The NHL trade deadline was yesterday and leading up to and on the deadline there was the usual bevy of trades. For a full recap of all the trades, be sure to check out the handy Trade Tracker on Dobber.
The main Dobber site has plenty of excellent break downs and analysis on all the trades, it’s what they do. We look at the prospects, so let’s get to it.
The Ryan McDonagh Trade:
To Tampa Bay: Ryan McDonagh (D); J.T. Miller (LW)
To NY Rangers: Vladimir Namestnikov (W); Brett Howden (C); Libor Hajek (D); 1st-round pick (2018); conditional 2nd-round pick
The big prospects on the move here are Libor Hajek and Brett Howden. In Hajek the Rangers acquire a potential future replacement for McDonagh. Hajek had a really good rookie tournament and prospect tournament this spring and was a candidate to make the bolts roster to start the season. This is not the first trade deadline deal for Hajek as he was moved in the WHL trade deadline to the Memorial Cup host city Regina. Hajek was also a standout for the Czech Republic at the World Junior Championship with a goal and eight points in seven games to lead all defensemen in points. His offensive game has really developed since his NHL draft and he will make the jump to the pro game next year, likely in the AHL. His fantasy value is going to be higher in leagues with peripheral stats.
In Brett Howden the Rangers get a big offensive physical center. Howden is the Captain of his WHL junior team, The Moose Jaw Warriors and was also a big point producer for Canada at the World Junior helping them to Gold scoring three goals and seven points in seven games. Howden does not lkely project as a first line center, but while his fantasy ceiling may not be extremely high, his floor is very reliable. He has size, can skate, has offensive upside and can play a reliable two-way game. Howden is the type of quality depth player you build a winning team around.
The Evander Kane Trade:
To San Jose: Evander Kane (LW)
To Buffalo: Dan O'Regan (C); conditional 1st-round pick (2019); conditional 4th-round pick (2020)
Buffalo fans may be underwhelmed by the return for such a high profile player. But the Sabres did acquire last years AHL Rookie of the Year winner as O’Regan posted 58 points in 63 games for the Barracuda. The undersized winger has yet to translate his offensive production at the NHL after 22 career games, but Buffalo is hoping that reuniting him with his former Boston U. line mate Jack Eichel can help bridge the gap. O’Regan should have a better opportunity to carve out a role in the NHL with Buffalo as they are not as deep as the Sharks. This is a boost for his value.
Paul Stastny Trade:
To Winnipeg: Paul Stastny (C)
To St. Louis: Erik Foley (LW); 1st-round pick (2018); conditional 4th-round pick (2020)
Not many people saw the Stastny trade coming, but he is an expiring contract player set to become an Unrestricted Free Agent this coming July and is a potential rental. The Blues do well to get a first round pick and an underrated prospect. Foley is relatively unknown, but he is a quality prospect that really impressed me with his performance with USA winning Gold at the 2017 World Junior despite not producing much point wise. Foley is producing around a point per game offensively I the NCAA the past two years but he is a high energy player. His compete level is what will get him to the NHL, he is a good skater, plays an aggressive game, is effective defensively and has some offensive upside as well. The Blues have no shortage of quality prospects so his path to the NHL doesn’t get any easier with the Blues.
To Nashville: Ryan Hartman (W); 5th-round pick (2018)
To Chicago: Victor Ejdsell (C); 1st-round pick (2018); 4th-round pick (2018)
A prospect for prospect and a pick trade saw Hartman going from Chicago to Nashville. Hartman is an established NHL player and arguably not a prospect any more but he still has some upside and potential to reach. Chicago lands a big forward (6-5, 214) with offensive upside. Ejdsell has 17 goals and 30 points in 44 games I the SHL this year. Look for Ejdsell to make the move to North America next year, likely playing in the AHL with Rockford to start.
Leipsic – Holm
To Vancouver: Brendan Leipsic (LW)
To Vegas: Philip Holm (D)
Leipsic made the NHL with Vegas coming in the expansion draft from Toronto where he was buried in the AHL. He is undersized but a very good playmaking forward with good offensive vision. He was a prolific scorer in the WHL and was somewhat of a pest as well. If he can rediscover that agitating element of his game it could really elevate both his NHL and fantasy value. Vegas adds another defenseman in Holm, who has played the season in the AHL for Utica in his first year in North America. Holm was signed as a free agent to a one year contract and will be a restricted free agent at seasons end.
February 25th and previously
To Columbus: Mark Letestu (C)
To Edmonton: Pontus Aberg (RW)
To Nashville: 4th-round pick (2018)
The Edmonton Oilers get younger and faster with the addition of Pontus Aberg. A prolific scorer at the AHL level, look for the Oilers to give him a look on the wing with Connor McDavid as he has the speed to keep up with McDavid.
To Toronto: Tomas Plekanec (C); Kyle Baun (RW)
To Montreal: Rinat Valiev (D); Kerby Rychel (LW); 2nd-round pick (2018)
The Leafs add a rental to bolster their Cup run with a third or fourth line center. The cost to Toronto was marginal, Rychel and Valiev are two prospects trending down in the organization, and were likely not going to be with the team next year on way or another as both are on expiring contracts. The loss of a second round pick is the only real asset Toronto will miss. Montreal adds Valiev, who goes from to Laval in the AHL and should see an increased role for the balance of the season. Valiev is a big defenseman with a heavy shot that still has some upside. I don’t see Rychel making the NHL at this point in his career, his skating is slow and his compete level is wanting as well.
To Boston: Rick Nash (LW)
To NY Rangers: Ryan Spooner (C); Matt Beleskey (LW); Ryan Lindgren (D); 1st-round pick (2018); 7th-round pick (2019)
The Rangers add more youth in Spooner, no longer a prospect but he has some untapped upside in my opinion. He is a good skater with silky smooth mitts and playmaking vision. Ryan Lindgren gives the Rangers a solid defensive defense prospect, he was a returning player for the USA World Junior roster and is an Alternate Captain for the Golden Gophers. His fantasy value lacks in comparison to his NHL value.
There are the big prospect names on the move from the deadline. Look for another addition to come over soon from the KHL. The Nashville Predators have been pretty vocal about their intentions to bring Eeli Tolvanen over to the NHL as soon as his KHL season ends. Tolvanen has been tearing up the KHL as an 18-year-old and was very impressive earlier at the World Junior for Finland, and again at the Olympics.
Speaking of the Olympics, Vegas prospect Nikita Gusev was a dominant offensive force for Russia, leading the tournament in scoring with 12 points in six games. He is under contract in Russia and may not be too keen to come to Vegas after his SKA teammate Vadim Shipachoyv had some parting shots for the team after his failed experiment