Surprisingly, we’re having the most action ahead of the trade deadline that I can ever remember.  There were a lot of trades over thee last two days that I’ll be sure to cover below, but I have to start off with a four goal game.  Anze Kopitar scored four goals in the 6-5 OT win over the Jets.  I’m shocked that this was actually Kopitar’s second four goal game of his career.  Kopitar has a good chance for 30 goals now for the first time in six years.  Kopitar has played his way into being a hold in all formats as he’s closing in on a point per game.  With the Kings in the thick of a playoff race, he should continue to get 20+ minutes a night.  Kopitar has shown very few signs of slowing down in his age 35 season.  He’s one of the best players of his generation and doesn’t get all of the credit that he deserves.  Let’s take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:

Claude Giroux – Two goals and four assists with five shots over two games.  Ottawa is sneaking their way back into the playoff picture and they can thank their studs, Giroux amongst them.

Thomas Chabot – Goal and three assists with four shots and two PIM over two games.  Chabot has disappointed on the whole this season, but he’s still a clear hold.

Dmitry Orlov – Two goals and three assists with three shots and two PIM over two games.  Well, I guess I should have assumed that Orlov would blow up in Boston in a year where everything goes right for them.  He’s onto PP2 now so he’s a clear hold.

Connor McDavid – Two goals on five shots.  50 goals already.  Fifty.

Anthony Beauvillier – Two goals and an assist.  The Canucks are really letting Beauvillier get the chance to rebuild his value.  He’s an elite streamer while he’s with Pettersson.

Quinn Hughes – Three assists with six shots and two PIM.  The shots never took a significant step forward, but can’t complain when Hughes is over a point per game.

Andrei Kuzmenko – Goal and two assists with two shots.  Apparently Kuzmenko can shoot 25% forever.  He’s firmly on the fringe because the points are amazing, but everything else is poor and it looks fluky.

Jamie Benn – Goal and an assist with four shots.  Benn is a clear hold again which I never saw coming.  He’s thriving in a big way again.

Mikko Rantanen – Two goals on three shots with two PIM.  Rantanen is already up to 40 goals and is carrying the Colorado second line as they get back on track.  Full blown superstar.

Alexandar Georgiev – 31 save shutout in the 3-0 win over the Golden Knights.  Francouz is going to be out for a while longer, so expect Georgiev to play as much as he can handle.

Tyler Johnson – Goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM on Monday.  Johnson should play a ton down the stretch, but not really looking to use him outside of deep leagues.

Max Domi – Two assists with four shots on Monday.  Domi has been tearing it up even with Kane sitting out (and eventually traded).  Best case for fantasy is he isn’t traded.

Mason McTavish – Three assists with four shots.  Really starting to see the signs of McTavish developing.  Solid streamer right now and it’s only going to get better.

Frank Vatrano – Two assists with two shots.  Nice option for shots but that’s about it.

Troy Terry – Goal and an assist with four shots and two PIM.  Three game goal streak for Terry since coming back from injury.  Elite streamer and you can hold if you can stomach the plus-minus.

Max Jones – Goal and an assist.  Jones is playing up in the lineup right now, but I’m not looking to stream him.

Eric Robinson – Hat trick on six shots.  The most random of random hat tricks.  I like Robinson as a fourth liner, but he’s still a fourth liner.

Boone Jenner – Goal and an assist with three shots.  Solid streamer depending what you need.

Nick Blankenburg – Two assists with two shots.  Columbus has nothing else on the blue line right now so Blankenburg could have nice deep league value for the time being.

Jack Quinn – Goal and an assist with four shots.  Elite streamer while he’s on the first line.

Sergei Bobrovsky – 28 saves on 29 shots in the 4-1 win over the Lightning.  It might be terrible, it might be amazing, yay Bob!  He’s going to get all of the games he can handle for the rest of the way.

Eric Staal – Goal and an assist with two shots.  Once Bennett and Barkov come back, Staal has no fantasy value.

