Prospect Ramblings: Winners & Losers from the NHL Trade Deadline

by Brayden Olafson on February 28, 2020

 

This year’s NHL trade deadline seemed particularly more involved than several of the past few years, with one of the biggest reasons being because so many teams still seem to be in playoff contention. Despite a disproportional amount of teams buying, there were still a significant amount of prospects who have found themselves new homes over the past week or so. 

 

With so many variables in play, it’s difficult to know, at a glance, who each of these trades will benefit. Considering the recent deals and the organizations involved which prospects come out as winners, and which ones as losers? Using a brute force method of investigation, today we’re taking a look at some of the teams who’ve made impactful trades in the last week and determining which prospects they help, and which ones they hurt. For each winner and loser, I’ll do my best to quantify the change of value by indicating a +/- score, intended to be applied to their 10-point DobberProspects NHL Certainty score.

 

New York Rangers

 

         Acquired: Julien Gauthier, JF Berube, 7 Years of Chris Kreider

         Lost: Joey Keane, Brady Skjei

The transactions made by Jeff Gorton and John Davison support both the short and long term development plan of the New York Rangers. Predominantly driven by the strength and confidence in their defensive depth, the Rangers were able to pad their forward core as well as make room for growth of their prospects. 

Prospect Winners: The Rangers’ entire defense pipeline, but especially Nils Lundkvist +1.0 and Anthony Deangelo +0.7

The Rangers’ clearly demonstrated that the emergence of Nils Lundkvist on the SHL scene this year has them sold. Their defensive flexibility by way of depth was already considered strong, but by moving Skjei and Keane they show proof of their risk calculated decision making. Lundkvist could be an option for the Rangers this fall. 

Prospect Losers: Maybe Vitali Kravtsov -0.5 (short-term)

Adding Gauthier doesn’t hurt Kravtsov, per se, however, acquiring a decent young player to add to their right-wing depth immediately gives the Rangers an additional layer of security and flexibility when it comes to Vitali’s development. His progress in the AHL has been acceptable since returning from Russia in mid-December, but with Gauthier having more credible NHL experience, Kravtsov will likely be on the outside looking in as the Rangers push for the playoffs. 

Anaheim Ducks 

 

           Acquired: Axel Andersson, David Backes, Kyle Criscuolo, Danton Heinen, Christian Djoos, Matt Irwin, Sonny Milano, Joel Persson

           Lost: Ondrej Kase, Derek Grant, Nick Ritchie, Daniel Sprong, Korbinian Holzer, Devin Shore, Angus Redmond

The plethora of acquisitions, as well as losses, oversaw by Bob Murray in Anaheim are an indication of the changing of the guard in Southern California. A shuffle of predominantly minor pieces, Murray has brought in plenty of fresh blood 

Prospect Winners: Christian Djoos +1.2 & Sonny Milano +0.5 

Since the Ducks have essentially replaced Ondrej Kase with a slightly more durable option in Danton Heinen, it’s difficult to anoint Troy Terry a conclusive winner on deadline day. Truthfully, his trajectory and opportunity haven’t changed as much as his owners would have hoped for. Rather, Christian Djoos and Sonny Milano find themselves a home of renewal and immediate NHL opportunity where they can look to re-create themselves in the NHL.

Prospect Losers: None

 

Carolina Hurricanes

 

          Acquired: Vincent Trochek, Sami Vatanen, Brady Skjei

          Lost: Erik Haula, Lucas Wallmark, Chase Priske, Eetu Luostarien, Fredrik Claesson, Janne Kuokkanen

Don Waddell focused almost exclusively on the short term needs of his team in Raleigh, but coincidentally, has also done well to open the doors for one or more of Carolina’s top prospects. By bringing in immediate defensive support, the Hurricanes have cleared room in other areas, which, in my mind is an excellent strategy. 

