NHL Trade Deadline 2022: Recapping Every Major Deal
Another year, another trade deadline officially in the books. A slightly belated start and ending due to COVID and the untapped potential of NHLers returning to the Olympics pushed this season’s trade deadline all the way to March 21 at 3 PM. We’ve reached the other side of that juncture now, largely locking in each team’s roster for the next five weeks; longer if they’re lucky (or at least good). Deadline day itself was fairly quiet, but we did get some significant moves on both Monday and in the days and weeks leading up to it.
This year’s deadline felt like it was more about bolstering or patchwork for most teams, but a couple of clubs did make meaningful adds to either address a weakness or supercharge a strength for varying costs. Now that the musical chairs have stopped and the phone lines have gone quiet, let’s revisit every major deal within the last month or so and who came out of the deadline in the best position — both now and for the future.
Calgary Acquires RW Tyler Toffoli; Montréal Acquires 2022 Conditional 1st, LW Emil Heineman, 2024 Conditional 4th, RW Tyler Pitlick, 2023 5th
I liked this trade for the Flames when it happened, and the early returns are even more promising. Toffoli’s scored at nearly a point-per-game pace since arriving in Calgary and is playing great under Darryl Sutter, his first NHL head coach back in Los Angeles. It’s not a terrible deal for Montréal. The first is top-ten protected, so that shouldn’t be an issue (although the Canadiens only get the 4th if it is a top-ten pick, along with Calgary’s unprotected 2023 1st if the Flames choose).
Toronto Acquires D Ilya Lyubushkin, LW Ryan Dzingel; ARI Acquires LW Nick Ritchie, 2025 Conditional 2nd
This is the calm before the storm of Maple Leafs improving their back-end. Toronto desperately needs to improve in their own zone, especially clearing the net and making life easier for their goaltenders (who haven’t exactly had a great time as of late). That’s all Lyubushkin does; he’s a total non-factor on offense, but that’s fine with Toronto. Giving up a second (or a 2023 3rd; Arizona can choose between the two picks)for him wouldn’t have been that much of an overpay in itself. Combine it with the ability to rid themselves of Nick Ritchie’s contract ($2.5 million through next season), and it makes this deal that much better.
Colorado Acquires D Josh Manson; Anaheim Acquires D Drew Helleson, 2023 2nd
Seemingly out of nowhere, the Avalanche decided to upgrade their back-end instead of (or at least before) stacking their high-flying offense. Maybe that shouldn’t be a major surprise since they were reportedly in on Seth Jones last offseason. Manson is a pretty typical defensive defenseman who used to be a strong play-driver early in his career but has seen that aspect of his game fall off a bit in the last few years. He’s not a bad player, though, and pairing him next to a strong puck-mover like Devon Toews or Samuel Girard should only help. Helleson is an intriguing prospect; a former second-round pick who had a breakout year with Boston College. It’s a pretty solid return for Anaheim, who’s been falling out of the playoff race over the last month or so.
Florida Acquires D Ben Chiarot; MTL Acquires 2023 Conditional 1st, RW Ty Smilanic, 2022 Conditional 4th
In an article for my college’s student newspaper, I made predicted one player every team in a playoff spot would acquire. My pick for Florida was Mark Giordano, and while that won’t happen now, Chiarot is basically the lite version of the Seattle captain. He’s had a tough season (as has nearly everyone in Montréal) and certainly doesn’t grade out well analytically. But he did play an important role in Montréal’s run to the Stanley Cup Final, and his physicality is even more valuable in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Florida likely overpaid here, but they needed to upgrade their left-side.
Calgary Acquires RW Calle Järnkrok; Seattle Acquires 2022 2nd, 2023 3rd, 2024 7th
In that same article, I predicted the Flames would acquire Winnipeg’s Andrew Copp. Once again, Järnkrok is essentially the lite version of Copp. Järnkrok isn’t quite as talented offensively, but he does match Copp’s versatility. He can play all three forward positions, both the power-play and penalty kill, and is talented enough to slide up the lineup in a pinch. On a Seattle team that straight-up doesn’t score, Järnkrok still played at a respectable 44-point pace. Combined with the Toffoli acquisition, Järnkrok ensures there are no weak points in Calgary’s top-nine.
Tampa Bay Acquires LW Brandon Hagel, 2022 4th, 2024 4th; Chicago Acquires 2023 1st, 2024 1st, RW Taylor Raddysh, LW Boris Katchouk
If your deadline approach ain’t broke, don’t fix it. This is essentially the Blake Coleman trade 2.0, which we all know worked incredibly well for the Lightning. Brandon Hagel the player isn’t worth two first-round picks. But Brandon Hagel the asset, which factors in his incredible contract (he’s signed for two more years after this season at just $1.5 million), might be. Raddysh and Katchouk are former 2nd round picks who have been ok depth pieces for the Lightning this season. Maybe one of them becomes something more than that in Chicago, but the two 1sts (both top-ten protected) are obviously the keys. This may be the first of many significant sells by Chicago. It’s safe to say their veteran core isn’t happy with what feels like an inevitable rebuild.
