Ivan Barbashev Trade Grades
Ivan Barbashev is the newest member of the Golden Knights but was this the right move for Vegas? Was the cost of business to acquire Barbashev too pricey or is he the perfect fit on a real Stanley Cup contender? Did the Blues pick the right return for their power forward? Let’s hand out some trade grades to answer all relevant questions about this deal.
Vegas Golden Knights Acquire Ivan Barbashev.
Not sure this is a total home run trade but it sure looks like a good one on paper. Barbashev fills many needs for the VGK that currently wasn’t present on the roster. Oh, and Alex Pietrangelo seems very excited to have his former Blues teammate with him in Vegas.
Barbashev is a nasty player who will bring physicality to the team. Keegan Kolesar is really the only other guy on the roster who wants to fight and layout hits. Prior to the trade, Barbashev led the Blues with 132 hits on the season. When it comes to playoff hockey, this is the type of guy that you need on your team. Simple as that.
Vegas was also in dire need of another winger that can bring some offense to the table. Barbashev will fill that net front presence that was sort of a void on the Knights’ roster. Also comes with some finishing ability and can play all over the lineup.
The pure fit feels like Barbashev is a great match for a team that has the best record in a wide open Western Conference. The fit is not only a good one but the VGK didn’t pay an arm and a leg to get it done either. If you compare this trade to the Tanner Jeannot one, it’s hard to be angry with what Vegas gave up.
Blues Acquire Zach Dean.
Out of the three deadline deals that Doug Armstrong made during NHL’s trade season, this one appears to be the weakest return. Armstrong got a first round pick in both the Vladimir Tarasenko and Ryan O’Reilly trades. Barbashev is having a down year compared to the 60 point campaign he put together in 2021-22. It likely limited his leverage in trade talks given the pending UFA status.
You can’t kill the Blues for taking a shot on a former first round pick but maybe you can argue they should have gotten more. Dean was part of Canada’s World Junior team but didn’t really contribute there. The word on the street is that Dean is a fast puck retriever but it remains unclear if he will ever develop the necessary skill to play at the NHL level. Dean also hasn’t played at the AHL level and is likely at least two years away from even contributing there.
At the end of the day, this trade comes down to Dean for the Blues. If he turns into a contributor, nobody will bat an eye. If Dean flops, it’s fair to question the return here.