Forward prospect Marko Dano was dealt by Chicago GM Stan Bowman to Winnipeg to land former Blackhawk left winger Andrew Ladd. Photo courtesy Hockey's Future.
Since Toronto GM Lou Lamoriello swung the massive Dion Phaneuf deal Feb. 9, other NHL GMs have decided not to wait for the Feb. 29 trade deadline.
Counting the nine-player Phaneuf transaction, 15 trades have happened through the afternoon of Feb. 27 involving 37 players, many of them still-promising prospects, and potentially 16 draft picks.
While trades are still happening leading to the deadline, let’s examine some prominent prospects who have changed teams so far and how this might affect their fortunes.
As part of a ruthless housecleaning, Lamoriello also traded 24-year-old American winger Jeremy Morin with netminder James Reimer to the San Jose Sharks for goalie Alex Stalock, 27-year-old fringe NHL forward Ben Smith and a conditional 2018 fourth-round draft pick.
Morin, who has played on both sides of center, is a 24-year-old former second-round pick of the Atlanta Thrashers who is now with his third NHL organization in two seasons. He has 28 points this season in 41 games with two AHL teams. If he couldn’t play a game for the sadsack Leafs, he likely won’t get a sniff with the Sharks in his final season before becoming an RFA.
Next to the salary-slashing, roster-rebuilding Leafs, Chicago has been the most active and impactful team as the Blackhawks get a jump on their Western Conference rivals and strengthen themselves for a run at a fourth Stanley Cup in seven seasons. In the past three days, Chicago GM Stan Bowman has swung three deals to solidify his reputation as a brilliant salary-cap tactician.
In his latest coup, he reacquired left winger Andrew Ladd from the Winnipeg Jets. To get the hard-working and inspirational Ladd to fill a top-six role, Bowman surrendered 2016 first-round draft pick Marko Dano, and a conditional third round pick in 2018 if the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup. Besides Ladd, Chicago gets defenseman Jay Harrison and forward Matt Fraser, depth players at best.
While Dano has yet to justify being drafted 27th overall by Columbus in 2013, he’s just 21 and could still pan out in