NHL Power Rankings: Every team's best trade since last season

Winnipeg Jets forward Pierre-Luc Dubois drives in and scores his second of the night on Braden Holtby in overtime to give the Jets the 3-2 win.

No, there aren't any trades yet -- but it's trade season dagnabbit so I'm leaning into it in this week's Power Rankings.

We're still sorting through who's buying and who's selling and much of what happens on the ice in the next week and a half will determine that. Whether it's a quiet deadline or not, there are always active teams so we can expect some action.


These Power Rankings focus on the best trade each team has made since last season. We're defining this time period as between the drop of the puck on the 2019-20 season right up until today.

Teams are ranked by how they're currently doing on the ice, with some weight given to recent play (which is why we have a new team at the top finally).

Crossing our fingers that we get a deal larger than any of these between now and April 12.

1. Colorado Avalanche
2021 and 2022 second-round draft picks to NY Islanders for Devon Toews

Unless the Isles hit big with either of those picks, this should go down as a massive win for the Avs. Already Toews has become the team leader in even-strength ice time per game, he's used a lot on the PK as well, and he's tied for 17th in even strength scoring among all NHL defencemen. It's hard to say he's the No. 1 defenceman on a blue line shared with Cale Makar (and even Sam Girard this season), but that's how loaded the Avs are. All for a $4.1-million cap hit another three years. Value everywhere.

2. Tampa Bay Lightning
Nolan Foote, 2020 first-rounder to New Jersey for Blake Coleman

Not caring much for the futures the Lightning sent away because they were, and are, all-in on chasing the Stanley Cup. Coleman adds great scoring depth to the third line when everyone's healthy and after a nice showing in the bubble, he's followed it up with seven goals and 17 points in 35 games. What's really important for Tampa, too, is that he's a value at $1.8 million through this season.

3. Vegas Golden Knights
Toronto gets a fifth-rounder, Chicago gets Malcolm Subban, Slava Demin, second-rounder, Vegas gets Robin Lehner and Martins Dzierkals

Look at all those names. The bottom line is Vegas came out of it with Lehner, who was in the midst of a great season behind a defensively porous Chicago team that nobody apparently wanted to believe in. Lehner was in the last season of his deal and re-upped with Vegas in the off-season for $5 million and five years, giving them a heck of a 1-2 punch with Marc-Andre Fleury. And when Fleury's deal expires, Lehner will still be there under contract.

4. Washington Capitals
2020 second-rounder, 2021 third-rounder to San Jose for Brenden Dillon

The Caps did what contenders tend to do at last year's deadline and added some defensive depth, but Dillon isn't just a bottom-of-the-lineup player. He's suitable for a top-four position as a defence-first player and brings the kind of physicality that lends itself better to post-season play. The Caps inked him to a four-year extension at a $3.9-million cap hit in the off-season.

5. Carolina Hurricanes
Erik Haula, Lucas Wallmark, Chase Priskie, Eetu Luostarinen to Florida for Vincent Trocheck

Luostarinen, 22, is the only one moved who is playing NHL games for the Panthers this season, averaging 14:05 a game. But Trocheck is having a monster of a comeback season. He had been a rising possession monster as Florida's 2C, but injuries slowed him a bit. This year he's been a point-per-game player and, after missing a couple weeks in March to injury, returned to record an assist on Tuesday. He has Carolina's second-best shots-for percentage at 5-on-5 and starts less than half his shifts in the offensive zone. He's signed at $4.75 million through next season, too.

6. Pittsburgh Penguins
Matt Murray to Ottawa for Jonathan Gruden, 2020 second-rounder

The Pens had too many goalies (again) and with Murray and Tristan Jarry both as a summer RFAs they chose to keep the one who posted better numbers in 2019-20 and who they could re-sign for less. Go figure. Seeing Murray run hot and cold in Ottawa has already raised questions about how tenable his new contract is, while Jarry was improving all season before an injury this week. The goalie market isn't strong, so getting a prospect and a second-rounder (Joel Blomqvist) for a relatively expensive one is a nice return.

