The NHL Trade Deadline is Friday afternoon, and boy, did we have it kick into full gear on Wednesday.  While the biggest name on the block wasn’t moved (Guentzel), most of the other big names already moved.  We also had a massive one for one hockey trade that makes a ton of sense for both sides.  I’m going to look at all of the recent moves and talk about the impacts for both teams, from both the short term and long term.  Let’s get to it!

Vegas acquires Anthony Mantha from the Washington Capitals for second and fourth round picks.  Mantha has quietly bounced back in a big way this season, scoring 20 goals while being very good defensively.  Offensively, my skepticism is in the ridiculously high shooting percentage paired with a poor shot rate.  This move should help Vegas in real life, but in terms of fantasy value, Mantha should settle as a middling streamer.  Washington is getting younger throughout the lineup, but right now, there’s no big winner fantasy wise.  That could shake out differently over the next few days / games.

Florida acquires Vladimir Tarasenko from the Ottawa Senators for a third round pick and a conditional fourth.  Massive win for Florida to get Taranseko so cheaply, driven by the fact that he had a full no-trade clause and Tarasenko has family already living in Florida.  We won’t know until they play a game, but my assumption is that Tarasenko goes onto a line with Tkachuk and Bennett, while also playing on the second power play unit.  How many minutes he gets is also up in the air.  Right now, Tarasenko is in elite streamer territory, but there’s bottom end hold upside.  Not much changes for the Sens.

The Oilers acquire Adam HenriqueSam Carrick, a seventh round pick, and the rights to Ty Taylor from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for a first round pick and a conditional fifth round pick.  The Lightning received a conditional fourth for retaining salary.  Henrique fits in perfectly on the third line for the Oilers as they gear up for a Cup run.  Fantasy wise, his role is worse now than it was in Anaheim, so I see him as more of a middling streamer.  Carrick is a depth piece.  Right now, McTavish, Carlsson, and Zegras are all out for the Ducks, putting Ryan Strome back at center.  Considering Vatrano is probably next and that Terry missed Wednesday’s game, their current lineup is horrific.  I want nothing to do with any of their skaters right now.

Colorado acquires Sean Walker and a fifth round pick from Philadelphia for a first round pick and Ryan Johansen.  Colorado also acquires Casey Mittelstadt from Buffalo in exchange for Bowen Byram.  I’m pairing both Colorado moves together because it’s hard to talk about either move without the other, especially because the Mittelstadt trade happened within 20 minutes of the Walker move.  I applaud the creativity of Briere here, willing to eat Johansen’s contract in order to get a first round pick for a rental.  Nicely done.  Walker’s style of play fits in perfectly with the Avalanche.  He should go right onto the second pair, but won’t be getting any power play time.  He’ll probably stumble into more points in Colorado, but Walker remains a deep league only guy.  Johansen isn’t worth considering.  He already was waived and if you can’t succeed in Colorado, you aren’t in Philly.

It’s a rarity that you see a real one for one hockey trade at the deadline, especially two established, young players.  As a Sabres fan first and Avs fan second who watches both of these teams extensively, this trade makes so much sense.  For Colorado, this is simple.  Their second line has lacked a real 2C since Kadri left, and Mittelstadt fits the bill.  I don’t like his fit with Drouin, but he fits extremely well with any of Nichushkin, Lehkonen, Rantanen, or even Landeskog if he returns.  His playmaking will easily translate and the minutes will stay high as Bednar rolls his top six.  The real question here is will he get on the first power play unit?  My assumption is no, especially once Nichushkin gets back in the lineup.  The outside three spots are covered, and I don’t love Mittelstadt in the bumper or down low over Big Val and/or Lehkonen.  Mittelstadt is an elite streamer, and a borderline hold if your league doesn’t have SOG as a category.  I think the biggest boost will be to his linemates.  Samuel Girard gets a small boost here as he clearly has a PP2 spot locked in now and should form a dynamic pairing with Manson.

The Sabres are committed to Tage and Cozens down the middle.  They also have a few top end prospects that could eventually be centers in the NHL.  Peyton Krebs has played well since moving away from the fourth line plugs.  This lets Krebs get an audition to end the season before the Sabres need to decide if they need to acquire a stop gap 3C.  Is it going to hurt them that they lost Casey?  Of course, he’s their leading scorer.  But he’s a pending RFA, and it didn’t seem like they were prepared to commit 6m+ to him down the line.  This was their best chance to get a potential star back.  You can say that they already have Dahlin and Power, but they have zero defensemen prospects that are noteworthy and close to making an NHL impact.  That left a gaping hole in Buffalo’s top four that Byram slides right into. He’s dealt with injuries the last couple of seasons, but let’s not forget that when Colorado won the Cup, Byram played the most minutes in the finals.  Not Makar, not Toews, Byram.  He has clear first pairing upside, and if he can get back to his game, Byram-Dahlin could be one of the best pairings in the league.  Byram’s role is certainly going to be bigger in Buffalo.  Will he get a chance on PP2?  I would expect it, and we should find out Thursday night.  Like in Colorado, Byram will be blocked from PP1 long term, but there’s no doubt he could turn into a top 20 defensemen for years.  For the rest of this season, I expect the Sabres to give him all that he can handle.  He’s a decent spec add if you need the help while I think this helps his value in dynasties.

The Rangers acquire Alex Wennberg from Seattle for a second round pick, along with a conditional fourth.  Wennberg slides right into the 3C spot vacated by Chytil due to injury.  Wennberg’s shot rate, along with the Rangers leaning heavily on PP1, leaves Wennberg as a bottom end to middling streamer.  This is another move that helps more in real life than fantasy.  I don’t see anything changing for Seattle, especially before we see who else they move by the deadline.

Vegas acquires Noah Hanifin from the Calgary Flames in exchange for Daniil Miromanov, a first round pick and a conditional third round pick.  The Flyers received a fifth round pick for retaining salary.  The LTIR merchants strike again, getting the best defenseman available at the deadline.  For fantasy purposes, I don’t see much change in Hanifin’s value.  Perhaps it’s a slight uptick simply being on a better team, but he should end up on PP2 (if not, then it’s a net loss) and get the same even strength workload.  He was a clear hold already, so let’s hope for the best.  For Calgary, they already extended Miromanov, who has been stuck between the AHL and NHL.  At 26, I’m not convinced more is here, but with all of their trades already made, he’ll get a chance to show everyone.  Their blue line has been thinned out greatly, so expect Andersson and Weegar to be leaned on even more.  The potential winner here, as noted by yours truly over the last couple weeks, is Oliver Kylington.  He’s on the second pair right now by default, and he has received PP time in his last full season.  Granted, he hasn’t played PP yet this season, but maybe he gets a chance?  He’s gone cold after a solid start, so I’m not rushing to add him or anything, but it’s worth monitoring.

That’s all for now guys.  I’ll either have a live post on Friday for any more trades that take place, or I’ll have some daily notes if I’m unable to be free Friday afternoon, in which case I’ll cover all of the other trades for Monday.  If you need streaming help, be sure to check out JKJ’s and Jules’ post from Wednesday and Monday respectively to cover all of your streaming needs.  Feel free to share any thoughts below.  Thanks for reading, take care!