There were 39 trades in the month of February, most of which came right before the trade deadline. I decided to pick 5 of the most impactful trades of February and broke down who the winners and losers were and why.
TRADE: New York Rangers → ← Tampa Bay Lightning
New York acquired: Ryan McDonagh & T.J. Miller
Tampa Bay acquired: Vladislav Namestnikov, Libor Hajek, Brett Howden, 2018 first-round pick, & 2019 conditional first-round pick
It is hard to decide who won this trade because both teams got what they were looking for. The New York Rangers, who are in last place of the Metropolitan Division are currently trying to rebuild their team. The Rangers started the rebuilding process by acquiring prospects and first-round pick for 2 consecutive years. Having both picks in the first round will hopefully land the Rangers talented rookies that they can develop into players who can compete with the top players in the league. Libor Hajek is one of the prospects that they got from Tampa. This season, Hajek played in the WHL for the Saskatoon Blades and has 25 points in 33 games played. These statistics show a promising player who will hopefully be able to produce the same amount when moved up to the NHL. The same can be said about the other prospect that the Rangers acquire. This other player was Brett Howden who has a total of 58 points in 38 games played. In the 2017-2018 season Howden has been a point-per-game player which is something that the Rangers need.
Just like in previous years, the Tampa Bay Lightning have acquired a Rangers captain, and this year was no exception when they got Ryan McDonagh. McDonagh has 26 points on the season which is significantly less than the previous season but it is no surprise considering where the Rangers are in the standings. Although McDonagh isn’t having the best season pointwise, he brings depth, experience, and strength on defense that the Lightning need for their playoff run. Another experienced player that the Lightning got was T.J. Miller. Miller has 40 points on the season which is important for Tampa since he is producing consistently. Overall, this trade was even since each team got what they needed for their future.
TRADE: Buffalo Sabres → ← San Jose Sharks
Buffalo acquired: Dan O’Regan, 2019 conditional first-round pick & 2019 fourth-round pick
San Jose acquired: Evander Kane
Winner: San Jose Sharks
This one was a no brainer. In this trade, the Buffalo Sabres got prospect Dan O’Regan and two 2019 picks. O’Regan is a 24 year old AHL player who has spent the last couple of seasons in the minor leagues but occasionally moving up to the NHL. Although O’Regan has been a successful player in the minors, both times he was moved up to the NHL he has been unable to produce. In addition, the Sabres got a 2019 first-round pick to help them rebuild yet they have been rebuilding for the last couple of years and first round picks have not helped them so far, so there is no telling if this will help them.
The San Jose Sharks only got Evander Kane from this trade but he will be an impact player for them. Although he is only 26 years old, Kane is an experienced player who is still consistent every season when it comes to scoring. This season he has 43 points, 20 goals and 23 assists. Kane will bring scoring and speed to the Sharks who are currently in a playoff spot. Overall, Kane might be older than O’Regan, he is only 2 years older and is producing more which proves this trade was a win for San Jose.
TRADE: Edmonton Oilers → ← New Jersey Devils
Edmonton acquired: Joey Dudek & 2019 third-round pick
New Jersey acquired: Patrick Maroon
Winner: New Jersey Devils
It seems like the New Jersey Devils have stolen another player from the Edmonton Oilers for almost nothing. The Devils added Patrick Maroon to his roster, who adds depth to New Jersey which is a team that is hoping to make playoffs this season. Maroon brings his good puck protection skills and size along with playoff experience.
The Edmonton Oilers got young prospect Joey Dudek and a third round pick. A third round pick and a rookie low for Maroon’s value. The Oilers should have negotiated for more than what they got since they are a team that has struggled the last couple of seasons besides the last one. Yet, this year they are towards the bottom of the league once again and they need to get an even amount of what they give up.
TRADE: New York Rangers → ← Boston Bruins
New York acquired: Ryan Spooner, Matt Beleskey, Ryan Lindgren, 2018 first-round pick & 2018 seventh-round pick
Boston acquired: Rick Nash
Winner: New York Rangers
Similarly to the Devils – Oilers trade, Rangers ran away with this one. The New York Rangers got 3 players and 2 trades. Ryan Spooner will be a good addition in New York because he is producing this season and has 30 points. The team also got prospect Ryan Lindgren, who is currently playing at the University of Minnesota on defense. As a young player, he is not a very offensive player but he plays his main role well, which is playing defense. Hopefully once he has more experience, he can develop into an NHL player. In addition to getting players, the Rangers got another first round pick to help with their rebuilding process.
The Boston Bruins acquired veteran Rick Nash. Nash has only 29 points on the season in 62 games and has not been producing as his team needed him too. The Boston Bruins were looking for someone who can score come playoff time but Nash has not been having the best season. Even if he can’t put up points, he will still be able to bring his playoff experience which is something the Bruins need. Overall, Boston gave up too much for Rick Nash who is an aging player and is not doing anything productive.
TRADE: New York Rangers → ← New Jersey Devils
New York acquired: Yegor Rykov & 2018 second-round pick
New Jersey acquired: Michael Grabner
Winner: New Jersey Devils
New Jersey won this trade because they got exactly what they were looking for without having to give up too much. Rangers traded away Michael Grabner who is one of the faster players in the NHL and he knows how to score. The New Jersey Devils are currently sitting in a wild card spot, which means that they need consistency to stay where they are or move up in the standings. After trading away Henrique, Michael Grabner can help bring consistency back to New Jersey.
The New York Rangers got a rookie and a second-round pick out of this tarde. The rookie, Yegor Rykov is currently playing in the KHL for SKA St. Petersburg. Rykov is a well rounded player, he is fairly large in size but uses it well, he is good at moving the puck and has good defensive instincts. Although this might seem like a great fit for the Rangers but sadly it might not work out for them. Rykov said that he would rather stay in the KHL rather than play in the NHL, so it doesn’t do the Rangers any good if they have a solid player who doesn’t want to play in the league.