 

Prospect Winners: Dominik Bokk +0.6

By sending Janne Kuokkanen and Lucas Wallmark packing, the Hurricanes have placed an enormous amount of confidence in their other prospects, but none more so than right-wing Dominik Bokk. Bokk’s continued development in the SHL paired with his success at the 2020 World Junior Championship has already boosted his stock, but by opening the doors a little further, Waddell has done him another favor. 

Prospect Losers: Jake Bean -0.7, Haydn Fleury -0.5

In acquiring an NHL defenseman with term, an expiring NHL defenseman as well as another quality defense prospect, Don Waddel has introduced a few new layers of competition for his previous top defense prospects. Since Fleury already had his foot in the door a little further than Bean, the impact may not be as great, but for the latter, the acquisition of Brady Skjei, in particular, sets up a wall where there used to be a sliver of opportunity coming. 

Ottawa Senators

 

          Acquired: None

          Lost: Dylan DeMelo, Max Veronneau, Vladislav Namestnikov, JG Pageau, Matthew Peca, Tyler Ennis

Prospect Winners: Drake Batherson +0.7 , Logan Brown +0.7

The departures of Vladislav Namestnikov and JG Pageau make it almost impossible to envision a way that both Batherson and Brown don’t find themselves deployed in more offensively opportune roles for the remaining duration of the NHL season. Long term, both players are an enormous part of the Senators’ anticipated success and the door is now clearly wide open. 

Prospect Losers: none

None of the players that the Senators traded away will have a significant negative impact on the pipelines of their new teams – and since the Sens’ have opted not to bring in any significant player at this time, there is really no harm done. 

Detroit Red Wings

 

          Acquired: Kyle Brodziak, Sam Gagner

          Lost: Mike Green, Andreas Athanasiou, Ryan Kuffner

The generational success of the Detroit Red Wings seems like a distant dream as we watch them fade out of contention for even 30th place. The Steve Yzerman lead trade deadline, while only somewhat active, checked off all immediate concerns that the team had while promoting internally for now.

Prospect Winners: Filip Hronek +1.5

The Red Wings rookie defenseman has earned every bit of opportunity that has come his way this year. Veteran Mike Green has been a bit of a crutch for the Wings to rely on, despite enduring one of the worst seasons in recent franchise history. Hronek will likely take sole possession of Detroit’s top powerplay unit once he returns from LTIR and have even more opportunity to show why he is the team’s best defenseman. 

Prospect Losers: Maybe Jesse Puljujarvi -0.3, but not really.

By acquiring the pending RFA Andreas Athanasiou, the Oilers’ have solidified the leverage that they hold over their former fourth-overall selection. While Puljujarvi continues to showcase himself in the Liiga, Ken Holland appears extremely unmotivated to offer him any kind of concession while he continues to play hard-ball. 

Chicago Blackhawks

Malcolm Subban - photo courtesy: nhl.com

 

          Acquired: Malcolm Subban, Slava Demin, Nathan Noel

          Lost: Robin Lehner, Erik Gustafsson, TJ Brennan 

Stan Bowman once again faced the disappointing task of selling at a second consecutive trade deadline. The Blackhawk’s success isn’t as far removed as Detroits, but it likely stings equally. Only a year removed from his wildly successful rookie campaign, Erik Gustafsson finds himself out the door as a cap casualty, while the same is true for Robin Lehner as his one-year experiment failed to bring the team success.

Prospect Winners: Malcolm Subban +2.0

While Subban is a minor stretch of the term, “prospect”, his status as a career backup goaltender to date makes the transaction valid in terms of elevating his role. With Corey Crawford continuing to give the Blackhawks more questions than answers at the age of 35. His expiring contract likely opens the door to Subban earning his first-ever 1A role with the Blackhawks, something that could be the unofficial beginning of the new Chicago Blackhawks 

Prospect Losers: none

 

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Thanks for checking in on my Ramblings. If you have any comments feel free to track me down on Twitter @olaf1393