2023 Trade Deadline Recap

Brendan Ferry

2023-03-07

The 2023 trade deadline has come and gone, but not before a slew of deals were made across the NHL. Teams outside the playoff mix added draft picks and prospects, while some engaged as “salary brokers,” collecting a draft pick or two in order to help facilitate trades and allowing acquiring teams to fit their new players under the salary cap. The powerhouse teams, especially those in the Eastern Conference, made some aggressive moves to shore up their lineups, as some huge names were dealt to new clubs, headlined by Patrick Kane, Ryan O’Reilly, Timo Meier and Jakob Chychrun. Additionally, Bo Horvat and Vladimir Tarasenko were dealt in the weeks leading up to the trade deadline. Let’s recap some of the biggest trades that were consummated once the calendar flipped to 2023, in chronological order.

New York Islanders acquire center Bo Horvat from the Vancouver Canucks for Anthony Beauvillier, Aatu Raty, and a top-12 protected 2023 first- round draft pick (the pick slides to an undrafted first- rounder in 2024 if it falls within the top 12 this summer). The Islanders needed to add a goal scorer, to team up with playmaking whiz Mathew Barzal, and they got one in Horvat, having a career year this year with 62 points in 61 games played, including 36 goals. New York quickly rewarded their new acquisition with an eight year, $68 million contract extension.

New York Rangers acquire right wing Vladimir Tarasenko and Defenseman Niko Mikkola from St. Louis for a conditional first- round pick in 2023 (the lower selection of the two first- rounders that were held by the Rangers prior to this trade), a mid- round pick, Sammy Blais, and a prospect defenseman, Hunter Skinner. The Rangers were looking to shore up their top- six and round out their defense, adding a Stanley Cup winner and proven goal scorer in Tarasenko, and a hulking shutdown defenseman in Mikkola. Both players will be UFA this summer.

Toronto Maple Leafs acquire centers Ryan O’Reilly and Noel Acciari from the St. Louis Blues, with the Minnesota Wild receiving a fourth- round pick for agreeing to retain 25% of O’Reilly’s salary for the remainder of the season. The Blues retained 50% on O’Reilly to facilitate the trade, and received a 2023 first, a 2023 third, a 2024 second, Adam Gaudette and Mikhail Abramov.

The Leafs, after disappointing first round playoff exits in recent years, were looking to make a statement this trade deadline, and did so in acquiring cup winner O’Reilly, the Blues’ captain. Acciari is a player that Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas had admittedly been looking to sign this past summer, prior to him signing with the Blues.

Boston Bruins acquire defenseman Dmitry Orlov and right wing Garnet Hathaway from the Washington Capitals for a 2023 first, a 2024 third, a 2025 second, and Craig Smith. Boston added underrated playmaker Orlov, who has fit in very nicely with the Bruins, and a player with snarl in Hathaway. Already the beasts of the Eastern Conference this year, Boston is looking to capture another Cup before the storied career of Captain Patrice Bergeron comes to a close.

New Jersey Devils acquire left wing Timo Meier, four other players, and a mid- round pick in 2025 for a 2023 first- round pick, a conditional 2024 first- round pick (there are a host of conditions on the 2024 pick), three prospects and a roster player, Andreas Johnsson. New Jersey, perhaps a bit ahead of schedule this season, is a formidable team, led by 2019 first- overall pick Jack Hughes. The Devils just got a whole lot tougher with the addition of Meier. The Swiss-born winger will fit in nicely on New Jersey’s roster, led by countryman Captain Nico Hischier. GM Tom Fitzgerald hopes to get Meier signed to a long- term contract extension this summer, when the talented LW will be an RFA.

Tampa Bay Lightning paid a massive price to bring in rugged winger Tanner Jeannot from the Nashville Predators, parting with a 2025 first, a 2024 second, and 2023 third, fourth and fifth- round picks, along with former first-rounder, Cal Foote. General manager Julien Brisebois defended the staggering price tag, explaining, essentially, that he was comfortable moving a bunch of lottery tickets for a proven player that he thought would fit in nicely with his group. With Tampa’s success in consummating trades in recent years, where they were able to identify well-fitting pieces for their bottom six forward group, Tampa’s general manager gets a bit of the benefit of the doubt here.

Toronto strikes again, dealing for defenseman Jake McCabe and sought after bottom six forward Sam Lafferty, and two mid-round picks from the Chicago Blackhawks for a top-ten protected 2025 first-round pick, a 2026 second, and two prospects. Toronto acted aggressively to bolster their lineup further, knowing that their fans cannot stomach another early exit from the postseason this season. Additionally, with so many high priced pieces, headlined by Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, William Nylander, John Tavares and Morgan Rielly, the Leafs know that they won’t be able to keep their core together forever.

