The NHL trade deadline is this week, and some teams pulled the trigger on deals over the weekend to help bolster their lineups.
Of course, the biggest trade from the last couple of days is the one that sent Timo Meier to the New Jersey Devils, but overall, it’s the Western Conference that has seen the most changes.
The Winnipeg Jets were the first to make a move to improve their chances this spring when they sent a second-round pick to their division rivals, the Nashville Predators, to add Nino Niederreiter. The 30-year-old notched 28 points in his short time with the Preds.
Adding Niederreiter gives Winnipeg some much-needed forward depth. That will be especially important after Cole Perfetti went down with an injury that will keep him out while his team tries to clinch a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Which NHL contenders made trades over the weekend?
Another Central team with championship aspirations, the Dallas Stars, also made a move. They sent Denis Gurianov to the Montreal Canadiens for Evgenii Dadonov. Both forwards have struggled to score this year, as Dadonov has 18 points in 50 games and Gurianov has nine in 43.
The Stars seem to be choosing the short-term over the long-term with this move. Gurianov, a 25-year-old former first-round pick, has scored 29, 30, and 31 points respectively in each of the last three seasons, but Dallas has opted to move him in favor of a veteran that has been known to score goals consistently.
The other move was made by the Vegas Golden Knights, as they acquired Ivan Barbashev as the St. Louis Blues continue to be the NHL’s biggest seller in 2023. Vegas sent a forward prospect to the Blues in return.
Barbashev has scored 29 points in 59 games with St. Louis after shattering all of his career highs last season en route to a 60-point campaign. This move seems to have a high upside for the Golden Knights as they pursue a return to the postseason.
In addition, the Vancouver Canucks acquired former first-round pick Vitali Kravtsov from the New York Rangers for William Lockwood and a seventh-round draft pick. This trade will not make an impact on the 2023 postseason, but it has potential for the rebuilding Canucks.
Will any of these traded players help propel their new clubs to a Stanley Cup championship? Time will tell as the NHL’s race for the postseason intensifies.