ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 23: Sam Hayes of the Power clashes with Bailey J. Williams of the Eagles during the 2022 AFL Round 06 match between the Port Adelaide Power and the West Coast Eagles at Adelaide Oval on April 23, 2022 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by James Elsby/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Up to six ruckmen could be pieces of this year's AFL trade period, and they could even surpass last season's total of five ruck trades.

The names are headlined by Luke Jackson, whose speculative move to a Western Australian club has been a constant theme in the media in recent weeks.

Speaking to SEN, AFL reporter Cal Twomey has suggested the young Demons star could spark a chain reaction in the off-season should he depart Melbourne.

"Luke Jackson's decision is definitely going to create a ripple effect one way or another whether he stays or goes,” Twomey said.

"There’s definitely a feel around clubs that Freo or West Coast are certainly more in play for him now than they were some time ago.

"The ruck merry-go-round had five rucks change clubs last year. I think it could be about the same number this off-season."

Luke Jackson during the 2022 AFL Round 1 match between Melbourne and Western Bulldogs (Photo by Cameron Grimes / Zero Digital Media)

During the 2021 trade window, five rucks traded clubs; Callum Coleman-Jones (Richmond to North Melbourne), Jon Ceglar (Hawthorn to Geelong), Darcy Fort (Geelong to Brisbane), Peter Ladhams (Port Adelaide to Sydney) and Max Lynch (Collingwood to Hawthorn).

Jackon's potential move to Fremantle or West Coast would likely have a domino effect on the competition's big men.

"If Jackson does want to head to the Dockers, I’m sure we’ll see Lloyd Meek’s name come up in ruck discussions having been the ruck deputy to Sean Darcy at the Dockers," Twomey continued.

"Then around the competition there’s Sam Hayes who I expect to be on the trade market. He’s been in and out at Port Adelaide’s side in recent weeks."

North Melbourne ruckman Todd Goldstein has indicated his intention to play on beyond 2022 despite becoming out of contract at the end of the season. With both Tristian Xerri and Callum Coleman-Jones contracted until the end of 2025, a move for Goldstein looks ominous. Meanwhile, the GWS Giants face a similarly crowded ruck-selection table.

"Todd Goldstein is unsigned at North Melbourne, we know Tristan Xerri has taken on the number one mantle there. He’s going to have takers as an experienced option." Twomey continued.

"GWS’ duo Matt Flynn and Kieren Briggs have had interest previously and are behind Braydon Preuss in the pecking order there.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 19: Kieren Briggs of the Giants is congratulated by team mates after kicking a goal during the round 14 AFL match between the Greater Western Sydney Giants and the Carlton Blues at GIANTS Stadium on June 19, 2021 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

"They’re the names clubs are looking at. There is a shortage of rucks around the competition. They’re the guys clubs are looking at.”

Ruckmen are notoriously a difficult position to fill given their unique attributes, and certain clubs have had their ruck depth challenged this year.

Each club usually has between 2-3 big men on their list, but in Round 11, Hawthorn were threatened by the daunting task of facing the Suns' star tall Jarrod Witts without a recognised ruckman.