Eetu Luostarinen – Goal and an assist with five shots.  Luostarinen has been very good for Florida this season.  His value will also drop a lot upong those returns, but not nearly as much as Staal.  He’s a middling streamer.

Eeli Tolvanen – Three assists with a shot.  Tolvanen has been good since Seattle claimed him on waivers, but he’s still only a middling streamer.

Daniel Sprong – Two assists with two shots.  The minutes are so low that Sprong is only a bottom end streamer despite his excellent production in comparison to his ice time.

Pavel Buchnevich – Goal and an assist, as did Robert Thomas.  The Blues might be terrible now, but these two are still clear holds, along with Kyrou.

Tristan Jarry – 24 saves on 25 shots in the 3-1 win over the Predators.  There’s some talk about Jarry potentially getting moved which would be very interesting.

Josh Morrissey – Two goals and two assists with six shots.  The year of Morrissey continues.  He’s going to have a case to be a Norris finalist at this rate.

Filip Gustavsson – 39 saves on 40 shots in the 2-1 SO win over the Isles, making Ilya Sorokin (30/31) the tough luck loser.  Both guys have been excellent, but I don’t think people realize how good Gustavsson has been.

Karel Vejmelka – 23 saves on 24 shots in the 4-1 win over the Blackhawks.  Vejmelka must have been confused facing only 24 shots.  He’s quite the goalie on a bad team.  If he’s available, I would grab him on the off chance he’s traded at the deadline.

Nick Schmaltz – Goal and an assist with three shots.  Clayton Keller had two assists with three shots and two PIM.  Both have been monsters lately and are clear holds.


New York Rangers acquire forward Patrick Kane and defenseman Cooper Zech from the Chicago Blackhawks in a three-team trade that also included the Arizona Coyotes. The Blackhawks received defenseman Andy Welinski, a conditional 2nd-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft and a 4th-round pick in the 2025 NHL Draft from the Rangers and defenseman Vili Saarijarvi from the Coyotes. The Coyotes acquired a a 3rd-round pick in the 2025 NHL Draft.

The big move finally happened.  Kane will slide onto a line with Trocheck and Panarin on Thursday night (he won’t play Wednesday).  My main question is what do the Rangers do on the power play?  It doesn’t look like there’s a natural spot for Kane on PP1 with Panarin and Zibanejad on the half-walls, but maybe they try Kane in the fifth spot anyways? Obviously this helps his value and Kane could have a big finish, but it’s hard to say how much right now.  Welinski and Saarijarvi have no value.

Minnesota Wild acquire Gustav Nyquist from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for a 5th-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft.

There’s a chance Nyquist makes an impact at the end of the season, but he’s not expected to return any time soon.  For now, it has no impact.

Edmonton Oilers acquire defenseman Mattias Ekholm and a 6th-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft from the Nashville Predators in exchange for defenseman Tyson Barrie, forward Reid Schaefer, a 1st-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft and a 4th-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft.

Well now.  Ekholm is the exact type of defenseman that the Oilers have desperately needed.  The real winner of this trade from a fantasy perspective should be Evan Bouchard, as a spot on the top PP unit has opened up with Barrie’s departure.  I would own him everywhere right now and gamble that it finally clicks.  As for the guys involved, Ekholm goes onto the fringe of 12’ers.  He should stumble into more points on a much better offensive team.  Barrie takes a big hit.  I would hold him for now, but I can definitely see him being a drop if he doesn’t join Josi on PP1.  Schaefer is a former first round pick who should end up in the middle six.  His skating is mediocre, but he has good hands and is very physical.  He should be a fantasy asset down the line.

Toronto Maple Leafs acquire defenseman Luke Schenn from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for a 3rd-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft.

As you’ll see going forward, apparently Toronto wants all of the defensemen.  We know Schenn will get a ton of hits and provide very little else.

