NHL Trade Deadline’s fantasy winners and losers

Jeff Marek is joined by Glenn Healy, Ryan Whitney, Doug Maclean and Colby Armstrong to recap the 2018 NHL trade deadline.

This week, in lieu of our regularly scheduled fantasy hockey stock market, we’ll instead break down the most impactful moves from the trade deadline for fantasy owners.

Winners

Paul Stastny – C – Jets – 12 Goals, 28 Assists, 135 Shots, 63 Games
Like much of the Blues lineup, Stastny opened the season on a tear, scoring 19 points in the first 22 games. He has just 21 points in the past 41 games. If nothing else, he gets a fresh start on a team trending in the right direction but there is potential for so much more. His most common linemates in St. Louis were the aging Alex Steen and the non-existent Vladimir Sobotka.

In Winnipeg, he’s staring down Patrik Laine and Nikolaj Ehlers as potential linemates. Even if he’s banished to the third line he’ll have Mathieu Perreault and Jack Roslovic on his wings. Plus, Stastny should be in the mix as a net-front guy on Winnipeg’s second power-play unit featuring Ehlers and Perreault. No wonder he was willing to waive his no-movement clause to head to this division rival. Even without top line or top power-play usage, this is an upgrade in circumstances that should bear fruit for fantasy owners.

Petr Mrazek – G – Flyers – 10 Wins, 10 Losses, 61 Goals Against, 24 Games

Not only did Mrazek escape Detroit, but he landed on a Flyers team desperate for a starter after losing both Brian Elliott and Michal Neuvirth to injury. More importantly, the Flyers are one of the league’s hottest teams winning 25 of their last 37 games. Mrazek is already 2-0 in a Flyer uniform and should get the bulk of the starts the rest of the way. Given his talent and situation, it wouldn’t be surprising if Mrazek were a Top 10 goaltender the rest of the way.

Andrei Vasilevskiy – G – Lightning – 36 Wins, 14 Losses, 117 Goals Against, 51 Games
The Lightning’s defensive play has gone off the rails since the start of January. Call it a confluence of a decline in Vasilevskiy’s otherworldly play, Ondrej Palat’s injury and a lack of depth on the blue line. The result has been reflected in Vasilevskiy’s second half numbers, where he boasts a 2.88 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage. The addition of Ryan McDonagh should help Vasilevskiy climb back to high-end status, if not back to No. 1.

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Alex Killorn – W – Lightning – 11 Goals, 26 Assists, 109 Shots, 62 Games
The departure of Vladislav Namestnikov increases the likelihood of Killorn remaining in Tampa Bay’s top six and continue to provide exposure to Nikita Kucherov. He also has minutes on Tampa Bay’s top power-play unit locked up. It’s been a slow season but Killorn has started to take off with 13 points in 12 games over the last month. He’s on pace for 48 points but stands a good chance of kicking it up into the mid-50s with a continued hot streak.

Evander Kane – LW – Sharks – 20 Goals, 20 Assists, 227 Shots, 61 Games
No one needed a trade more desperately than Kane, whose hot start evaporated when the calendar flipped to 2018. He has scored just five points in the last 22 games and was in particularly deep water after Jack Eichel went down with what might be a season-ending injury. In San Jose, Kane will have talent around him once again. He shouldn’t break into the mix on San Jose’s lethal top power-play unit as he has never been much of a power-play option, but he may get a shot simply to see what he can offer. Even without much power-play time Kane should get back on track for a 50-point season. He’ll also stop being a plus/minus sinkhole, which will help his multi-category value.

Rick Nash – W – Bruins – 18 Goals, 10 Assists, 204 Shots, 61 Games
This season has been much like the past three far Nash, just without any injuries. He has produced at a solid second-line rate of 1.79 points/60 at 5-on-5, while chipping in minimally on the power play. He’ll be expected to produce similarly in Boston, but with much more favourable surroundings. Nash goes from a hodgepodge of middling linemates in New York to the second line in Boston with David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk, who have been scoring at a top-line rate. This should help Nash’s 5-on-5 production.

What’s more, in Nash’s Bruins debut he skated on the top power-play unit alongside Brad Marchand and the rest of the big guns. If that holds up, Nash could see a spike in power-play production as well. Don’t count on it. Not since his Columbus days has Nash been a major power-play threat. He could be rejuvenated in Boston, but it’s simply not to be relied upon.

