Grading every NHL team’s 2020 trade deadline deals

TAMPA, FLORIDA - JANUARY 07: Nikita Kucherov #86 and Steven Stamkos #91 of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrate a goal during a game against the Vancouver Canucks at Amalie Arena on January 07, 2020 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FLORIDA - JANUARY 07: Nikita Kucherov #86 and Steven Stamkos #91 of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrate a goal during a game against the Vancouver Canucks at Amalie Arena on January 07, 2020 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

The 2020 NHL trade deadline has come and gone, with over 30 deals completed by the day’s end. Here’s how each of the 31 NHL teams did at this year’s trade deadline.

The 2020 NHL trade deadline was, by all accounts, an unmitigated success. There was hardly a lull in the action all day, with trades promptly being filed as soon as the work day began at 9 a.m. ET and ending in a flurry of activity at the 3 p.m. deadline.

This year’s deadline blew any previous trade deadlines out of the water with the sheer amount of, and volume of, players and draft picks shuffled around by the end of the afternoon. There was even one failed trade between the Minnesota Wild and the New York Islanders, which would have sent forward Zach Parise to Long Island in exchange for forward Andrew Ladd that, sadly, did not pan out.

In all, the deadline was an exciting one with hardly any downtime for hockey fans, making for tense moments on social media as trade calls were announced throughout the day.

However, how did the teams themselves make out at the 2020 trade deadline? Let’s break down what each team did at this year’s deadline and what they received in turn, dating back to the start of the 2019-20 NHL season.

Photo by Harry How/Getty Images
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images /

Tier 1: Top of the class

Tampa Bay Lightning: A+

Added: F Blake Coleman, F Barclay Goodrow, D Devante Stephens, 2020 third-round pick, 2021 seventh-round pick (conditional) 
Lost: F Nolan Foote, F Danick Martel, F Anthony Greco, D Matt Spencer, G Louis Domingue, 2020 first-round pick, 2020 first-round pick

The Lightning already strengthened their position as Stanley Cup contenders with the Coleman deal made a week before the deadline. Though Tampa Bay no longer has a first-round pick in the upcoming 2020 after dealing both of theirs to San Jose and New Jersey, the Lightning accomplished what they set out to do at the deadline: build upon their contending roster.

Pittsburgh Penguins: A+

Added: F Jason Zucker, F Patrick Marleau, F Conor Sheary, F Evan Rodrigues, F Phil Varone, F Riley Barber, F Andreas Martinsen, F Graham Knott, F Kevin Roy, D John Nyberg, 2021 seventh-round pick
Lost: F Alex Galchenyuk, F Dominik Kahun, F Jake Lucchini, F Joseph Blandisi, F Oula Palve, F Ryan Haggerty, F Joseph Cramarossa, D Calen Addison, D Erik Gudbranson, 2020 first-round pick (conditional), 2020 third-round pick (conditional)

General manager Jim Rutherford continued his savvy trade deadline ways, adding Zucker and Marleau, while bringing back Sheary into the fold after a year and a half absence. Pittsburgh added quality forwards to help the team win-now in the Sidney Crosby era, hopefully softening the blow of losing a solid prospect in Kahun. Overall, a great deadline for the Penguins to continue their postseason dominance.

New Jersey Devils: A

Added: F Janne Kuokkanen, F Nate Schnarr, F Nick Merkley, F Nolan Foote, D Kevin Bahl, D Fredrik Claesson, D David Quenneville, G Zane McIntyre, 2020 first-round pick, 2020 first-round pick (conditional), 2020 fourth-round pick (conditional), 2021 second-round pick, 2021 third-round pick (conditional), 2021 fifth-round pick (conditional)
Lost: F Taylor Hall, F Blake Coleman, F Wayne Simmonds, F Blake Speers, D Andy Greene, D Sami Vatanen, G Louis Domingue, 2021 seventh-round pick (conditional)

Between the losses of Hall, Coleman, Simmonds, Greene and Vatanen, the Devils gutted their 2019-20 roster to make way for the team’s rebuild phase. The prices were steep but necessary for New Jersey, who added six draft picks — with three of them first or second-rounders — within the next two years for their departing players.

Edmonton Oilers: A

Added: F Andreas Athanasiou, F Tyler Ennis, F Ryan Kuffner, D Mike Green, G Angus Redmond, 2022 seventh-round pick (conditional)
Lost: F Sam Gagner, F Kyle Brodziak, D Joel Persson, 2020 second-round pick, 2020 fourth-round pick (conditional), 2021 second-round pick, 2021 fifth-round pick

The additions of Athanasiou and Ennis to the Oilers offense will likely pay dividends for Edmonton. The speedy Athanasiou will slot in nicely on the wing of Connor McDavid, while Ennis bolsters the Oilers’ middle-six, allowing for talent to filter down the roster.

