One of the biggest story lines in the NHL right now is the (apparently) imminent trade of Taylor Hall, well before the trade deadline. Whether it’s seconds before the deadline or early to maximize value, the formula hasn’t changed much – every team out of the running wants “a 1st and a prospect” for their top trade bait. We hear that every year, but at the end of the day we tend to see more draft picks moved than prospects. With one of the biggest names possibly coming off the board soon, I thought I’d take look at what caliber of prospects typically get moved, and what that means for team in the Hall sweepstakes:
Option 1 – Trading for a rental
2019 – Adam McQuaid for Julius Bergman, a 4th, and a 7th
2019 – Kevin Hayes for Brendan Lemieux and a 1st
2019 – Matt Duchene and Julius Bergman for Vitaly Abramov, Jonathan Davidsson, and a 1st*
*plus another 1st if Duchene re-signed, but this was unlikely to be the case at the time
2018 – Evander Kane for Danny O’Regan, a 1st and a 3rd (it was complicated)
2018 – Michael Grabner for Yegor Rykov and a 2nd
So despite all the talk about “a pick and a prospect” being the cost for a rental player, only 3 trades of this description actually happened last year. McQuaid, a bottom-pairing defenseman at best, landed Bergman who is now a UFA and was essentially a “D” prospect at the time. He served as a contract going the other way to even the books.
In their package for Kevin Hayes, the Jets gave up Brendan Lemieux, who’s DobberProspects page had rated as a 5.5 upside and 8.5 NHL likelihood. A decent name in the system, but not one that significantly stocks the cupboards.
Finally, in the Duchene deal the Senators picked up two notable prospects in Abramov and Davidsson. Abramov was in the middle of an okay rookie AHL campaign with 22 points in 52 games, and is rated as a 8.5 upside and 6.0 NHL likelihood. A former 100-point QMJHL scorer, he was as high-skilled as prospects come. Davidsson was still playing overseas during the trade, amidst a strong SHL campaign where he put up 21 points in 37 games. He had no pedigree as a former 6th-round-pick, but he raised his profile enough to be a legit piece of the trade puzzle. Columbus refused to give up Emil Bemstrom or Alex Texier (two of their top prospects) in the deal.
In the case of Taylor Hall, he obviously compares best to Matt Duchene out of the five pl