I am not going to comment on the prospects taken, as we already have an expert around here for that with Matt Bugg. In this article, I will discuss the trades that took place, and the potential ramifications of those deals.
First off, Mike Cammalleri’s stock shoots up big time. He will find his way onto Jarome Iginla’s line, either at wing or center. He is extremely quick and skilled. Look for him to break 80 points next year as a Flame. He is a more natural fit for Iginla than Langkow, who will probably center a second unit with David Moss and a winger to be named later. Still with Calgary, moving Alex Tanguay makes sense. He wasn’t a good fit under Mike Keenan’s system, but he should flourish in Montreal. Tanguay is a very good complementary winger, but cannot be expected to carry the load. Montreal is very deep up front, so look for Tanguay to get 70-80 points next year. It will be interesting to see where he fits in there.
Much like Cammalleri, RJ Umberger’s stock is on the rise. He will be a top line forward on Columbus, and his versatility will allow him to play either wing or center with Rick Nash. Umberger is a good scorer and passer. He is big, and can skate. No real holes in his game, he just never really got the opportunity he needed to flourish in Philadelphia. He is a 60-65 point forward for next year, at the minimum. He also played his college hockey in Ohio (at Ohio state), so he will be familiar with the Columbus hockey fans.
Olli Jokinen’s stock remains the exact same as it was with Florida. There are some issues off the ice with him, according to Canucks GM Mike Gillis. Considering the return for him was much less than people expected, I’d say that his dramatic fall last season is a bit worrying. In the short-term, he negatively impacts Kyle Turris, who was going to center the top line in Phoenix. In the long run, Turris will be a much better player than Jokinen. Phoenix is looking set next year up front. As for the defensemen they moved, look for both Matt Jones and Keith Yandle to get much more ice time. Yandle is very skilled and will be a big time point-producing defenseman in the NHL. He will play regular minutes now, maybe even in the top four. Keith Ballard is a good young defenseman, but he was three or four on Phoenix’s depth chart. Boynton is a nasty defenseman, but has no fantasy value (besides PIM), and was on waivers last year.
Nothing was finalized at the draft, but expect Kevin Bieksa to be on the move for a forward. The Canucks and Hurricanes were talking swap, which makes sense. Carolina has Erik Cole, Ray Whitney, Tuomo Ruutu, and Justin Williams as trade bait. Looking at what Ballard returned, Bieksa (being a similar player) could very well land the Canucks a top line sniper like Williams.
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