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Hockey Analytics

NHL Trade Deadline: The Aftermath

by Gus Katsaros
Updated On: February 27, 2020, 1:18 am ET

Thirty-two trades completed on the NHL Trade Deadline (even if this tweet didn’t capture one of the late day deals), marking the most deadline day swaps since the last NHL lockout. The incredible site, CapFriendly captured the year over year trades in this tweet.

Number of trades on the NHL Trade Deadline the past 7 years:
2019-20: 31 trades
2018-19: 20 trades
2017-18: 18 trades
2016-17: 20 trades
2015-16: 19 trades
2014-15: 25 trades
2013-14: 20 tradeshttps://t.co/pOmLyOX15A

— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) February 25, 2020

 

There’s already been lots of comprehensive coverage of the trade deadline, and the intention for this article isn’t to do a full recap but to comment from an analytics perspective on the various notable swaps.

 

WED

2/26

7:00 PM

10:30 PM

NHL

Sabres vs. Avalanche

NBCSN

 

WED

2/26

10:30 PM

1:30 AM

NHL

Penguins vs. Kings

NBCSN

 

 

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Eastern Conference

Contending clubs clearly worked their strategy and loaded up to clog roster holes, or find replacements for underachievers. In the Eastern Conference, the Carolina Hurricanes added for a potential playoff run that relies on their ability to gain a playoff spot via wild card, or to gain third place in the Metropolitan Division. As of this writing, they are on the outside looking in. With health concerns about the blueline prompting them to add Sami Vatanen and Brady Skjei after picking up Vincent Trocheck.

The New York Islanders secured Jean-Gabriel Pageau, whose offensive ability is visible, including some key postseason performances, but this season’s shooting percentage induced goals scoring spree at 5v5 is an overreach of the overall ability. He is a responsible and structural player, making him good in defensive situations and provides stability, a factor in the justification for a six year extension signed immediately after the trade. One note – his four power play goals were scored in the last 20 games.

Washington shored up their blueline with the acquisition of Brendan Dillon, on February 18, well ahead of the deadline, then added Ilya Kovalchuk on deadline day. The intriguing possibilities here make this one of the feel good stories heading into the postseason.

Meanwhile, the Penguins had bolstered their lineup with the addition of Jason Zucker, thriving in his new digs when they moved Dominik Kahun on deadline day, and brought veteran Patrick Marleau from San Jose. Former Penguin Connor Sheary, accompanied Evan Rodrigues from Buffalo. Sheary wasn’t as effective as during his first year with the Sabres, while a reset here in Pittsburgh has potential for an immediate boost, with the intention to be played up the lineup where he contributes most.

The Metropolitan division is going to be a bloodbath leading up to and in the playoffs.

Tampa Bay and Boston loaded up with depth and some skills. The Bolts added some gritty components in Barclay Goodrow and signed, Zach Bogosian on deadline day to complement perhaps their best acquisition, Blake Coleman well ahead of the deadline. That Goodrow/Coleman penalty killing unit is going to cause fits to a bunch of power plays. Those two trades can arguably be the best deals for any team, identifying a need and acting on it with solid – albeit expensive – acquisitions.

Boston moved on from their 4th round selection in 2014, sending Danton Heinen to the Ducks for the slightly bigger, and more physical Nick Ritchie, the Ducks 1st round 10th overall selection in 2014. The Bruins revisited the Ducks after acquiring standout, Ondrej Kase. The fragile winger’s scoring pace has reduced to a three-year low, while earning points on the lowest percentage of on-ice goals and injury is always a concern. He’s missed time already with Boston, but when healthy, he’ll be an asset.

The Toronto Maple Leafs, on the heels of an embarrassing week that featured a demoralizing loss to the Penguins, following up with a textbook shutout win, only to lose to a Carolina squad forced to use an emergency goalie were heavily rumored to be attempting to move star defender Tyson Barrie. In the end, all they did was move some minor league pieces and spare parts like Michael Hutchinson, and a complicated three-way deal. The Leafs will try to make the playoffs on this current roster which is now going to miss Jake Muzzin for about four weeks. That beleaguered blueline is going to be stretched to its limits the rest of the season.

 

Western Conference

It’s been a while since the Edmonton Oilers were in a position to add pieces, I had to do a double take to make sure Andreas Athanasiou to the Oilers was real. On the heels of acquiring Mike Green, Oilers general manager Ken Holland revisited his old team to ensnare the talented youngster in Athanasiou. In a good situation now, after struggling to score and through lower body injury, potentially riding side-saddle with Connor McDavid, the Toronto native has excellent potential to add another scoring component. Edmonton also added Tyler Enniswho scored in his Oilers debut. Both players started the game with McDavid, but it remains to be seen if this is just a short-term audition or a long term mainstay.

Alberta rivals, Calgary will get some traction from former Blackhawks rearguard, Erik Gustafsson on the power play, while being paired with a player unlike most common partner, Connor Murphy.

Colorado with injury trouble picked up Vladislav Namestnikov cheaply from the Ottawa Senators and could end up being a fairly low key addition with potential. He earned a point on 57.8% of 5v5 on-ice goals scored, all with the Senators. His five goals only slightly trailed his 6.33 expected goals and could be a good replacement for injury, moving up and down the lineup.

 

Pro Hockey Transactions

One final note from the research component of the trade deadline, the link below is to a site called Pro Sports Transactions and it’s an invaluable resource. I’ve used this for trades, draft pick specific trades, and a variety of other functions, like call-ups, player signings and injury related matters. For centralized results in a one-stop shop, this is the site I’d recommend.

The link is already filtered to deliver all trades this season between yesterday’s deadline and January 26, encompassing the month leading into the Feb 24 NHL Trade Deadline.

Enjoy the stretch run, this is where things get interesting.

Gus Katsaros
Gus Katsaros is the Pro Scouting Coordinator with McKeen’s Hockey, publishers of industry leading scouting and fantasy guide, the McKeen’s Annual Hockey Pool Yearbook. He also contributes to popular blog MapleLeafsHotStove.com ... he can be followed on Twitter @KatsHockey