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NHL Trade Deadline Review

As the NHL Trade Deadline came and went this week, the implications for teams becomes more and more evident.  As usually happens, some teams were buyers and some were sellers. In the salary cap era, we’ve seen the advent of a new category: The Third Team Cap Buyer. Like in 2020, Lightning GM Julien Brisebois made one of the most talked about trades at the deadline.  Which NHL Trade Deadline deal will make the difference this year? 


This unique NHL season ultimately had a very customary trade deadline. There were 22 distinct trades in the last 24 hours. Deadline deals started off slow with only five deals in the month of March. As the shortened 56 game regular season comes to a close the jockeying for a coveted playoff spot became tighter.  With no wild card seeds this season, teams on the playoff bubble either make it or don’t.  Let’s look at each division’s deadline deals and how they may impact the the upcoming playoffs.  

Who Becomes the Beast in the East

Boston: Added: F Taylor Hall, F Curtis Lazar, D Mike Reilly.  Lost: F Anders Bjork, 2021 2nd round pick, 2022 3rd round pick.

Buffalo Added: Florida 2021 3rd round pick, Montreal 2021 3rd and 5th round picks.  Lost:  D Brandon Montour, F Eric Staal.

New Jersey: Added: D Jonas Siegenthaler, F A.J. Greer, F Mason Jobst, NY Islanders 2021 1st and 2022 4th. Lost: 2021 conditional draft pick.

New York Islanders: Added: D Braydon Coburn, F Kyle Palmieri, F Travis Zajac.  Lost: 2022 7th, F  A.J. Greer, F Mason Jobst, 2021 1st, 2022 4th. 

New York Rangers: Added: Los Angeles 2021 4th. Lost: F Brendan Lemiuex.

Philadelphia: Added: Washington 2021 5th, Montreal 2022 7th. Lost: F Michael Raffl, D Erik Gustafsson.

Pittsburgh: Added: F Jeff CarterLost: 2022 & 2023 conditional draft picks.

Washington: Added: F MIchael Raffl, F Anthony Mantha, New Jersey 2021 conditional draft pick.Lost: 2021 5th, F Jakub Vrana, F Richard Panik, 2021 1st, 2022 2nd, D Jonas Siegenthaler.

Washington behaved as if they had ground to make up snatching Mantha from Detroit.  The Islanders, Penguins and Bruins all looking up at Washington all brought in solid veterans. Coburn Palmieri and Zajac is a strong haul for Isles as is Carter for Pittsburgh.  The most intriguing and potentially explosive move was Hall moving to Boston. For the bubble teams in the East, the Rangers and Flyers behaved as sellers, maybe giving indications of what their front offices thought of their playoff chances this year. 

Difference Maker:  Taylor Hall – Boston was sliding as the deadline arrived, this move probably solidifies a playoff spot in this tough division. 

Grand Central 

Carolina: Added: D Jani Hakanpaa, Anaheim 2022 6th, F Cedric Paquette. Lost: D Hayden Fleury, F Alex Galchenyuk, F Ryan Dzingel.

Chicago: Added: Vancouver 2021 4th, Vegas 2021 2nd, Vegas 2022 3rd, F Adam Gaudette, F Brett Connolly, F Henrik Borgstrom, D Riley Stillman, Florida 2021 7th, F Vinnie Hinostroza. Lost: D Madison Bowey, 2021 5th, F Mattias Janmark, D NIck DeSimone, 2022 5th, F Matthew Highmore, D Lucas Carlsson, F Lucas Wallmark, F Brad Morrison.

Columbus: Added: Toronto 2021 1st, Toronto 2022 4th, Tampa 2021 1st, Toronto 2022 conditional draft pick, D Mikko Lehtonen, Patrik Laine, F Jack Roslovic. Lost: F Nick Foligno, D David Savard, F Riley Nash, G Veini Vehvilainen, F Pierre-Luc Dubois.

Detroit: Added: F Jakub Vrana, F Richard Panik, Washington 2021 1st and 2022 2nd, Montreal 2021 5th, Tampa 2022 3rd, Colorado 4th. Lost: F Anthony Mantha, D Jon Merrill.

Florida: Added: F Sam Bennett, Calgary 2022 2nd, D Brandon Montour, D Lucas Carlsson, F Lucas Wallmark, F Brad Morrison.  Lost: F Emil Heineman, 2022 2nd, 2021 3rd, F Vinnie Hinostroza.

Nashville: Added: D Erik Gudbranson. Lost: D Brandon Fortunato, 2023 7th.

Tampa: Added: D Frederik Claesson, D David Savard, F Antoine Morand, Anaheim 2023 7th.  Lost: G Magnus Chrona, 2021 1st, 2022 3rd, F Alexander Volkov.