Boston Acquires D Hampus Lindholm, D Kodie Curran; Anaheim Acquires 2022 1st, 2023 2nd, 2024 2nd, D Urho Vaakanainen, D John Moore
All season, the Bruins have been one of the league’s best defensive team (they’re first in the league in expected goals against per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 and all situations) while needing an extra jolt upfront. So naturally, the Bruins traded for *checks notes* arguably the top defender on the market. Lindholm is somebody whose reputation and ice-time are probably a bit higher than his true talent level. But he’s undoubtedly a solid player with a high-ceiling who further stacks Boston’s top-four.
He, like past deadline acquisitions Charlie Coyle (2019) and Taylor Hall (2021) comes with an extension, albeit a pretty hefty one at 8 years with a $6.5 million cap hit. Feels like a bit of a panic move the Bruins felt they needed to make just to show they were all in. Maybe it was their best bet with the center market drying up and Claude Giroux reportedly nixing an offer with his no-move clause.
Florida Acquires LW Claude Giroux, 2024 5th, C Connor Bunnaman, C German Rubtsov; Philadelphia Acquires 2024 Conditional 1st, RW Owen Tippett, 2023 3rd
Toronto Acquires D Mark Giordano, C Colin Blackwell; Seattle Acquires 2022 2nd, 2023 2nd, 2024 3rd
The defenseman market was pretty high on (and leading up to) deadline day. Given the haul Lindholm and Chiarot went for, you’d expect Seattle to get more for Giordano. Yes, he isn’t the same player he was in Calgary, but he is still a top-four defender with plenty of experience. Losing so many picks may sting the Maple Leafs long-term; all they have this year is a 1st, 3rd (Winnipeg’s), and (maybe) 7th. But they made the back-end upgrade they desperately needed to make without sacrificing any of their top prospects. Don’t sleep on Colin Blackwell here, though. He’s been a quality bottom-sixer the last year and a half with the Rangers and Kraken and can chip in offensively at center or the wing.
Tampa Bay Acquires C Nick Paul; Ottawa Acquires LW Mathieu Joseph, 2024 4th
If Hagel was the Blake Coleman of Tampa’s 2022 deadline, consider Paul the Barclay Goodrow replacement. The good news for Tampa is he comes much cheaper than any of those players. Joseph is a solid young depth player, but unlikely to be anything more than a fourth-liner. Paul is probably a little bit better than that, although he is likely just a rental.
Nashville Acquires D Jérémy Lauzon; Seattle Acquires 2022 2nd
A bit surprising to see Seattle move on from Lauzon so quickly, a solid defensive-defenseman who will be an RFA at season’s end. A second-round pick may be a bit pricey for his current skill set, but he’s just 24 and as I mentioned, under club control beyond this season. He should slot in nicely behind Roman Josi and Mattias Ekholm on Nashville’s left side. The bigger question mark is the deadline coming and going with neither a trade nor extension on the Filip Forsberg front. An older wild card team like Nashville can’t afford to let him walk for nothing… right?
Minnesota Acquires G Marc-André Fleury; Chicago Acquires 2022 Conditional 2nd
This is easily the spiciest move of the deadline, especially with the Wild immediately trading their once starter of the future Kappo Kahkonen and a 5th to the Sharks for physical defenseman Jacob Middleton. Both Kahkonen and Cam Talbot have been struggling in recent months, and the Wild can’t let this season get away with them due to the massive hikes in Zach Parise and Ryan Suter’s buyout penalties. Getting past Colorado is still an incredibly daunting task; the Avalanche are eerily similar to those Blackhawks teams the Wild just couldn’t get over the hump against in the mid-2010s. But Fleury, when on, can be a game-changer. He undoubtedly increases Minnesota’s odds of reaching their second Western Conference Final, and first since 2003. If they do, that second-round pick upgrades to a 1st. Vegas is probably the biggest loser of this trade if we’re being honest.
Colorado Acquires LW Artturi Lehkonen; Montréal Acquires D Justin Barron, 2024 2nd
I really like the addition of Lehkonen for Colorado. Yes, getting a high-end forward like Giroux would have been nice. But it would have been more of a luxury than a need for the Avalanche. Lehkonen is the type of advanced stats hero (see Nichushkin, Valeri) who seems perfect to thrive in Colorado. He’s also enjoying a breakout offensive season, nearly passing his career-high in points (31) already. That being said, the cost is pretty steep. Losing a 20-year old, former first-round pick, the right-handed defenseman is tough for any team. And the 2nd isn’t insignificant either. It helps that Lehkonen is an RFA at the season’s end with a $2.3 million qualifying offer.