7. Toronto Maple Leafs
Trevor Moore, 2020 third-rounder to Los Angeles for Jack Campbell and Kyle Clifford

Could think about the Kasperi Kapanen trade from last summer here, but where would the Leafs be without Jack Campbell right now? He's the key to the deal. Clifford brought sandpaper and toughness for a time, but Campbell is someone who could make the Leafs think long and hard about moving ahead without Frederik Andersen beyond this season, and instead consider a tandem replacement. We'll see. Campbell comes cheap at a $1.65-million cap hit through next season and is a well-liked teammate.

8. Florida Panthers
Mike Matheson and Colton Sceviour to Pittsburgh for Patric Hornqvist

Matheson's $4.875-million cap hit through 2025-26 was becoming a potential problem so shipping that out was a positive itself. But Hornqvist has been incredible for the Panthers this season and a key reason why they're near the top of the league. He has 25 points in 33 games and we know his best is always reserved for the playoffs.

9. New York Islanders
First-, and second-round picks to Ottawa for Jean-Gabriel Pageau

Look, I'm personally not a fan of moving a package like that for a third-liner you then re-sign for $5 million and six seasons, but hey, it's worked for Lou Lamoriello and the Islanders. By that measure, this was their best trade. Pageau was a big factor in the bubble last summer and he's their fourth-highest scorer at the moment.

10. Minnesota Wild
Jason Zucker to Pittsburgh for Alex Galchehnyuk, Calen Addison, 2021 first-rounder

Zucker is a fine enough player, but $5.5 million for a goal scorer who should get you between 20 and 25 is a high price. The Wild needed to clear out room for younger players, too, and have carried on just great. This deal was made ahead of last season's deadline, so with hindsight, it looks even better in a flat cap world. Now the Wild have a first-rounder to look forward to this summer and will pick twice on Day 1.

11. Edmonton Oilers
2021 fifth-rounder to Ottawa for Tyler Ennis

Scoring depth was the target for Edmonton last season and while Andreas Athanasiou didn't pan out, Ennis played well enough to earn a one-year follow-up contract. He scored a goal and added an assist in the three-game qualification round series loss and has nine points in 27 games this season. Ken Holland only worked around the edges last season and this was the best pick up.

12. Winnipeg Jets
Carl Dahlstrom, 2022 third-rounder to Vegas for Paul Stastny

In what was a perpetual search for a second-line centre, the Jets had grown accustomed to giving up first-rounders for short-term fixes there. This time they were able to take advantage of Vegas' need to dump salary in the off-season and get Stastny again, this time for minimal cost. Stastny has been productive and versatile in his second go-around with the Jets, who later solved the long-term need at 2C with the Pierre-Luc Dubois trade.

13. Boston Bruins
Danton Heinen to Anaheim for Nick Ritchie

They made two trades last season and both are showing up on our Power Rankings. This is the deal they won, picking up Ritchie who would be on pace for a career season in a full-length schedule and still might put up personal bests even in a shortened one. He comes in at more than $1 million less than Heinen and the Ducks have again been exploring trades for that player, too.

14. Montreal Canadiens
Max Domi, 2020 third-rounder to Columbus for Josh Anderson

It just wasn't working for Domi in Montreal anymore, and Columbus' hope of turning him back into a centre hasn't come to fruition. In the meantime, the Canadiens got the size they needed on the wings and someone to add scoring punch. Anderson started red hot, but has just two goals in his past 17 games. That's how goal-scorers go sometimes. The risk for Montreal came when they signed Anderson to long-term $5.5-million cap hit, but the trade itself was a clear upgrade for a team that sees itself as a Cup contender.

