Essendon ruckman Nick Bryan is set to attract interest come this year's trade period, with rival clubs keeping an eye on the young Bomber after impressive VFL form.

The 20-year-old has struggled to break into Essendon's senior team for much of 2022, playing just five games this season after one in his debut 2021 campaign.

In the VFL though, the young ruck prospect has impressed, playing 14 games across the season, averaging 14.1 disposals, 32 hit-outs and eight hit-outs to advantage per game.

Bryan was taken with Pick 38 in the 2019 AFL draft and made his debut in Round 7, 2021. Despite managing just six senior matches across his time at the club, Bryan's VFL form has been consistent, earning him the best and fairest award last year.

The out-of-favour ruckman is now on the radar of clubs around the competition as Sam Draper locks down Essendon's number one ruck spot after an impressive 2022 campaign, per reports from the Herald Sun.

Despite being contracted through to the end of the 2023 season, several clubs including St Kilda are interested in players in the shape of the young Bomber.

It is set to be a busy trade period for the competition's big men, with Luke Jackson and Brodie Grundy already the subject of speculation around the colours they will be wearing in 2023.

With young Demon Jackson reportedly looking to head west and join Fremantle, Melbourne will have a spot up for grabs on their list, though they are looming as one of several clubs in the market for Collingwood's Grundy.

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

Though still contracted to the Pies on a lucrative long-term deal, much has been made of the 28-year-old's possible off-season departure, with the club reportedly keen to free up some salary cap space to allow them to be more active in the trade period.

Grundy has met with key figures from the Demons after his season was ended prematurely due to a stress fracture in his ankle, while he has also been linked with a move north to join the Giants.

Hawthorn and Geelong are also reportedly in the market for the dual All Australian, who may have played his last game in black and white.

The AFL trade period kicks off on Monday, October 3 and will run through to Wednesday, October 12 until 7:30pm AEST.