Forecasting this year's NHL trade deadline

How many trades will be made at the NHL trade deadline? Let's compare the number of trades this year to those made last year.

Trades made during the 2015-2016 season: 54
October: 0
November: 1
December 3
January: 11
February: 39

Total trades made in the week leading up to the February 29th deadline: 37
Total trades made on deadline day 2016 (February 29th): 19

As you can see, things really got going once the calendar flipped to 2016. Typically the market cranks up once teams begin to fall out of playoff contention in January.

Trades made during the 2016-2017 regular season so far: 13
October: 0
November: 6
December: 1
January: 6
February: 2 so far

There were 13 trades made in the first four months of the regular season which is just two shy of the 15 made last year. The trade market can be pretty unpredictable, but it's reasonable to expect 30-40 trades this month (most of which should come in the week leading up to the deadline). 

One dynamic to consider is the upcoming Las Vegas expansion draft which concerns just about every team in the league. As you know, you can only protect a certain number of players from being selected by Vegas. So should teams make a trade before the draft in order to ensure they don't lose them to the expansion draft? No one is entirely sure how this will affect the volume of trades this year, but it's clearly on the minds of every general manager.

Who might be on the move?

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