The NHL trade deadline has passed and grades are being handed out. Who fared well and who missed the mark in 2022?
The NHL trade deadline is officially in the rearview mirror and grades are being handed out.
Buyers looking for the final pieces that could improve their chances to win the Stanley Cup and sellers looking to accumulate as many assets as possible for players with expiring contracts made 33 trades involving 54 players leading up to the March 21st trade deadline.
Here is a look at the trade deadline deals and an evaluation of how both sides fared.
Winnipeg trades defenseman Nathan Beaulieu to Pittsburgh for a conditional 2022 seventh-round pick.
Jets Grade – B+
Penguins Grade – B+
This deal was essentially a salary dump of a depth defenseman by Winnipeg and the conditions on the pick (Jets receive a seventh-round pick if the Penguins go to the Cup Final and Beaulieu plays in at least 50% of the games) means that acquired for nothing.
Minnesota trades forward Jack McBain to Arizona for a 2022 second-round pick.
Wild Grade – A-
Coyotes Grade – A+
Minnesota was likely to lose McBain (who played for Canada in the Olympics) to free agency in August after completing his four years at Boston College and got a draft pick for his rights. Arizona moved one of their five second-rounders and quickly got the big forward signed to a two-year entry-level contract.
Seattle trades forward Marcus Johansson to Washington for forward Daniel Sprong, a 2022 fourth-round pick, and a 2023 sixth-round pick.
Arizona trades winger Johan Larsson to Washington for a 2023 third-round pick.
Capitals Grade – B+
Kraken Grade – A
Coyotes Grade – B+
Washington adds the former Cap Johansson and Larsson for forward depth, Seattle gets a younger forward in Sprong and a couple additional picks to retain salary, and the Coyotes add another to their bevy of draft picks.
Winnipeg trades centers Bryan Little and Nathan Smith to Arizona for a 2022 fourth-round pick.
Coyotes Grade – A
Jets Grade – B+
Winnipeg gives up an unsigned college prospect in Smith (who played for Team USA in Beijing) to clear the last two seasons of Little’s contract. Arizona kills two birds with one stone in this deal, adding a young forward and an LTIR contract that can help get the Coyotes to the cap floor next season.
Minnesota trades a conditional 2022 second-round pick to Chicago for goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.
Hawks Grade – B
Wild Grade – A
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The Hawks were at a disadvantage with Fleury’s $7 million cap hit limiting teams in the market for a goalie but did get a draft pick that could become a first-round pick if the Wild reach the Western Conference Final. Minnesota was able to upgrade between the pipes and increase their postseason prospects by adding the Vezina Trophy winner.
Philadelphia trades defenseman Justin Braun to New York for a 2023 third-round pick.
Flyers Grade – B+
Rangers Grade – A-
Chris Drury filled one of his holes by adding the experienced Braun to play on the Rangers bottom pairing, while Philadelphia gets the going rate for a rental blueliner.
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Ottawa trades defenseman Joshua Brown and a conditional 2022 seventh-round pick to Boston for a 2022 fifth-round pick and forward Zach Senyshyn.
Sens Grade – B+
Bruins Grade – B+
Brown is a physical right-handed depth defenseman that fits the Bruins mold perfectly. Ottawa gets a former first-rounder in Senyshyn in need of more opportunity and a change of scenery.
Montreal trades forward Artturi Lehkonen to Colorado for defenseman Justin Barron and a 2024 second-round pick.
Canadiens Grade – A
Avs Grade – B+
Colorado is loading up for a potential Cup run and added an experienced forward in Lehkonen and got Montreal to retain 50% of his $2.3 million salary, but that came at a hefty price, giving up a former first-rounder in Barron and a draft pick.
— Full Press Hockey (@FullPressNHL) March 21, 2022
Detroit trades defensemen Nick Leddy and Luke Witkowski to St. Louis for forward Oskar Sundqvist, defenseman Jake Walman and a 2023 second-round pick.
Wings Grade – A
Blues Grade – A-
St. Louis fell short in their pursuit of Ben Chiarot but found an excellent Plan B rental option in Leddy. In exchange for retained half of his salary, the Wings get a draft pick, Sundqvist (part of the Blues Cup-winning squad in 2019), and Walman, who only played sporadically over three seasons.
Arizona trades forward Riley Nash to Tampa Bay for future considerations.
Lightning Grade – B
Coyotes Grade – Incomplete
Future considerations is like saying your hometown is “Parts Unknown”. Nash was claimed by Arizona when Tampa Bay placed him on waivers in January and now they get him back for the stretch drive for an “unknown” cost.
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