The National Hockey League has seen more than 30 trades in July before and after the 2022 Draft and the beginning of free agency. Thus began the wild and crazy NHL Offseason. Some were made related to a club’s constraints against the salary cap, while others were consummated to open up the room to add other players to enable a team to go in a different direction.
With the exception of deals that involved just draft picks, here is a review of the trades and who at first glance came out on top. Time to dive into the NHL Offseason Trade Grades Part 1.
NHL Offseason Trade Grades
Nashville Predators acquire D Ryan McDonagh from the Tampa Bay Lightning for D Philippe Myers and F Grant Mismash
Advantage – Preds
The NHL Offseason started off with a bang. After three straight trips to the Stanley Cup Final, Bolts GM Julien Brisebois faced the dilemma of how to lock up a trio of youngsters in Erik Cernak, Anthony Cirelli, and Mikhail Sergachev, and made the tough decision of moving veteran blueliner McDonagh for little in return and not re-signing winger Ondrej Palat.
Colorado Avalanche acquired G Alexandar Georgiev from the New York Rangers for a 2022 3rd round and 5th round pick, and a 2023 3rd round pick.
Advantage – Avs
New York has the luxury of Vezina Trophy winner Igor Shesterkin between the pipes, but could not afford a nearly $3 million qualifying offer for an excellent backup. For three mid-round picks, Colorado GM Joe Sakic adds Georgiev, who will split time with Pavel Francouz and could end up replacing Darcy Kuemper as their primary starter in goal.
Ottawa Senators acquire F Alex DeBrincat from the Chicago Blackhawks for a 2022 1st round pick, 2022 2nd round pick, and a 2024 3rd round pick.
Advantage – Sens
There was no turning back from the Hawks great teardown after this trade. While Chicago got a top-10 pick(Kevin Korchinski) for a player two years away from unrestricted free agency, Ottawa gets a 24-year-old sniper in DeBrincat, who scored 41 times last season.
New York Islanders acquire D Alexander Romanov and a 2022 4th round pick from the Montreal Canadiens for a 2022 1st round pick, Canadiens swap 2022 1st and 2022 3rd round pick to the Chicago Blackhawks for F Kirby Dach
Advantage – Draw
The Habs are undergoing a renovation under GM Kent Hughes and Team President Jeff Gorton and the move of Romanov (looking for a new contract) in a three-way deal for a big 21-year-old center (Dach) in need of a change of scenery would seem to be a lateral move. The Isles were looking to improve the mobility of their defence and adding a 22-year-old blueliner (Romanov) with two years of NHL experience for a mid-first rounder seems to be a risk worth taking, while the Habs flipping the pick for Dach strengthens them up the middle after passing on Shane Wright in favour of top overall pick Juraj Slafkovsky.
Chicago Blackhawks acquire G Petr Mrázek and a 2022 1st round pick from the Toronto Maple Leafs for a 2022 2nd round pick.
Advantage – Leafs
This trade represents Toronto GM Kyle Dubas cleaning up the mess of signing oft-injured goalie Mrazek one year into a three-year, $11.4 million contract. The Hawks needed a body between the pipes in a year where they are tanking for a top pick in the 2023 Draft, and the Leafs needed to move out Mrazek’s salary. The swap resulted in a move down of 13 slots from the late first to the early second and cleared $3.8 million off the books.
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Arizona Coyotes acquire F Zack Kassian, a 2022 1st round pick, 2024 3rd round pick, and 2025 2nd round pick from the Edmonton Oilers for a 2022 1st round pick.
Advantage – Draw
The Oilers were in desperate need of clearing cap space to add a starting goalie in free agency and re-sign Evander Kane, while the Coyotes add a veteran with a short-term left in Kassian and two additional draft picks by moving down only three slots at the end of the first round.
Detroit Red Wings acquire G Ville Husso from the St. Louis Blues for a 2022 3rd-round pick.
Advantage – Wings
The Blues got a maximum return for the negotiating rights on a pending UFA. With a brisk goalie market before free agency, Wings GM Steve Yzerman paid the price to get Husso before hitting the open market and signing the 27-year-old to a three-year contract.
New Jersey Devils acquire G Vitek Vanecek and a 2022 2nd round pick from the Washington Capitals for a 2022 2nd round pick and a 2022 3rd round pick.
Advantage – Devils
Similar price to what Detroit paid in the Husso deal, New Jersey moves down nine slots in the second round and gets a third to add an experienced goalie in Vanecek (who the Devils signed to a three-year extension) to split time with MacKenzie Blackwood.
Philadelphia Flyers acquire D Anthony Deangelo and a 2022 7th round pick from the Carolina Hurricanes for a 2022 4th round pick, a 2023 3rd round pick, and a 2024 2nd round pick.
Advantage – Canes
Deangelo is a talented player on the ice and a ticking time bomb off the ice. The Flyers needed a puck-moving defenseman to replace the injured Ryan Ellis and Carolina got three draft picks for someone they might not have even wanted to sign.
Nashville Predators acquire F John Leonard and a 2023 3rd round pick from the San Jose Sharks for C Luke Kunin
Advantage – Sharks
San Jose adds depth up the middle in Kunin, who has scored double figures in goals the last three years for Leonard (who split time between the AHL and NHL last season) and a mid-round pick.
Toronto Maple Leafs acquire G Matt Murray, a 2023 3rd round pick, and a 2024 7th round pick from the Ottawa Senators for future considerations.
Advantage – Leafs
The definition of high-risk, high-reward for Dubas, who was not willing to pay Jack Campbell $5 million per season on a long-term deal and instead rolled the dice on the injury-plagued two-time Cup winner. Ottawa to retain 25% of Murray’s $6.25 million salary and two additional draft picks and Ottawa got cap space to use towards signing free agent Claude Giroux.
That does it for this edition of the NHL Offseason Trade Grades. Stay tuned for another edition coming soon.
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