The Carolina Hurricanes are once again playoff contenders in the Eastern Conference. This was to be expected after their performance last season. And we can't forget about their active NHL Free Agency last summer, bringing in names like Michael Bunting and Dmitry Orlov. At the NHL Trade Deadline, Carolina could be active once again.

The Hurricanes find themselves in second place in the Metropolitan Division. They trail the New York Rangers by a decent amount. New York has 81 points thus far while Carolina has just 74. That said, Carolina is far from a bad team. They have work to do, but they have the Stanley Cup Playoffs in their sight.

The NHL Trade Deadline could help the Hurricanes close the gap with the Rangers. Teams will spend a little under two weeks trying to bolster their rosters for the playoff chase ahead. And Carolina is certainly no different. They should be in the market for an upgrade or two before time runs out on March 8.

But what exactly will Carolina do at the deadline? Moreover, what does Carolina want to do during the final days of the league's trade season? Here is a look at the dream NHL Trade Deadline scenario for the Carolina Hurricanes this year.

Hurricanes' needs

Carolina has one obvious need that should be addressed. The Hurricanes need consistency in goal. Starting goalie Frederik Andersen has missed most of the season due to blood clotting issues. He has returned to on-ice activities, so he could return at some point this year. That said, the Canes still need help in the crease.

Pyotr Kochetkov has played well enough, despite some struggles early on. The 24-year-old has played to a .910 save percentage in 30 games this season. Veteran Antti Raanta, however, has not played as well. The 34-year-old is out with injury at this time but played to an .872 save percentage prior to the injury.

Carolina has a need in goal, though they don't necessarily need a major splash. Where a major splash could help is elsewhere on the ice. They have a fine group of forwards and their defensive depth is sound. Still, the Hurricanes have the assets to make a major move. And their roster can benefit from such a splash.

The Hurricanes are well-equipped to make moves at the NHL Trade Deadline. And they are certainly going to be in the market leading up to March 8. But the true dream scenario for Carolina involves them making a big-time swing leading into this year's deadline.

Ottawa Senators right wing Vladimir Tarasenko (91) celebrates his goal with teammates during the first period against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center.
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

A storm brewing in Carolina

Carolina's biggest splash likely won't come in goal. They certainly could trade for a star goaltender. For example, Nashville Predators star Jusse Saros is a name to watch. However, options like Montreal Canadiens goalie Jake Allen and Minnesota Wild veteran Marc-Andre Fleury are also viable for Carolina.

The biggest splash for the Hurricanes is likely to affect the forward group. Specifically, they could stand to add some scoring depth, even though they aren't exactly lacking in that department. 14 Carolina skaters have scored 20 or more points so far. Another three players aren't far off that 20-point mark, either.

Still, you can never have too much scoring depth. And there are options to be had at the NHL Trade Deadline. One interesting name is Ottawa Senators forward Vladimir Tarasenko. Tarasenko is on the trade market after nearly signing with the Hurricanes before the 2023-24 season. He is a free agent at the end of this season.

Another potential name is Pittsburgh Penguins star Jake Guentzel. This one is a bit more complicated, though. Guentzel is currently out with an injury that will prevent him from returning until after the March 8 deadline. That said, he is one of the best forward options on the market and would provide a huge boost to Carolina's offense.

All of these options bolster the Hurricanes roster without locking them into long-term deals. The Hurricanes have the trade assets to pull off a few different deals at the NHL Trade Deadline. They are certainly a team fans should keep an eye on as the trade frenzy heats up around the league.