Columbus was the big seller stockpiling four draft picks including two 2021 1st rounders. Detroit landed five draft picks along with Vrana and Panik. Chicago acts as both buyer and a seller working for a playoff spot.  Nashville helped their defensive depth as did Florida. Paquette is the only significant player obtained by Carolina.  The big name in this division is Savard to shore up the Lightning’s defensive corps. . 

Difference Maker: David Savard – Could trading away a #1 draft pick help Lightning win a Cup again?

Find True North

Calgary: Added: F Emil Heineman, Florida 2022 2nd, Toronto 2022 3rd. Lost: F Sam Bennett, 2022 2nd, G David Rittich.

Edmonton: Added: D Dmitry Kulikov. Lost: Conditional 2022 draft pick.

Montreal: Added: D Erik Gustafsson, D Jon Merrill, F Eric Staal. Lost: 2022 7th, 2021 5th, F Hayden Verbeek, 2021 3rd, 2021 5th

Ottawa: Added: D Brandon Fortunato, Nashville 2023 7th, NY Islanders 2022 7th, Boston 2022 3rd, F Michael Amadio, F Ryan Dzingel. Lost: D Erik Gudbranson, D Braydon Coburn, D Mike Reilly, D Christian Wolanin, F Cedric Paquette, F Alex Galchenyuk.

Toronto: Added: D Ben Hutton, F Antti Suomela, G David Rittich, F NIck Foligno, F Stefan Noesen, G Veini Vehvilainen, F Alex Galchenyuk. Lost: 2022 5th, F Alexander Barabanov, 2022 3rd, 2021 1st, 2022 4th, 2021 4th, D MIkko Lehtonen. 

Vancouver: Added: Winnipeg 2021 6th, D Madison Bowey, Chicago 5th, F Matthew Highmore. Lost: D Jordie Benn, 2021 4th, F Adam Gaudette.

Winnipeg: Added D Jordie Benn, F Pierre-Luc Dubois. Lost: 2021 6th, F Patrik Laine, F Jack Roslovic.

Division bottom dweller Ottawa lost solid veterans in Coburn, Gudbranson and Reilly but traded them all out of the North. Vancouver was in seller mode and may regret losing Gaudette. Calgary may rue losing Bennett and Rittich. Of the postseason contenders, Edmonton and Winnipeg barely made a ripple but both added time tested defensemen. Toronto and Montreal seemed to make the biggest splashes with the addition of defensive depth and an offensive veteran leader. Foligno for the Leafs and Staal for the Canadiens are the big gets for this division.  

Difference Maker: Eric Staal – In an early trade, the Habs landed the wily veteran center.  Montreal is fighting for the final playoff spot and Staal could prove to be the difference here.

Not So Wild West 

Anaheim: Added: Toronto 2022 5th, D Hayden Fleury, F Alexander Volkov. Lost: D Ben Hutton, D Jani Hakanpaa, 2022 6th, F Antoine Morand, 2023 7th.

Colorado: Added: F Carl Soderberg, G Devan Dubnyk, F Patrik Nemeth. Lost: F Josh Dickinson, rights to F Ryder Rolston, D Greg Pateryn, 2021 5th round pick, 2022 4th. 

Los Angeles: Added: 2022 & 2023 conditional draft picks, D Christian Wolanin, F Brendan Lemieux. Lost: F Jeff Carter, F MIchael Amadio, 2021 4th. 

San Jose: Added: F Alexander Barabanov, rights to G Magnus Chrona, Toronto 2021 4th, D Greg Pateryn, Colorado 5th round pick. Lost: F Antti Suomela, D Frederik Claesson, F Stefan Noesen, G Devan Dubnyk.

Vegas: Added: F Mattias Janmark, D Nick DeSimone, Chicago 2022 5th.  Lost: 2021 2nd, 2022 3rd. 

Arizona, Minnesota and St. Louis did not make a move. The Coyotes and the Blues are fighting for that final spot and the Wild looks solid in the third spot.  The top two teams in the division made their moves and Soderberg, Dubnyk and Nemeth is far greater for Colorado than Janmark for Vegas.  

Difference Maker: Carl Soderberg – Not exactly a household name but Soderberg is a center who wins faceoffs. Can play on the power play as well as the penalty kill.  His faceoff percentages at even strength this season is over 50% (50.9%).  On the power play, it’s exactly at 50% but on the penalty kill, he is at 61.5%.  As the games get tighter into the postseason, a win on the dot can mean the difference between moving on and setting up tee times. 

NHL Trade Deadline Top Three Deals

  1. David Savard – Could Brisebois catch Lightning (pun absolutely intended) in a bottle two years in a row?  Will this be the best deal at this season’s NHL Trade Deadline? 
  2. Eric Staal – Veteran leader will be invaluable down the stretch and into the postseason.
  3. Taylor Hall – The trend for his career production has been going down since his MVP year.  If he catches even a little spark, he could light up the Bruins fortunes.

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