Edmonton Oilers acquire Defenseman Mattias Ekholm and a sixth-round pick from Nashville for offensive defenseman Tyson Barrie, left winger Reid Schaefer, a 2023 first and a 2024 fourth. Edmonton, with their high-powered offensive attack, felt that the veteran Ekholm would strengthen their blueline, paying a fairly hefty price to do so. Although Barrie is a great point producer himself, the Oilers are trying to lock things down a little bit better on the defensive end, in front of netminders Jack Campbell and Stuart Skinner.

It’s “showtime” for the New York Rangers, who manage some heavy cap gymnastics to bring in right wing Patrick Kane from the Blackhawks for a conditional 2023 second (pick becomes a 2024 first if New York reaches the conference finals this season), a 2025 fourth, and a prospect. Arizona, in assuming 25% of Kane’s salary for the remainder of the season, picks up a 2025 third for their efforts. Chicago retains 50% of the salary as well.

-The blueshirts were able to capitalize on Kane’s trade protections, and the winger was able to steer a trade to New York. Chicago, wanting to do right by their three-time cup champion franchise legend, worked out the best trade they could, under the circumstances. After adding Tarasenko a few weeks earlier, the Rangers loaded up their top six for what they hope is a long playoff run, and the end to an almost 30 year title drought.

Columbus Blue Jackets acquire goalie Jonathan Quick and his fairly hefty contract, a conditional 2023 first, and a 2024 third from the Los Angeles Kings for Defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov and goalie Joonas Korpisalo. If the Kings miss the playoffs this Spring, the 2023 first downgrades to two second- round picks, in 2023 and 2024. Columbus later flips Quick to the Vegas Golden Knights (for a very meager return). It has been a disaster of a season for Columbus, after winning the Johnny Gaudreau sweepstakes this past summer. The team sold off what it could to help for the future. As for Los Angeles, they are counting on the steady Gavrikov to bring some veteran leadership to their back end.

Detroit Red Wings pluck a conditional first-round pick in 2023, as well as a 2023 second from the Vancouver Canucks for defenseman Filip Hronek and a 2023 fourth. Vancouver, what exactly is the game plan? After shipping out Horvat and allegedly entertaining calls on Brock Boeser and JT Miller, the Canucks move a first-round pick in a good draft year to slap a band-aid on their roster? Granted, Hronek is a good young defenseman, but this one likely left Canucks fans scratching their heads a bit.

Ottawa Senators make a huge splash, acquiring and finally ending the Jakob Chychrun saga. The return to the Arizona Coyotes is a conditional 2023 first, a conditional 2024 second and a 2026 second. Ottawa, with a talented young squad, featuring Brady Tkachuk, Alex DeBrincat, Tim Stutzle, Thomas Chabot and Shane Pinto, acquire a veteran leader for their defense, with term remaining on his contract. What’s more, Chychrun has a very friendly cap figure for the next couple of seasons, as well.

Boston makes another big move, bringing in right wing Tyler Bertuzzi from the Red Wings for a top-ten protected 2024 first-round pick and a 2025 fourth. Detroit also retains 50% of Bertuzzi’s expiring contract. The Bruins add another hard- nosed pest to team up with agitator Brad Marchand, as they are pulling out all the stops to chase a Cup. Red Wings’ general manager Steve Yzerman adds another high pick to his cupboard with a view to the future, after locking up captain Dylan Larkin to a long-term extension in recent days, as well.

Other trades of note during trade deadline season, in chronological order:

New York Rangers acquire left wing Tyler Motte from Ottawa for right wing Julien Gauthier & a 2023 seventh. Winnipeg Jets acquire left wing Nino Niederreiter from Nashville for a 2024 second. Vegas acquires left wing Ivan Barbashev from St. Louis in exchange for former first- ounder Center Zach Dean. Carolina Hurricanes acquire right wing Jesse Puljujarvi from Edmonton for prospect Patrik Puistola. Washington acquires defenseman Rasmus Sandin from Toronto for defender Erik Gustafsson and a 2023 first-round pick. Islanders receive left wing Pierre Engvall from Toronto for a 2024 third. Colorado Avalanche acquire center Lars Eller from Washington for a 2025 second. Pittsburgh Penguins acquire left wing Michael Granlund from the Predators for a 2023 second. Dallas Stars acquire center Max Domi and a prospect from Chicago for a 2025 second, and goalie Anton Khudobin. Buffalo Sabres acquire left wing Jordan Greenway from the Minnesota Wild for two draft picks. Minnesota acquires defenseman John Klingberg from the Anaheim Ducks for two players and a pick.

Now, we wait to see which moves will pay off the most! Thank you for reading.

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