Just for the record I would prefer to keep Alex DeBrincat rather than trade him to another team. However with his future with the Senators in question, I have came up with some mock trades that could make sense for both teams.
This season DeBrincat had a total of 27 Goals, 39 assists for 66 points in 82 games.
Devils Receive: Alex DeBrincat
Senators Receive: Jesper Bratt
The first trade would see Alex DeBrincat traded to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for RFA Jesper Bratt. After the Devils were eliminated from the 2023 playoffs, many fans were displeased with the performance of Jesper Bratt. Bratt had just 1 goal, 5 assists for 6 points in 12 games and overall played below the level that a player of his calibre is expected to play to. As of today, it is expected that Bratt is open and willing to sign long-term with the Devils, however if we re-wind back to last summer, the team and player did not exactly seem eye to eye. The Devils and Bratt ended up going to arbitration after being unable to agree on contract terms and he was awarded a one year deal valued just over $5 million. If the parties are once again not to see eye to eye, it could mean there is potential for a swap of the two relatively young wingers. Both players are of roughly the same calibre, Bratt is a year younger than DeBrincat, both players fit the core of the teams involved and could simply replace each others positions to avoid re-structuring of the teams. It’s not everyday a player as young and as talented as Bratt/DeBrincat are available, and if a change of scenery is necessary it could be the perfect storm for the Senators and Devils.
This season Bratt had 32 goals, 41 assists for 73 points in 82 games.
Predators Receive: Alex DeBrincat, Mathieu Joseph, Lassi Thomson
Senators Receive: Juuse Saros, Alexandre Carrier
This trade is dependent on a number of factors, the first of which is whether or not Nashville is looking to move Saros in order to re-tool their roster. The Predators currently have blue-chip goalie prospect Yaroslav Askarov playing with the Milwaukee Admirals and it is only a matter of time until he is ready to make the jump to the NHL. If Nashville does not believe they can compete for a Stanley Cup in the years before Askarov’s prime, they may be willing to move Saros out in order to add another key asset who will be able to win for years to come with the young upcoming core. DeBrincat will still be in his prime by the time Nashville’s promising young players are ready to compete, and they will still have their goaltending situation solved with the young Russian. Swapping Carrier for Thomson is another way for the Predators to get younger, and it is growing ever more clear that although promising, Thomson will struggle to find a top-4 role in Ottawa given the teams makeup. Joseph is included to give Ottawa some more cap flexibility and potentially add another piece via free agency to fill the role of a depth scorer for less then $2.95 million. Nashville gets to take a chance on the speedy winger to see if he can get back to the level he was at when originally joining the Senators. For Ottawa, Saros is the instant solution to the goaltending issues, and at 28 years old, he will be playing at an elite level for the window the core is competing in. This will allow Soggard to make his way to the NHL at his own pace, and eventually take over for Saros if and when he is to retire/move on. Carrier is the solution to the bottom pair defence. At 26 years old and an RFA, the team should be able to afford his services for a relatively low price tag, and he is just beginning to enter his prime. While he struggled this season, he is one year removed from a 30 point season which means the Sens could potentially buy low on the player.
Joseph had 3 goals, 15 assist for 18 points in 56 games. Thomson had 7 goals, 26 assists for 33 points in 56 AHL games.
Saros had a .919 SV% and a 2.69 GAA in 64 games this season. Carrier had 2 goals, 7 assists for 9 points in 43 games.
Toronto Receives: Alex DeBrincat
Ottawa Receives: William Nylander
Believe me Sens fans, this one hurts me to even discuss but let me say my part as to why this could make sense if the puzzle pieces fall into place. This season, the Leafs finally made it out of the first round just to be eliminated disappointingly in 5 games to the Florida Panthers. All of the discussion around the core four and their future with the Leafs has hinted at the possibility that a shakeup is coming. Given Nylander is likely the first to be moved from that group, I could see a world where the leafs like the idea of swapping him for Alex DeBrincat. For the Senators, you essentially get a DeBrincat replacement who is slightly older and is signed for one more year. Since the Senators have little leverage they would likely have to accept the deal 1 for 1 even though DeBrincat is under team control currently and Nylander is a year away from being a UFA who could receive a large payday from the open market.
Nylander had 40 goals, 47 assists for 87 points in 82 games this season.