It was a very eventful, surprising, and downright fun day for the NHL trade deadline. On Monday alone, there were 32 trades involving 55 players. The 32 trades were a deadline day record, according to the NHL. You can find a full list of all the deadline day deals right here. While many moves were valuable for the respective real-life team, that’s not always the case for fantasy purposes. Some guys will fit nicely into their new systems but will see a dip in production. Let’s jump right into the fantasy hockey trade deadline winners and losers.
Fantasy Hockey: Deadline Winners and Losers
Edmonton Oilers – Andreas Athanasiou
The Edmonton Oilers added one of the faster skaters in the league, Andreas Athanasiou, to play alongside arguably the fastest, Connor McDavid. There’s no bigger must-add in 2020 so far than Athanasiou. Playing heavy minutes with McDavid is a recipe for success in and of itself, not to mention the fact that he can keep pace with McDavid and scored 30 goals last year on a terrible team. If he’s available for you, do not hesitate.
Carolina Hurricanes – Vincent Trocheck, Brady Skjei, Sami Vatanen
Three very nice acquisitions here for the Carolina Hurricanes. Vincent Trocheck should become the new second-line centre. Trocheck is a good deep-league add for some points and peripherals. With the defenceman, things get a little trickier. Either Brady Skjei or Sami Vatanen will be good defensive options, as they should see some power-play time. Both are gifted offensively, so it depends on which of the two rises to the challenge. Vatanen still nursing an injury, so look for Skjei to get the early opportunities.
Vegas Golden Knights – Robin Lehner
On paper, one might think a deal to a team with a clear lead goalie isn’t exactly mouth-watering. But the Vegas Golden Knights need to let Marc-Andre Fleury rest more, and that’s where Robin Lehner comes in. Lehner is no stranger to splitting time, and he’s performed admirably behind a bad Blackhawks defence this season. He should see around an even split – if not a little more – in starts. The Knights are a fantastic team. If you need goalie help, Lehner isn’t a bad target, though Vegas doesn’t have the friendliest fantasy hockey playoff schedule.
Vancouver Canucks – Tyler Toffoli
This wasn’t a deadline day deal, but the Vancouver Canucks recently traded for Tyler Toffoli. In two games thus far for his new club, Toffoli has two goals, two assists, and nine shots. He’s seeing top-line minutes and is on the top power-play unit. In terms of rising fantasy stock, Toffoli is second only to Athanasiou (whose stock is still only speculative, of course). Toffoli is still out there exactly 50 percent of Yahoo! leagues at the time of writing.
New York Islanders – Jean-Gabriel Pageau
In real life, adding Jean-Gabriel Pageau is a very nice move for the New York Islanders. So much so they’ve already inked the forward with a huge extension. For fantasy hockey, however, this a bad move. Pageau goes from being a featured offensive weapon to a depth position on a team that doesn’t score all that much. He’s having a career year – already 24 goals when his previous best was 19 – but it won’t translate to his new squad. A third-line centre doesn’t hold value except in very deep leagues.
Tampa Bay Lightning – Barclay Goodrow, Blake Coleman
The Tampa Bay Lightning also made moves that are excellent in real life but not in fantasy hockey. Barclay Goodrow has been a solid banger-league option thus far, but after moving to the Lightning, he’ll be a fourth-line centre most likely. There’s just nothing to be gained from that position in fantasy. In San Jose, Goodrow was top-six (thanks to injuries).
Blake Coleman was recently acquired and had been ripping things up while with the Devils. But in Tampa, his situation is much like Pageau’s – going from feature forward to depth forward. Coleman averaged almost 19 minutes a night in recent weeks but has barely cracked 15 in his two games with Tampa thus far. Coleman has been scoring, shooting, and hitting a ton. The hits may still come, but with fewer minutes, expect fewer points and shots.
Washington Capitals – Ilya Kovalchuk
Rounding out our recap of fantasy hockey trade deadline winners and losers is Ilya Kovalchuk. Yet another veteran whose fantasy stock drops thanks to a trade to a contender. In a somewhat surprising turn of events, the Canadiens flipped Kovalchuk to the Washington Capitals, where he will see third-line minutes. After being a top-six option in Montreal, Kovalchuk will be relegated for depth purposes. It’s a great move for the Capitals, who struggle in that department – but Kovalchuk owners can cut him loose at this point. He had 13 points in 22 games for the Canadiens.
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