tortorella and getting rid of Cutter Gauthier. They showed they were serious about this shift, and willing to make big, ambitious moves for the better of the team. 

With this mindset, it doesn’t seem like the Flyers is a likely landing place for Trevor Zegras. He doesn’t fit in with the direction their style of play is moving towards and he certainly doesn’t fit in with Tortorella’s play style. 

While Zegras meshes well with the players on the Flyers, obviously having a connection with Jamie Drysdale and playing with Cam York and Joel Farabee in the USNTDP, some of those guys would be likely pieces moved to get him there.  

On the off chance that the Flyers are willing to put together a trade package for Zegras, the move to Philadelphia could be just what the young forward needs. Although I think he and Torts would butt heads at first, the focus on defence and reliable play mixed with Zegras’ talent could turn him into an even better player. 

It would be an interesting move that would certainly shake things up in the Flyers organization. A big risk that could have an incredible payoff, but based on where Philadelphia is right now, I just don’t know if it is a risk they are willing to pay the heavy Zegras asking price for.

Calgary Flames

Maybe the most recent progression in the Zegras race, the Calgary Flames have emerged as contenders. According to a report from The Fourth Period‘s David Pagnotta, the Flames have expressed interest in the 23-year-old.

While Zegras’ value may be at a career low, his potential will always be high. 

We’re all familiar with Zegras’s exceptional skill set. Although he exhibits some inconsistencies in his game, his creativity and playmaking abilities are undeniable. Before this season, Zegras recorded two consecutive years with 23 goals each. His highlight reel speaks for itself—it’s truly remarkable.

Should Zegras become subject to a trade, the package offered by the Flames in return would certainly be worth watching. Are the Flames equipped with the necessary pieces to catch Anaheim’s attention? Only time will tell. 

Under general manager Craig Conroy, the Flames’ are definitely leaning toward the goal of rebuilding on the fly rather than entering full rebuild mode, so they may be a candidate who is willing to trade some prospects in order to improve their roster now. 

Bringing in a young, talented forward like Zegras could definitely be a good match for a semi-rebuilding Flames team. They just have to be willing to give up some key pieces in order to get there. 

While there is no telling where Zegras will end up, or if the Ducks will ride out the rest of his contract, if a move is made it will surely be for a healthy price.

We Got The Jack Inside The Rink

In episode 8 of the Inside The Rink podcast, Matty and Smitty are joined by new co-host Conrad Jack. After the long hiatus, we get back to hockey with a PACKED episode!Matt Rempe & the Devils vs. Rangers Line BrawlCould the Vancouver Canucks squander a playoff opportunity? Have the Winnipeg Jets finally figured out their lines?Flyers Head Coach John Tortorella is a sound byte MACHINEOvechkin is on his way to 895, Who is next?McDavid joins elite company with 100 Assists in a seasonRyan Hartman was suspended 3 Games, was it worth 3 games??Can Auston Matthews hit 70 Goals this season?The Eastern Conference Wild Card race is heating up, who lands the two playoff berths?For all of your hockey news and more from the show, visit us at insidetherink.com and watch us on YouTube! How to support us and our sponsors:TicketmasterColumbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITR
  1. We Got The Jack
  2. Episode 7. Player Safety First!
  3. Episode 6. Early Trade Season
  4. Episode 5. Longing For The Chiarelli Years
  5. Episode 4. Ottawa’s On Fire

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