St. Louis Acquires D Nick Leddy, RW/D Luke Witkowski; Detroit Acquires C Oskar Sundqvist, 2023 2nd, D Jake Walman
The Blues desperately needed help on the back-end, especially on the left side. Leddy is getting up there and some of his base advanced stats aren’t great, but he is still strong in transition. That being said, if you were going to give up a solid bottom-sixer in Sundqvist and a 2nd, you might as well have tried to go for a bigger, more impactful name. He could be a nice fit in Craig Berube’s system, though.
NY Rangers Acquire C Andrew Copp; Winnipeg Acquires Two 2022 Conditional 2nds (NYR, STL), 2023 5th
In stark contrast to their offseason, I like a lot of what the Rangers did at the deadline. Frank Vatrano for a 4th is a good bet to make. Justin Braun for a 3rd shores up their right side behind Adam Fox and Jacob Trouba. Tyler Motte’s a sneaky good addition for their bottom-six and a solid Samuel Blais replacement (if not upgrade).
But Copp is the headliner here. The Rangers needed another left-winger capable of playing in the top-six. And Copp’s offensive breakout (albeit at the cost of defense) over the last season and a half makes him a solid bet to be that guy. He could even play third-line center if the Rangers want to stack their center core. It’s maybe a bit pricey for a rental as a young team not seen as a Cup favorite. But I do like the player, and maybe the Rangers find a way to extend him in the offseason.
Edmonton Acquires D Brett Kulak; Montréal Acquires 2022 Conditional 2nd, D William Lagesson, 2024 7th
This trade isn’t as much of an overpay by Edmonton as you think. Kulak has graded out very well analytically in Montréal in both sheltered and more strenuous roles of the years. He’ll probably be on Edmonton’s third pair and should do very well there. But I’m still surprised he went for as much as he did considering the prices of other defensemen. I wouldn’t have thought your average NHL GM would’ve seen him as more valuable than someone like Justin Braun (yes, they’re different stylistically, but in terms of overall value I would’ve expected the two to go for closer to the same value). Speaking of (now former) Flyers, Derick Brassard (at 50% salary retained) for a 4th is tidy work for a useful bottom-six center who can also contribute on PP2.
Pittsburgh Acquires RW Rickard Rakell; Anaheim Acquires 2022 2nd, G Calle Clang, LW Zach Aston-Reese, C Dominik Simon
I would’ve liked to see the Penguins take a bigger swing (well, maybe not as a Flyers fan, but trying to set that bias aside). But Rakell’s not a bad get. His career trajectory stalled after a 69-point season in 2017-18, settling in as a solid middle-sixer rather than a true high-end scorer. That being said, he is playing at a 26-goal pace over 82 games this year, and would obviously benefit from potentially playing next to Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin. Aston-Reese is an elite defensive fourth-liner, and Simon’s decent depth as well. But Clang could be the hidden gem of this deal. The 19-year old is fifth in the Swedish Hockey League with a .915 save percentage.
Carolina Acquires C Max Domi (From CBJ), RW Yegor Korshkov (From CAR); Columbus Acquires D Aidan Hreschuk (From CAR); Carolina Acquires D Tyler Inamoto (From FLA)
Our lone three-team deal of the day is centered around Max Domi, who is heading to the Hurricanes (with Florida retaining 25% of Domi’s initial cap hit, or 50% of the remaining 50% after Columbus retained half). Domi was once an unquestioned top-six forward — he had a 72-point season as recently as 2018-19. He’s enjoyed a bit of an offensive bounceback this year, scoring at a 50-point pace in Columbus. I’m not sure exactly where he fits into the Panthers’ forward core, which is the most stacked in the league. Even Colorado can’t challenge the sheer amount of scoring forwards huddled in Sunrise. Hreschuk, a third-round pick last year having a meh first year at Boston College, is the only other name worth paying attention to.
Anaheim Acquires RW Evgenii Dadonov, 2024 Conditional 2nd; Vegas Acquires D John Moore, C Ryan Kesler – Maybe
I don’t know what to make of this trade. Literally, nobody does. That’s because it may not be official due to complications with Dadonov’s no-trade clause, as Elliotte Friedman reported. If it does go through, it’s more horrible asset management by Vegas. It took a 3rd to acquire Dadonov, and now they’re potentially shipping off a conditional 2nd just to get rid of him. And it’s not even a clean salary dump because John Moore’s $2.75 million cap hit through next season is coming back alongside Ryan Kesler’s dead contact (only $1.075 million of which can be buried in the AHL).
However, it does look like this trade would provide Vegas enough cap space to be able to activate Mark Stone from LTIR if he’s ready to return. Per CapFriendly, Vegas has just under $7 million in cap space right now with Kesler on regular IR. Moving him to LTIR and therefore clearing his cap hit should get them to about $14 million in space. I think. And this may be all for nothing anyway if the NHLPA has anything to say about it. Probably the weirdest ending to a trade deadline we’ve seen in a while — if not ever.
All Advanced Stats are 5-on-5 unless otherwise stated and via Natural Stat Trick
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