The flurry of trades expected at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft never arrived. Keith Ballard was the only impact NHL player to switch teams over the course of Friday and Saturday, but there were a few smaller trades that could have some fantasy significant both next season and in the future.
To Edmonton: 2010 2nd round pick (46th overall)
To Carolina: Riley Nash
The Oilers took a major gamble when they went off the board in 2007 to select Riley Nash in the first round. He recently completed his third season at Cornell. He has broken the 30-point mark in each of his three years in the NCAA, but has yet to show much improvement offensively (32 points in 2007-08, 35 points in 2008-09, and 25 points this past season).
Nash joins a number of other young talented forwards in Carolina. He is still a bit of a project, but has been compared to Travis Zajac because of his strong two-way play and faceoff ability. He will likely need another year or two at the lower levels before making the jump to the NHL. His long-term upside is either a solid second line center or a very good third line center.
Trading a former 1st round pick for a 2nd round pick (the Oilers used the pick to select defenseman Martin Marincin) is never a good thing, but Edmonton obviously felt that Nash was a sunk cost at this point and they tried to get what they could for him. Nash has shown a strong desire to stay at Cornell for another year, and has always been a bit cold and distant when discussing his future with the Oilers.
Carolina’s top two centers are Eric Staal and Brandon Sutter, and those two will both be Hurricanes for a long, long time. Nash’s fantasy value probably decreases a bit with this move, but he isn’t a guy that should be on your radar unless you are in a very deep keeper league.
To St. Louis: Vladimir Sobotka
To Boston: David Warsofsky
I had a hunch the Bruins were going to move Sobotka this summer, and the acquisition of Gregory Campbell from Florida sealed his fate. Boston is hoping that Tyler Seguin is ready to step in to the third line center position this fall, and Campbell is an above-average fourth line center. Sobotka has never looked comfortable on the wing. In St. Louis, he may have more of an opportunity to play offensive minutes. The Blues have Andy McDonald, Patrik Berglund, and David Backes at center, but Backes is equally effective on the wing.
Sobotka is a favourite of mine because of his willingness to compete physically. He’ll take a big hit to make a play, and he uses every inch of his 5’10” frame to separate opposing players from the puck. He has produced offensively in the AHL, but has yet to really have a shot at playing consistent minutes on scoring line at the NHL level. Sobotka actually reminds me a bit of current Blue TJ Oshie – both are undersized but play with tremendous energy each and every shift. He’ll still be in tough to see a regular shift in the top nine for the Blues, but this does help his fantasy value a bit. The odds of him scoring 50 points at the NHL level are probably 40-50%, but I like his odds of breaking out better in St. Louis compared to Boson.
Warsofsky is an undersized college defenseman who is at least two or three years away from seeing action in the NHL. He is an excellent skater and is an extremely smart player (two traits he needs, as he stands in at only 5’9”). His goal total improved from three in 2008-09 to 12 in 2009-10.
To Toronto: 2010 2nd round pick (43rd overall)
To Chicago: Jimmy Hayes
The Leafs selected Hayes 60th overall in 2008, and the Blackhawks drafted his brother on Friday in the first round (Kevin Hayes). The older Hayes is currently at Boston College, and he had a very strong 2009-10 season from an offensive standpoint, finishing the season with 13 goals and 35 points in 42 games. He has great size (6’5” and over 210 pounds), but doesn’t play an overly physical game. Hayes projects as a second line offensive winger at the NHL level. His value improves going to Chicago, as the Hawks have more talent than Toronto down the middle, and they’ll have to fill in a few roster spots each season for the foreseeable future with cheap young players.
The Leafs used the pick to select Brad Ross, who plays on a line with Nino Niederreiter and Ryan Johansen with Portland of the WHL. Ross is one part Darcy Tucker and one part Steve Downie. Bob McKenzie called him a “faster Steve Ott.”
To Ottawa: David Rundblad
To St. Louis: 2010 1st round pick (16th overall)
The Blues jumped at the chance to draft Vladimir Tarasenko, who may be the best forward of this draft class after Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin. Rundblad is an offensive puck-mover who plans to spend at least one more year in Sweden before coming over to North America. He had a poor start to the 2009-10 season, but his defensive play improved as the season progressed. He’ll always earn his money in the offensive zone, but as is with all young defensemen, he needs to take care of his own end well enough to earn a regular shift.
The Senators now have a trio of talented young offensive defensemen – Erik Karlsson, Patrick Wiercioch, and now Rundblad as well. Jared Cowen is also in the mix. It is unclear how this move will affect Rundblad, but obviously Ottawa thinks higher of him than the Blues do.
To Calgary: Henrik Karlsson
To San Jose: 2010 6th round pick (143rd overall)
Karlsson was rumoured to have signed with a KHL team last week, but it now appears that he will head to Calgary’s training camp to compete for the backup position behind Miikka Kiprusoff. Justin Goldman can probably fill you in on Karlsson’s game more than I can, but his numbers last season in the SEL are very impressive (2.45 GAA, .914 SV %). He is a presence between the pipes, checking in at 6’5”.
To Carolina: Bobby Sanguinetti
To New York: 2010 6th round pick (157th overall), and a 2011 2nd round pick
Many Ranger fans were dumbfounded by this move, as Sanguinetti has been viewed as a future top-four defenseman since being drafted back in 2006. Sanguinetti recorded nine goals and 38 points with Hartford in 2009-10.
I am not privy to the inner workings of the Rangers organization, but this seems like a step backwards. Sanguenetti has developed nicely since being drafted and looks close to making the leap up to the NHL as an everyday defenseman. The 2nd round pick in next year’s draft is at best two or three years away from making the NHL. It does give the Rangers another asset to potentially move at the 2011 trade deadline, though.
Although they are different players, the acquisition of Ryan McDonagh from Montreal last summer probably made this deal possible. Sanguenetti was beaten out by Michael Del Zotto and Matt Gilroy last season, and he would’ve had to leapfrog at least one of them to crack New York’s top six out of camp this year. Carolina is going to be one of the youngest teams in the league next season, and Sanguenetti has an excellent shot at making their team. He plays a similar game to Jamie McBain, but I can see both of them making the team.