Anthony Duclair has been phenomenal for the Tampa Bay Lightning

Anthony Duclair has been phenomenal for the Tampa Bay Lightning.
New York Rangers v Tampa Bay Lightning
New York Rangers v Tampa Bay Lightning / Mike Carlson/GettyImages

Anthony Duclair has been phenomenal for the Tampa Bay Lightning since being traded at the deadline. He has nine points in nine games played for Tampa and has made the transition to his new team seem flawless.

The Lightning traded defenseman prospect Jack Thompson along with a third-round pick in 2024 to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for Duclair and a seventh-round pick in 2025. That seems like great value for a guy who has started his tenure with the team scoring a point per game.

Along with scoring at a point-per-game pace, Duclair has been playing on the top line with Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point. Over the past few seasons, Duclair has mainly been playing on the second or third line so earning a place on the first line was good for him.

More than that, Duclair has brought energy into a Tampa team that has looked flat at times this season. They've dealt with a lot, from Andrei Vasilevskiy missing a good chunk of time early in the season to just not looking like the dominant team that won back-to-back Stanley Cups.

The Tampa Bay Lightning have seen good results since landing Anthony Duclair

The Lightning are 8-0-1 since acquiring Duclair so it's obvious he fits in well there. Depending on how the playoffs go, an attempt to extend Duclair should be a no-brainer.

If Duclair has a great playoff showing, things might get tough. Countless unrestricted free agents have gone on to have great playoff performances, which can drive up their cost on the market by a significant margin.

One example is Ivan Barbashev. Last season, Barbashev only had 29 points in 59 games played for the Blues. After he was traded to Vegas, he had 16 points in his final 23 games. He was outstanding in the playoffs, playing 22 games and recording 7 goals, and 11 assists, for 18 points. In the offseason, he was given a 5-year contract extension worth $5 million per year.

If Duclair keeps up his production into the playoffs, he could see himself earning Barbashev money. The playoffs are where it counts, and players who perform get rewarded for it.