New York Islanders acquire forward Pierre Engvall from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for a 3rd-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft.

While I’m not sure I’ll get my wish to see Engvall get big minutes, he should get more opportunity for the Islanders.  Could he even go on the first line with Horvat and Lee?  Time will tell.  I like the player, but I’m not rushing to add him after this move, he’s just worth monitoring.

Washington Capitals acquire defenseman Rasmus Sandin from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for defenseman Erik Gustafsson and a 1st-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft.

I really don’t understand this trade for Toronto.  Sandin is already an excellent defenseman at 22 years old and is signed for cheap for next season.  Gustafsson has been incredible this season, but he has also been very bad for the previous three.  The pick they’re getting is Boston’s first, so essentially they traded Sandin for McCabe and Gustafsson, but also got a worse first round pick.  Not good long term value, and given that they already have 9, yes 9, NHL caliber defensemen, I don’t get it.  Anyways, Sandin should get the opportunity for the big role he deserves in Washington.  I look forward to seeing him get the chance in Washington.  If I was desperate for help, I don’t mind a spec add.  As for Gustafsson, this has to hurt his value.  I refuse to believe that he’ll play on PP1 over Rielly, even though he’s clearly better on the PP than Rielly is (so was Sandin for what it’s worth).  If I’m wrong, then he maintains his value and maybe gets a small boost.  If not, it’s going to be fringy.  I’d hold for now just to see.

Minnesota Wild acquire forward Marcus Johansson from the Washington Capitals in exchange for a 3rd-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft.

Johansson will stay a bottom end streamer like he is at every stop.

San Jose Sharks acquire the rights to unsigned draft choice defenseman Henry Thrun from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for a 3rd-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft.

Thrun wasn’t going to sign with the Ducks out of college, so good for them to get a third back.  He could end up a second pair guy or third pairing guy, but I expect him to stick in the league for a long time.  He’s solid on both ends and tends to make the right pass a lot.  He should sign after Harvard’s season ends.

Carolina Hurricanes acquire forward Jesse Puljujarvi from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for the rights to unsigned draft choice forward Patrik Puistola.

Add another forward who drives play well but can’t finish to Carolina.  I like the gamble on Puljujarvi as a second team guy, but I need to see him perform before seeing him as more than a bottom end streamer.  Puistola is a lottery ticket.

Buffalo Sabres acquire defenseman Riley Stillman from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for forward Josh Bloom.

Stillman has been terrible for most of his career.  Bloom should be a good AHL’er, but I doubt he sticks in the NHL.  Odds are this trade is irrelevant.

Toronto Maple Leafs acquire defenseman Jake McCabe, forward Sam Lafferty, a conditional 5th-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft and a conditional 5th-round pick in the 2025 NHL Draft from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for forward Joey Anderson, forward Pavel Gogolev, a conditional 1st-round pick in the 2025 NHL Draft and a 2nd-round pick in the 2026 NHL Draft

McCabe has been very good on a terrible team this season.  I honestly don’t know how he’ll fit into Toronto because he’s never played on a good team.  He might stumble into more points now, but he’s not going to score much.  Lafferty’s goal total this season is a complete fluke.  I want nothing to do with him.  Anderson will probably play for Chicago given that they don’t care about the rest of the season, but I don’t expect anything from him.  Gogolev is in the ECHL and looks like a lotto ticket.

Three Point Challenge: We will do Tuesday’s games per usual.  You can’t select McDavid, Draisaitl, Kucherov, Thompson, Pastrnak, M. Tkachuk, Karlsson, Pettersson, Hughes, or Marner.  I’ll go with Marchand against the Sabres.

That’s all for now guys.  I will be back on Friday afternoon live blogging the trade deadline.  Here’s to hoping that there are still trades left to be made on Friday, ha!  As always, feel free to ask any questions, make any comments, or give any suggestions below.  Thanks for reading, take care!