Danton Heinen – F – Bruins – 12 Goals, 27 Assists, 100 Shots, 55 Games
Remember Heinen’s hot mid-season run where he scored 19 points in 17 games over the course of a month and a half? It feels like forever ago. The rookie forward has scored just eight points in the 18 games since. The good news is that with Ryan Spooner shipped to New York, Heinen can get back into the mix on Boston’s top power-play unit, where he thrived earlier in the season. Nash did get those minutes in his Bruins debut, but Heinen is a better fit. It’s probably too late for Heinen to crank up his pace to score 60 points, but thanks to this trade he’s back in the mix for 55.

J.T. Miller – F – Lightning – 13 Goals, 27 Assists, 98 Shots, 63 Games
It is almost irrelevant where Miller lines up. Escaping New York and landing on the loaded Lightning helps Miller’s fantasy potential immensely. It is even possible that he takes over Namestnikov’s spot as the net-front presence on their lethal top power-play unit. If that happens you have the green light to execute slot machine eyes.

Chris Stewart – RW – Flames – 9 Goals, 4 Assists, 59 Shots, 47 Games
It’s been years since Stewart had ubiquitous fantasy value, but he could sneak into the mix in deeper leagues after being claimed by Calgary off waivers. He goes from skating 10 minutes per game on Minnesota’s fourth line to being an injury away from top-line minutes alongside Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan. Stewart isn’t likely to make a huge difference, but he could go on a run with the right injury. It just so happens that top line right-wing Micheal Ferland is day-to-day with an undisclosed injury.

Tomas Tatar – W – Golden Knights – 16 Goals, 12 Assists, 140 Shots, 62 Games
Tatar sits low on the winner’s list because it’s tough to see him having a large role in Vegas. In Detroit, he skated 16 minutes a night most frequently flanking Dylan Larkin while also seeing consistent top power-play usage. Half of Tatar’s goals this season came from the man advantage.

There is no logical option for him to bump off a power-play unit in Vegas that boasts the league’s fifth-most efficient clip. He appears bound for Vegas’s third line with Cody Eakin and Alex Tuch, which doesn’t inspire much confidence. But if we’ve learned anything from Vegas this season it’s to question our expectations. Over half this roster is headed for career-highs. Considering Tatar is on pace for less than 40 points, it wouldn’t take much to improve his scoring rate, even if it comes in a smaller role on a better team.

Losers

Derick Brassard – C – Penguins – 18 Goals, 20 Assists, 164 Shots, 58 Games
Leaving a bottom-feeder to join the two-time defending Cup champions should be a great thing, but Brassard is leaving an excellent opportunity in terms of fantasy performance. Brassard was skating over 18 minutes per game in Ottawa with plenty of power-play time, but most importantly was attached to Mark Stone for most of his shifts.

In Pittsburgh, he’ll be reduced closer to 14 minutes per game, with only secondary power-play time, and instead Phil Kessel and Jake Guentzel as wingers. As great as Kessel is, most of his production has come on special teams. Stone’s best work was done at 5-on-5 where he is behind only Nathan MacKinnon, Marchand, Mathew Barzal, Kucherov and Connor McDavid in terms of per-minute scoring. If you take nothing else away from this piece, remember that Stone has emerged as an ELITE offensive player. Being plucked away from him is a bad thing for Brassard, even if his ultimate destination isn’t too bad itself.

Patrick Maroon – LW – Devils – 14 Goals, 16 Assists, 121 Shots, 57 Games
Maroon spent over three quarters of his shifts on McDavid’s wing. He now goes to a team without McDavid. Taylor Hall is a star in his own right but plays the same position, so there is likely to be little overlap between the two. Maroon will still have merit in multi-category leagues, but he appears to be headed towards depth player status once again.

Vladislav Namestnikov – C/LW – Rangers – 20 Goals, 24 Assists, 127 Shots, 62 Games
Namestnikov was one of this season’s hottest waiver wire grabs clicking out the gate with Kucherov and Steven Stamkos. He has slowly fallen out of the mix with those two, falling to the third line. He scored just 11 points in the last 24 games. Now he heads to a Rangers team without any talent resembling Stamkos or Kucherov. He also won’t immediately be a top-line option as the Rangers still boast Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad and Pavel Buchnevich up front. He’s a middle-six guy on a bad team.