15. Arizona Coyotes
Derek Stepan to Ottawa for 2021 second-rounder

Honestly, there's not a lot to choose from here. This is better than the cost paid to bring in Taylor Hall as a rental. The Coyotes are pick-hungry and were able to get a pretty early second-rounder for a 30-year-old on the decline. Stepan is out for the season now and the Sens likely had designs on flipping him by the deadline, but in the climate we see today it's hard to imagine them being able to recoup a second.

16. Nashville Predators
Austin Watson to Ottawa for 2021 fourth-round pick

Yeah, pretty underwhelming. They did get back a mid-round pick for a player they likely would have lost to free agency anyway. David Poile has been quiet in terms of big trades for a while -- but that could change by April 12.

17. St. Louis Blues
Joel Edmundson, Dominik Bokk, 2021 seventh-rounder to Carolina for Justin Faulk, 2020 fifth-round pick

This was easily St. Louis' most substantial trade in this time period and Faulk has been a good add for the team. Both in the playoffs last season and so far in 2021, no Blues defenceman has a better 5-on-5 shots-for percentage. The offence didn't come for him in the bubble and he's running a bit cold again right now, but he's the team leader in even strength and shorthanded ice time. But there are two ways to look at this. When Faulk was traded for and then signed, the Blues didn't have an abundance of cap space and still had to re-sign Alex Pietrangelo, which of course, didn't happen. Torey Krug was the final nail that ended Pietrangelo's time as a Blue, but the Faulk acquisition was the start of that preparation.

18. New York Rangers
Brady Skjei to Carolina for 2020 first-rounder

Skjei comes with a $5.25-million cap hit, which weighed a bit much so they elected to trade him ahead of a modified clause factoring in. The Rangers are still rebuilding and, with hindsight, the additional cap space will help them navigate the next few seasons. They also have a budding young defence core with Adam Fox and K'Andre Miller, plus Jacob Trouba under contract for a while. With the first-round pick, they chose defenceman Braden Schneider, who's off to a hot start with nine points in eight games in the WHL this season.

19. Dallas Stars
Emil Djuse to Florida for 2020 sixth-rounder

Who? What? The Stars have made exactly two trades since the start of last season and neither were particularly notable. Maybe they can give us something to talk about in 2021 with a John Klingberg or Esa Lindell deal? We can hope.

20. Philadelphia Flyers
Kyle Criscuolo, 2020 fourth-rounder to Anaheim for Derek Grant

It's been a pretty deliberate process after a little over two years with Chuck Fletcher at the helm and as a buyer at last year's deadline, his most notable move was acquiring versatile bottom-sixer Grant. Grant played a fair amount of PK minutes in the bubble and added a couple of assists before departing back for Anaheim as a free agent.

21. Chicago Blackhawks
Brendan Perlini to Detroit for Alec Regula

We could pick another one or two and give the Hawks a nod for any salary cap savings, but this one put another prospect in the system. And that's what it's all about for them now, right? Perlini is playing in Europe this season while Regula, a third-rounder from 2018, is an AHL rookie out of the OHL. Time will tell if the defenceman makes it or not, but he brings more potential and time to achieve it than Perlini.

22. Columbus Blue Jackets
Pierre-Luc Dubois and a 2022 third-rounder to Winnipeg for Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic

It's true that Laine is struggling mightily right now — one goal in his past 18 games and just three assists in that time. But let's not worry too much about that yet. Consider the situation here, where three players who all wanted out of their situations were traded for each other. The Blue Jackets got the extra body in Roslovic (notably a centre), who started hot but has cooled off as well. It's far too early to say anyone "won" this trade, and both sides were forced into it. But at least Columbus could take a tough situation and turn it into the kind of upside Laine brings.

23. Los Angeles Kings
2020 second-round pick to NY Rangers for Lias Andersson

Truthfully, the Kings haven't made many notable trades and this one is still a TBD. But the fact is Los Angeles is rebuilding and turned a second-rounder into a player talented enough to be picked seventh overall in 2017. Andersson was over a point per game in eight AHL games this season, but has only scored twice in 12 NHL games. He's a project at this point, but still just 22 years old. If they can find it, it's a huge win. Either way, it was a shot worth taking.

