The NHL Trade Deadline just passed, as the deadline was at 3 P.M. eastern time on April 12th, 2021. There were a few huge trades that took place in the past couple days up until the deadline. Lets review five of the major moves that were made.
Boston Bruins Acquire Taylor Hall and Curtis Lazar from the Buffalo Sabres
Taylor Hall is now on his fifth career team. The former first overall pick has struggled heavily in Buffalo this year, only recording 2 goals in 37 games. Boston needed an upgrade on offense, so this move makes a lot of sense if they get Hall’s full potential. He won the Hart Trophy in 2018. Regardless, the Bruins didn’t give up much in this deal. A second-round pick and forward Anders Bjork is all it took. The Bruins currently sit in fourth place in the East Division and need to secure their spot in the playoffs, which is not a guarantee at this point.
New York Islanders Acquire Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac from the New Jersey Devils
The Islanders had a huge role to fill after captain Anders Lee went down with an injury. New York was very interested in Taylor Hall, but decided the package of Palmieri and Zajac was better. In return the Devils received forwards Mason Jobst and A.J. Greer, a 2021 first-round pick, and a conditional fourth-round pick. New Jersey is retaining 50% of Palmieri and Zajac’s salaries. This is a huge move for the Isles who are looking for more goal scoring and depth to put them over the top in a stacked East Division.
Washington Capitals Acquire Anthony Mantha from the Detroit Red Wings
This trade was the biggest blockbuster of deadline day itself. Washington gave up a lot for Mantha. Jakub Vrana, Richard Panik, a 2021 first-round pick and 2022 second-round pick are all headed the other way to Detroit. This was a surprising move, as it came out of nowhere and it was an overpay to say the least. Mantha is a solid player and will help the Capitals but probably wasn’t worth that cost.
Toronto Maple Leafs Acquire Nick Foligno from the Columbus Blue Jackets
The Maple Leafs are going all in this year, trading for the captain of the Columbus Blue Jackets. This was a 3-team trade, as San Jose got involved just to eat salary, while gaining a fourth-round pick in the process. Toronto also added forward Stefan Noesen as well as giving Columbus a first-round pick and a fourth-round pick. Toronto needed extra depth as they are preparing for a deep playoff run while sitting alone at the top of the North Division.
Tampa Bay Lightning Acquire David Savard from the Columbus Blue Jackets
The defending Stanley Cup champions are looking to go back-to-back. This trade for Savard bolsters the Lightning’s defensive core. They gave up multiple picks but have a real chance to repeat as the champions. Their in-state rival, the Florida Panthers have also made some big moves this past week, so the Bolts needed to keep pace with moves of their own to try and win the division.
Many teams got better and strengthened their teams for a chance to go on a deep playoff run. Some teams may have overpaid for players but that is what happens at the deadline. What teams made the best moves? Time will tell as we see who wins the most games and eventually wins the Stanley Cup.