Who are you top sell-high candidates?
Brian Rosenbaum: There are so many players playing above their heads at the moment. However, the most obvious one to me is Dale Weise. Weise has been on an unprecedented roll with eight goals and 11 points in 15 games. In 258 NHL games prior to this season, Weise scored a grand total of 23 goals and registered 59 points. That is really more his level of production. Sell him immediately if you can get a decent return.
Michael Finewax: I can't argue with Weise although I wouldn't deal for him. Everyone seems to be asking about trading David Krejci but I like him and wouldn't trade him. Blake Wheeler is off to a great start and he is the one I would trade as you likely can get a lot for him. I don't think you should be able to get a lot for Weise but if you can, kudos to you.
Ryan Dadoun: If someone was willing to make me an offer for Krejci with the belief that he actually has 80-point potential this season, then I'd definitely trade him away. It all depends on how much credit the other side is willing to give for a player's hot start. I think if you're looking for sell-high, Montreal is the place to go. We touched on Dale Weise, but because his performance this season has been so out of sync with history, I don't think there will be many takers for him. But guys like Brendan Gallagher and Tomas Plekanec? You might be able to find someone who will overpay for them.
Corey Abbott: Tomas Plekanec is a pretty good sell-high candidate. He's on pace for 76 points and 35 goals, which would both be career highs. Plekanec has never hit 30 goals before and he hasn't reached 70 points since 2009-10. I see him ending up with 60-65 points just like Buffalo's Ryan O'Reilly. O'Reilly is another player who is on pace to hit the 75-point plateau and I just don't see that happening. He isn't a stranger to hot and cold streaks either.
Brian Rosenbaum: Martin Hanzal is off to a very fast start playing with two very talented youngsters, Max Domi and Anthony Duclair. Although he has yet to score, the veteran pivot has 12 assists in 11 games. Given that Hanzal is injury prone and that his career high in points coming into this season is 40, I don't expect him to keep producing anywhere close to this pace. As such, he becomes a very good sell-high candidate.
Michael Finewax: The big problem with selling high is not only finding a partner but finding a partner who will give what you perceive to be fair value. Let's take Tomas Plekanec for example. Corey states that he is on pace for 76 points but should only get 60-65. So who do you think you're going to get for him. Only 25 players had more than 65 points last season. Why would anyone give up one of those players for Plekanec and if no one would do so why make the trade. You might as well take your chances with Plekanec. I had this same discussion a few years ago on an NHL chat. One person said that he would get rid of Kessel. This is when Kessel was in the midst of three straight years in the top ten of scoring. I asked who you would expect back and there was silence. Once you get to the 60-65 point mark its hard to get fair value.
Corey Abbott: I may have been generous with the 65-point maximum, but Michael makes a good point for players around that threshold. Still, it's not uncommon to look for an upgrade especially if you are seeking a specific position or category. Meeting that perceived value when selling high also shouldn't really be that much of a problem. If you are choosing to sell high then you are either giving up on them because you don't believe they will carry on their current pace or you are trying to shoot for the moon to take advantage of abnormally strong play. It could be in your best interest to keep Plekanec or a player like Wheeler, who also operates within that 60-65 point range, but if you can fill an area of need then it still could be worth it. Getting fair value becomes more of an issue when trying to buy low on someone. Getting back on topic, I would try to get someone to overpay for Jaroslav Halak. He owns a 1.85 goals-against average and a .928 save percentage after seven games. That's a better GAA than Carey Price had last season and it's pretty close to the save percentage (.933) he ended up with. I would look for Halak to return to his career averages (.917 SV% and 2.38 GAA) as the season progresses. Of course, I'm not saying to hurt your crease situation because I do think Halak is a solid option, but if you can get an upgrade then it could be a move worth exploring.
Ryan Dadoun: Let's go back to Tomas Plekanec for a second because I think he's a good example of a sell-high candidate. Plekanec is on pace for 76 points and let's buy into the projection that he's actually going to get 60-65 points. What makes him a feasible sell-high candidate though is that it's not out of the range of possibilities that he actually does surpass that 60-65 point range. He had 60 points last season, his career-high is 70, and he's playing for a great team, so it's not out of the realm of possibilities that he actually does maintain something close to his current pace. So why trade him at all? Because you aren't looking for better, you're looking for safer. You want to get a safer bet for 60-70 points from a guy whose willing to take a chance on Plekanec because he sees 70+ point potential. Is there someone out there that genuinely thinks Plekanec has that kind of potential and is willing to make a trade based on that hope? I have no doubt of that. When I do chats and hear questions, the sense that I'm left with is that there's a great many people that heavily weigh these hot and cold starts as long as they can assign a logic as to why they're happening. So while you might say that no one would give up a 65+ player for Plekanec, I'm not so sure. However, this does go to the heart of these kind of talks: Who is a good sell-high candidate? It depends. Who do your potential trading partners believe in? That's what you need to know and that's going to be true of any trade talks. Everyone has an internal value they've assigned to a player and you'll feel good about a trade when you find someone else who values one of your players more than you do. That player might be Plekanec, it might be anyone. All that said, rookies are typically great sell-high candidates because people tend to get the most excited about them. Someone told me that they thought Artemi Panarin would get 70 points this season. If I had Panarin and was in a league with him, I would have tried to trade him Panarin for someone I felt was a great bet to get 65 points, because I'd rather trade in a rookie on a hot start (even one with ideal linemates and a former KHL star) for someone who has produced at a high level before in the NHL.