24. Calgary Flames
Conditional third-rounder to Chicago for Erik Gustafsson

The Flames were pretty quiet on the trade front last season and when they brought in Gustafsson at the deadline, it was one of those depth defencemen moves that are commonly made at that time. He was used heavily in offensive situations, his main strength, and put up three primary assists in 10 playoff games. He was the most frequently-used defenceman on Calgary's post-season power play, which converted on 28.6 per cent of its chances. It was a decent rental return for a mid-round pick.

25. Ottawa Senators
Jean-Gabriel Pageau to NY Islanders for first-, second-, and third-round picks

Using this one for both teams because Ottawa got what they needed here, too. Pageau was in the final season of his contract and signed with the Islanders after the trade, but likely would have walked from Ottawa. Getting that return of picks to a rebuilding team for a third-line expiring contract was a nice get for Pierre Dorion. They maybe would have liked the Islanders' season to end earlier than it did, but Ridly Greig is a high-scoring WHL prospect.

26. New Jersey Devils
Taylor Hall and Blake Speers to Arizona for Nate Schnarr, Nick Merkley, Kevin Bahl, 2020 first-rounder, 2021 third-rounder

Hall was a rental last year, just like he is again this year, but it's hard to see Buffalo coming away with the same return New Jersey got. The first-rounder became Dawson Mercer, a two-time member of Canada's WJC team with 17 goals and 34 points in 21 QMJHL games. Bahl, 20, was the youngest of the prospects and he's in the AHL right now. Merkley, the 30th-overall pick in 2015, came with the highest draft capital and has gotten into 11 NHL games this season.

27. San Jose Sharks
Barclay Goodrow, 2020 third-rounder to Tampa Bay for 2020 first-rounder, Anthony Greco

Not that this was necessarily a "loss" for the Lightning — they had a specific type of player they wanted in Goodrow and weren't too concerned about the draft ahead of a Cup push. But it was a nice get for the Sharks, who turned a 27-year-old who never reached even 10 goals or 25 points with them into a first-round pick. The Sharks took Ozzy Wiesblatt with the pick, the 17th-overall scorer in the WHL last season.

28. Vancouver Canucks
2022 third-rounder to Vegas for Nate Schmidt

Honourable mention to the Tyler Toffoli trade at last year's deadline, but let's not overthink this. The Canucks got a top-four defender signed through 2025 for peanuts because the Golden Knights had to shed substantial salary.

29. Anaheim Ducks
Ondrej Kase to Boston for David Backes, Axel Andersson, 2020 first-rounder

Kase is a heck of an intriguing talent and Boston was hopeful he'd shore up their secondary scoring. But he's had trouble staying healthy and has played just two games this season. The big win for the rebuilding Ducks was getting a first-round pick. They have a track record of picking well in the draft and used Boston's selection to nab Jacob Perreault. With the OHL yet to start, the 18-year-old is playing in the AHL and has four points in 11 games.

30. Detroit Red Wings
Andreas Athanasiou and Ryan Kuffner to Edmonton for 2020 and 2021 second-rounders and Sam Gagner

You can see what the playoff-bound Oilers were hoping would happen: Athanasiou could bring his speed alongside one of their stars and ride shotgun to provide an offensive boost. It didn't really play out that way and he became a free agent after not getting a qualifying offer. The Red Wings probably would have come to the same conclusion, so getting a couple good draft picks was a nice return.

31. Buffalo Sabres
Marcus Johansson to Minnesota for Eric Staal

When you're making a "best of" list and have to include the Buffalo Sabres, you're gonna have a bad time. Staal struggled in Buffalo, but so did everyone. At least they were able to flip him last week to Montreal for third- and fifth-round picks -- not a home run, but at least some lottery tickets they need. The Wild might try and flip Johansson, too, but if not, will likely lose him for nothing as a UFA. This was as good as it got for the Sabres last season.

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