Henrik Lundqvist – G – Rangers – 23 Wins, 25 Losses, 138 Goals Against, 52 Games
Lundqvist’s numbers this month have been awful, boasting a 2-8-0 record with a goals-against average of 4.24 and a save percentage of .881. Expect more pain after a trade deadline that saw McDonagh, Nash, Michael Grabner, Miller and Nick Holden sent out of town. The King can still steal a game but guessing which night he’s going to do it is a fool’s errand. He’s best kept on fantasy waiver wires until next season.

Mike Green – D – Red Wings – 6 Goals, 23 Assists, 114 Shots, 56 Games
The veteran puck-mover was not traded to a contender at the deadline, which hurts his fantasy value. He’ll remain Detroit’s No. 1 defenceman, but that is not a particularly strong distinction. After a hot start, Green has produced just 12 points in the last 35 games. That’s waiver wire production. Green is also currently dealing with a neck injury, which the rebuilding Red Wings could use as an excuse to keep him out for an extended period.

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Ryan Spooner – W – Rangers – 9 Goals, 18 Assists, 72 Shots, 40 Games
Despite notching a pair of assists in his Rangers debut, the move to New York should be viewed as a negative for Spooner’s value. He leaves behind second-line duties in Boston alongside Krejci and DeBrusk, with top power-play usage alongside David Pastrnak, Marchand and Patrice Bergeron. That was a peach gig. He’s now getting secondary power-play time on a team whose power play stinks, and is flanking Kevin Hayes and Jesper Fast at even strength.

Timo Meier – W – Sharks – 15 Goals, 10 Assists, 154 Shots, 62 Games
The sophomore winger never encountered a shot he didn’t want to take. Unfortunately, neither has Kane. It will be interesting to see these two battle over who can take more shots from outside the circles over the next 20 games. My money is on Kane. The veteran is simply a bigger fish. While Meier has flashed chemistry with Joe Pavelski over the past few weeks, it hasn’t been enough to lead him to fantasy relevance in all leagues. It seems likely he is headed for a smaller role down the stretch.

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Ryan McDonagh – D – Lightning – 2 Goals, 24 Assists, 77 Shots, 49 Games
It would probably have been better for McDonagh’s fantasy value to linger as the No. 1 defenceman on a bad Ranger team seeing top-unit power-play time, than head to Tampa Bay, where he may not see any behind Victor Hedman and Mikhail Sergachev. Yes, the opposite argument was made for why it’s bad for Green to stick with the Red Wings, but that’s also a reflection of how poor the options are in Detroit. At least the Rangers still have the makings of a top line.

McDonagh is good enough and the Lightning are loaded enough to keep him relevant even with minimal power-play usage. There’s also a chance Sergachev finds himself in the press box again, which would vault McDonagh up a fair amount. But as it stands, McDonagh takes a slight hit.

Thomas Vanek – W – Blue Jackets – 17 Goals, 24 Assists, 121 Shots, 61 Games
Vanek’s 41 points officially make him Columbus’s second-leading scorer behind Artemi Panarin. This is not a great situation he finds himself in. While Vancouver was not a good team, it did manage to insulate Vanek as an offensive zone specialist, teaming him up with the Sedin twins. The Blue Jackets do have some history of such trickery, getting a 50-point season out of Sam Gagner in a similar role. They may be able to pull it off again, and Vanek may help their moribund power play, but it still appears to be a step backwards.

Ryan Hartman – F – Blackhawks – 8 Goals, 17 Assists, 96 Shots, 57 Games
After a hot start, Hartman really hasn’t been all that valuable for fantasy owners, but his fantasy value may suffer further moving to the divisional rival Predators because of where he’ll sit on the depth chart. In Chicago, Hartman’s most frequent linemates were Patrick Kane and Nick Schmaltz, the Blackhawks two leading scorers. In Nashville, Hartman is unlikely catch a sniff of linemates that talented.

Tomas Plekanec – C – Maple Leafs – 6 Goals, 18 Assists, 125 Shots, 60 Games
Plekanec will go from skating 16+ minutes per game in Montreal alongside Brendan Gallagher on the Canadiens’ second line, to skating 12 minutes per game in Toronto on the fourth line. He already wasn’t very valuable for fantasy owners, but this trade cements his lack of value.

Steve Laidlaw is the Managing Editor of DobberHockey. Follow him on Twitter @SteveLaidlaw.

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