3 unprecedented players moved before the NHL trade deadline who will reward their new team

NHL Trade Deadline Day has arrived, but there have already been several unprecedented moves that will pay off across the league.

Jan 2, 2024; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Washington Capitals defenseman Joel Edmundson (6) warms
Jan 2, 2024; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Washington Capitals defenseman Joel Edmundson (6) warms / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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The Anthony Mantha trade was a brilliant move for the Golden Knights

Like Mittelstadt, Anthony Mantha wasn’t the biggest name in the rumor mill, and he’s never excelled in any one season, scoring a career-high of 48 points in 2017-18 and 2018-19. But also like Mittelstadt, the Vegas Golden Knights don’t need to put him on the ice for more than 15 minutes a night to get value out of the 29-year-old. 

Instead, they can put him onto most likely their lower lines and let him supplement them with his ability to find the net. In just 90 shots on goal this season, Mantha has scored 20 times, and his unprecedented 22.2 shooting percentage is one basic statistic that should excite Golden Knights fans. 

If you want more fun, Mantha’s adjusted goals sit at 27 for the season, and this was with a team that had struggled to find the net all year, as the Washington Capitals currently rank 30th with 160 goals scored. Vegas has fared much better in the offensive zone than Washington, and by putting someone who has been a prolific scorer on a bad hockey team into their lineup, Mantha could easily supersede that 27-goal pace. 

Scoring isn’t the only way Mantha will help the Golden Knights, but when you look at what he accomplished in Washington this year despite pedestrian play in the offensive zone, you can’t help but get excited for this one.