The Erik Karlsson era in Ottawa seems to be all but over. The Senators are in the middle of the scandal between the Hoffman family and Karlsson family, and both players could find themselves out of Ottawa. What would a trade for Erik Karlsson look like though? Surely the Senators would get a huge return for their superstar defensemen, but what would be a realistic return?
5. Edmonton Oilers
Oilers Receive: Erik Karlsson
Senators Receive: 2018 First Round pick, Jesse Puljujarvi, Kris Russel, Kailer Yamamoto
Giving up both Puljujarvi and Yamamoto would be a huge price to may, but the Oilers are in a position to get the best defenseman in the league, and also give up Russel's contract. It's a less likely trade destination for Karlsson, but the rumors are there and Oilers GM, Peter Chiarelli, is known to surprise the NHL with his deals.
4. New Jersey Devils
Devils Receive: Erik Karlsson, 2019 Third Round Pick
Senators Receive: 2018 First Round pick, Damon Severson, Michael McLeod, Miles Wood
The Devils are close to becoming true contenders in the NHL. They surprised the league by making the Playoffs this past year, only to fall short to the Tampa Bay Lightning in five games. The price is high for the Devils, but would be well worth their while. Damon Severson has a team friendly contract of just over $4 million AAV over the next five seasons, but freeing up this cap space would allow them to afford Karlsson and give him a max extension. With Nico Hischier developing nicely, they can afford to give up their top center prospect in McLeod.
3. Tampa Bay Lightning
Lightning Receive: Erik Karlsson, 4th Round pick
Senators Receive: 2020 First Round pick, 2018 2nd Round pick, Cal Foote, Tyler Johnson, Mitchell Stephens
There are a lot of moving parts to this trade becoming a reality. The Lightning have just $7 million in projected cap space for the 2018-19 season, so they've have to really squeeze against the cap in order to obtain Karlsson. The Lightning don't have a first round pick this year, and possibly next year too if they win the Cup, thus sending their 2019 first round pick to the New York Rangers as part of the Ryan McDonagh deal.
2. New York Islanders
Islanders Receive: Erik Karlsson
Senators Receive: 2018 First Round pick (CGY), 2018 Second Round pick, Ryan Pulock, Keifer Bellows
Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello wants to shake up the Islanders and give Tavares a winning team. New York needs a huge boost on defense and Karlsson could be their answer. They have the cap space to sign both Karlsson and Tavares to long term contracts, but may face questions when Anthony Beauvillier and Mathew Barzal are in need of extensions. Acquiring Karlsson would be exactly what Lamoriello needs in order to prove to Tavares that he wants to win and change the culture of the Islanders.
1. Vegas Golden Knights
Knights Receive: Erik Karlsson
Senators Receive: 2019 First Round pick, 2018 Second Round pick, Erik Brannstrom, Cody Glass
The Knights are by far the most likely destination for Karlsson. They currently have $25 million in cap space, and have the future assets to afford the superstar defenseman. Giving up both Glass and Branstrom would hurt their future, but the Knights seem poised to win now after their incredible inaugural season. Acquiring Karlsson would give them their first big name on defense, and give them a true powerplay quarterback. They'd have enough cap space to afford their more prominent free agents, and still have space to resign Karlsson when his contract ends in 2019. Karlsson to Vegas seems to be an almost definite scenario if he gets dealt.