A day before the free agent period began, the Dallas Stars and Boston Bruins captured headlines with a huge blockbuster deal. Dallas sent Loui Eriksson, Joe Morrow, Reilly Smith, Matt Fraser to Boston in exchange for Tyler Seguin, Rich Peverley, and Ryan Button.
That’s a ton of moving pieces, but we’re going to give you a blow-by-blow look at what this trade means to fantasy owners.
Eriksson – With Nathan Horton on his way out in Boston, Eriksson figures to take his spot on the top line. In other words, Eriksson’s role with the Bruins shouldn’t be significantly different than his role was on Dallas. He’s coming off of a bit of a rough season where he scored 12 goals and 29 points in 48 games, but that’s after three straight seasons of recording 70+ points. He should bounce back in 2013-14 and lead the Bruins scoring race.
Morrow – He hasn’t played in an NHL game yet and Morrow’s already been dealt twice. When he was dealt from Pittsburgh to Dallas in March, there was talk that he could eventually become a power-play quarterback with the club. The 20-year-old might eventually get an opportunity to serve in that capacity with Boston, but he’ll probably start the 2013-14 campaign in the AHL. Boston already has five blueliners signed to one-way contracts, plus Dougie Hamilton, who is almost certainly ahead of Morrow in the depth charts. That being said, Morrow will probably make his NHL debut at some point next season as an injury replacement.
Smith – He had three goals and nine points in 37 games with the Dallas Stars last season. Smith does have significantly more offensive potential than those numbers imply and at the age of 22, he probably doesn’t need a lot more seasoning before he’s ready to take on more responsibilities. He might get that opportunity in Boston. Horton is on his way out and, obviously, Seguin’s gone too. If the Bruins also let Jaromir Jagr walk as an unrestricted free agent, then there will be potential second and third line spots available for young wingers. Smith won’t be the only candidate, but he’ll certainly be a significant one. He’s not worth a late round gamble in standard league drafts, but he is someone to keep an eye on and grab if things go his way during training camp and the early weeks of the 2013-14 campaign.
Fraser – He’s in the same boat as Smith in the sense that he’s a young winger with offensive potential and little NHL experience that will be competing for a spot with Boston. Fraser is less established in the NHL and overall might be a bit of an underdog in the battle for a spot on the team’s opening day roster. However, like Smith, a wait-and-see approach would be your best course of action if you’re in a standard league. If he impresses the Bruins during the preseason, then he’ll probably end up in a position to enjoy a breakout season.
Jordan Caron – He’s another candidate to take one of the available winger spots. Caron has 11 goals and 25 points in 88 career NHL games, but like Fraser and Smith, he has more upside than those numbers imply. This trade provides him with a greater opportunity to land a roster spot out of training camp, but he certainly isn’t a sure thing.
Seguin – He’s easily the biggest winner of this deal. Seguin has a ton of offensive potential, but he’s struggled to work his way up the Bruins depth charts. Even when he had 67 points in 2011-12, he was averaging just 16:56 minutes per game. Now that he’s in Dallas, Seguin should 1get a chance to play alongside Jamie Benn on the team’s top line. It’s conceivable that he’ll push 20 minutes per contest in 2013-14. With that in mind, he should breach the 70-point mark for the first time in his career.
Peverley – There was a time when Peverley was getting big minutes with the Atlanta Thrashers, but he ended up serving in much more of a support role in his two-plus seasons with Boston. In Dallas, he’ll have an opportunity to compete for the second line center spot, which would be a step up for him. If he does land a top-six gig and get some ice time with the man advantage, then he should be penciled in for 40-50 points next season. That’s still nothing to get excited about in standard leagues, but it’s worth adding that he’s also tremendous on the draw. If your league values any kind of faceoff stat, then this trade might be incentive enough for you to grab Peverley next season.
Button – He is a 22-year-old defenseman that had no points in 25 AHL games last season. His inclusion in this deal has no significant impact from a fantasy perspective.
Cody Eakin – With Peverley almost certain to take either the second of third line center gig and Seguin potentially shifting from the wing to center, this trade might be bad news for Eakin. He had seven goals and 24 points in 48 games last season while averaging 15:05 minutes. At best, the 22-year-old center will maintain that level of playing time, but there’s certainly the threat that his role on the team will even slip a bit as a result of this move. If you were hoping that Eakin would enjoy a breakout season, you might want to temper your expectations a touch.