3 acquisitions at the NHL trade deadline that will exponentially reward their new teams

Now that the NHL trade deadline is out of the way let’s talk about a trio of players who won’t make an immediate impact on their new teams.

New York Rangers v San Jose Sharks
New York Rangers v San Jose Sharks / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages
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Kyle Okposo adds leadership, physicality to the Panthers

The consensus here would be Vladimir Tarasenko, and he is one of a few players acquired at the trade deadline who has already made a monster impact in Florida. But we can’t forget about one of the other forwards Florida landed, and that is former Buffalo Sabres captain Kyle Okposo. 

Okposo has been the clear-cut leader for what has been one of the youngest teams in hockey for a few years now. And although Buffalo never reached the playoffs during a rebuild that Okposo helped oversee, the team had exceeded expectations in each year, even during a “step back” in 2023-24, and you can’t help but credit Okposo and his leadership. 

Now, insert Okposo onto a championship contender and watch him continue to be vocal on and off the ice. Sure, Florida has had its own leadership all season, and that leadership has once again transformed the Panthers into one of the best teams in hockey. But Okposo is one of those players with enough respect around the league to step right in and play a leadership role. 

Okposo remains a physical player, and he will play the fourth line well in Sunrise. He can also still put up double-digit goals, and is just two seasons removed from a 21-goal season, even if defense is his primary game these days. And yep, Okposo will add yet another layer to what has been one of the league’s most outstanding defensive teams this year. 

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(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference)