Predicting where John Gibson, Elias Lindholm and Alexander Barabanov might get traded by February

It’s mid-December, and the true contenders are emerging as the NHL is jetting toward midseason, meaning trade talk will start dominating headlines.

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks
Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks / Chris Gardner/GettyImages
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1. Alexander Barabanov

Alexander Barabanov is one of quite a few forwards on the San Jose Sharks who may have a new home come February with general manager Mike Grier still working out the team’s early rebuilding stages. Barabanov has just four points in 11 games, but the Sharks have struggled to score as a unit this season, and the 29-year-old has shown in the past he can be moderately productive. 

Any team looking for a middle-six forward will inquire about Barabanov’s services, especially if they also need help on the power play. Between the 2021-22 and 2022-23 seasons, Barabanov has logged just over 318 minutes on the man advantage, with the Sharks scoring 41 goals while he was on the ice, including five of his own. 

The Winnipeg Jets are a team that initially looked as though they too were on the rebuilding path, but with 36 points this season, they are almost neck-and-neck with the Colorado Avalanche, who have 38 points. Winnipeg is struggling on the man advantage, so someone like Barabanov will be on their radar.

While the Anaheim Ducks are already into their rebuilding project while the Calgary Flames may be heading in that direction, the Sharks are still shedding their roster, so we will see primarily draft picks here along with a mid-tier prospect as compensation. Since the Jets are well in contention, they are yet another team on this list that should have no problem parting ways with future assets. 

Barabanov trade prediction

(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference)

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