Colorado Avalanche Rumors: Considering Erik Johnson as Trade Bait

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Colorado Avalanche
Colorado Avalanche /

A Big Time Trade

Joe Sakic has gone on the record saying he wants the team to get younger and faster for the future. Well, a trade with the Carolina Hurricanes involving Matt Duchene and Erik Johnson would be the way to do that.

If you want my analysis of what defensemen the Avs should target in this trade, check that out below:

Related Story: Analyzing the Carolina Hurricanes as Trade Partners

However, for the sake of this post, I am going to just float a couple forward options that could be included in the deal if the Avs also include EJ.

Elias Lindholm

Colorado Avalanche
Colorado Avalanche /

Elias Lindholm would fill the hole that a Duchene departure creates at center for the Avs. He doesn’t have the same upside as Duchene, but he will develop into a more than formidable second line center.

Lindholm is currently on pace for 38 points this season, but he has missed ten games due to injury.

Furthermore, he has also been heating up recently, with six points in his last five games. Lindholm has a lot of upside, and he is still only 22 years old, so he fits the Avs plans for the future.

Related Story: Time to Trade Matt Duchene

The kid can skate, and he’s a real good playmaker. He’s also becoming a much more effective face-off man, as he sports a 52.3 percent winning percentage in the circle so far this year.

Nonetheless, even if the Avs do trade Matt Duchene, they still have Tyson Jost moving up the ranks. Jost is probably going to be ready for the NHL next season, and he projects as a real productive two-way center in the top six.

So, the Avs don’t really need a center in return, especially with J.T. Compher and Carl Soderberg as well. Which is why I like the next player on the list more than Lindholm, particularly when considering the future of the Avs and their vision of speed.

Sebastian Aho

Colorado Avalanche
Colorado Avalanche /

The only problem with this trade is that the Carolina Hurricanes are probably very unwilling to give up Sebastian Aho. He is going to be a huge part of any top six that he plays in, and he’s still only 19 years old.

He’s on pace for 45 points in his rookie season, and he’s only going to get better.

However, this is the type of player the Avs need in their top six. He can most certainly skate with Nathan MacKinnon, he has finely tuned defensive instincts, and man can he pass and shoot. Witness:

However, like I said, the kid is only 19 years old, and he’s in his rookie season, so the chances of the Avs acquiring him are very slim.

If Joe Sakic can figure out a way though, then a trade must be done. I would love to see Matt Duchene and Erik Johnson thrown in a package deal for Sebastian Aho and Noah Hanifin.

That probably includes a draft pick from the ‘Canes as well, and maybe a prospect from the Avs like A.J. Greer, J.T. Compher, or Cam Morrison. That kind of trade is by no means farfetched to me.