Big trades on the second day of the draft sees a major shift in NHL landscape

After zero player trades on the first night, the trades came fast and furious on Saturday, including a few moves that sent shockwaves through the hockey world.
Tampa Bay Lightning v Carolina Hurricanes
Tampa Bay Lightning v Carolina Hurricanes / Jaylynn Nash/GettyImages

The trade market saw some unexpected movement on Saturday afternoon, making for an exciting second day of the 2024 NHL Draft. There were clearly ulterior motives for some of the moves made, while others made changes to help keep teams afloat and in playoff contention. There are going to be a lot of familiar faces in new places, adding another layer of intrigue to Monday's free agency and the upcoming season.

Tampa Bay and Utah get busy early

Almost immediately, the crowd in Las Vegas was given a shock. In an effort to free up some funds, the Lightning sent Mikhail Sergachev to the Utah Hockey Club for JJ Moser, 2022 first-round pick Conor Geekie, and two draft picks. The move seemed to come out of nowhere, with Sergachev signing an eight-year deal two years ago. It only seems to add flame to the fire that the Bolts are either going to re-sign Steven Stamkos or make a serious run at Jake Guentzel.

The move has the potential to be big for Utah in the long run. Utah now has a #1 defenseman locked up for a long time, but they weren't done there. Utah also struck a deal with the Devils to acquire John Marino for a pair of second-round picks. Marino is another player with term for Utah's defense, making them better on the back end. They still have plenty of cap space to continue to add once free agency begins.

The Lightning also struck one more deal, sending Tanner Jeannot to the Kings for two draft picks. Tampa's initial deal to acquire Jeannot included Cal Foote and five draft picks going back to Nashville, so this return after a year and a half seems like a loss for the Lightning. The move helps the Lightning clear even more room while the Kings get a player who is in need of a fresh start after a tough run with the Bolts.

The goalie carousel continues to turn

Free agency hasn't begun yet, but there has already been a lot of goalie movement this offseason. We saw two more goalies move on Saturday, with a pair of trades involving this year's host. The second big surprise of the day saw the Golden Knights trade Logan Thompson to the Washington Capitals for two third-round picks. Thompson played a career-high 46 games for the then-defending champs, and now he'll get a chance to form an interesting duo with Charlie Lindgren. For Washington, it also doesn't hurt that Thompson is playing for near the league minimum.

Vegas wasn't done wheeling and dealing in the net while also adding a former top pick who hasn't lived up to his potential. New Jersey decided to send Akira Schmid and Alexander Holtz to Vegas in exchange for Paul Cotter and a third-round pick next season. Schmid broke out late two seasons ago but had a rough go at it last year, and Holtz hasn't blossomed into a true offensive threat yet.

Toronto gets one in at the last minute

The Maple Leafs owned the final pick in this year's draft, but they decided to make one last move before they made their pick. Right as things were getting wrapped up, news broke that the Leafs would be acquiring the UFA rights of Chris Tanev from the Stars. It was the perfect way to end a hectic day in Las Vegas. Tanev is considered one of the better defensive defensemen in the league, but his age poses some concern. It appears that Toronto was going to be making a run at Tanev if he hit the market, so this allows them the first crack at signing him.

There were other smaller deals on Saturday, like Kevin Hayes being sent to the Penguins for future considerations and a few small player deals. It was a surprising way for the second day to play out, but it kept everyone on their toes. It sets the stage for an exciting day on Monday as teams look to find their missing pieces.