Washington Capitals: A

Added: F Ilya Kovalchuk, F Daniel Sprong, D Brenden Dillon, 2021 fifth-round pick
Lost: F Chandler Stephenson, D Christian Djoos, 2020 second-round pick, 2020 third-round pick, 2021 third-round pick (conditional) 

Washington upgraded in two key spots at the deadline: offensive depth and defensive assistance. Kovalchuk adds to the Capitals’ bottom-six and can be used as a power play specialist while Dillon helps Washington stabilize on defense. A pair of sharp moves from Capitals’ general manager Brian MacLellan that help Washington in a tough Metropolitan Division.

Ottawa Senators: A

Added: F Jack Rodewald, F Matthew Peca, D Mike Reilly, 2020 first-round pick (conditional) 2020 second-round pick, 2020 third-round pick, 2021 fourth-round pick, 2021 fifth-round pick, 2021 sixth-round pick (conditional), 2022 third-round pick (conditional)
Lost: F Jean-Gabriel Pageau, F Vladislav Namestnikov, F Tyler Ennis, F Andrew Sturtz, F Aaron Luchuk, F Max Veronneau, F Chris Wilkie, D Dylan DeMelo, D Nick Ebert, 2020 seventh-round pick, 2021 fourth-round pick, 2021 fifth-round pick

The Senators snagged solid returns for Pageau and Namestnikov, as Ottawa ends the trade deadline by adding seven draft picks over the next three years. Should the Islanders make the playoffs, the Senators will have themselves three first-round picks in the upcoming 2020 NHL draft, a huge haul for a rebuilding team.

Boston Bruins: A-

Added: F Ondrej Kase, F Nick Ritchie
Lost: F David Backes, F Danton Heinen, D Axel Andersson, 2020 first-round pick

While a quiet deadline for the Bruins, Kase fills a hole in the team’s top-six and Boston also gets out of the majority of Backes’ contract for this season and next. Compared to the Bruins’ competitors in the East such as Tampa Bay, Washington and Pittsburgh, Boston’s deadline may seem lackluster, but the team filled a need and didn’t overpay too much in a seller’s market.

Carolina Hurricanes: A-

Added: F Vincent Trocheck, D Sami Vatanen, D Brady Skjei, D Oliwer Kaski, D Joey Keane
Lost: F Erik Haula, F Julien Gauthier, F Janne Kuokkanen, F Lucas Wallmark, F Eetu Luostarinen, D Kyle Wood, D Chase Priskie, D Fredrik Claesson, 2020 first-round pick, 2020 fourth-round pick (conditional)

Carolina paid a hefty price for Trocheck and Vatanen, while trading away their 2020 first-round pick for Skjei as well. However, the injuries the Hurricanes sustained meant the team needed to make moves to shore up their defense to remain competitive in the Metropolitan Division, and Carolina added some major names to their roster this deadline.

Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images /

Tier 2: Solid work all around

San Jose Sharks: B+

Added: F Anthony Greco, D Brandon Davidson, 2020 first-round pick, 2020 second-round pick, 2021 third-round pick, 2021 third-round pick (conditional)
Lost: F Patrick Marleau, F Barclay Goodrow, D Brenden Dillon, 2020 third-round pick, future considerations

The Sharks picked up four draft picks over the next two seasons at this deadline, solid additions for losing Marleau and Dillon to the trade block. San Jose certainly could have shipped out more players — such as Joe Thornton or  Melker Karlsson — but either the market dried up or the team did not want to part with them.

New York Islanders: B+

Added: F Jean-Gabriel Pageau, D Andy Greene, D Jordan Schmaltz
Lost: F Matt Lorito, D David Quenneville, 2020 first-round pick (conditional), 2020 second-round pick, 2021 second-round pick, 2022 third-round pick (conditional)

Pageau fits the exact style of hockey the Islanders play — defensive and overall sound with the puck — making his addition an excellent one for New York. Their payment for Pageau is a tough one to swallow, but the Islanders are contending for a playoff spot and had to make a move to stand out in a tough Metropolitan Division.

Vegas Golden Knights: B+

Added: F Nick Cousins, F Martins Dzierkals, F Chandler Stephenson, D Alec Martinez, G Robin Lehner, 2021 fourth-round pick (conditional) 
Lost: F Cody Eakin, D Slava Demin, G Malcolm Subban, 2020 second-round pick, 2020 second-round pick, 2020 fifth-round pick, 2021 second-round pick, 2021 fourth-round pick, 2021 fifth-round pick

The real meat of the Golden Knights’ trade deadline was their acquisition of goaltender Lehner to upgrade their backup netminder position from Subban. Martinez is not a bad add either on defense for Vegas, but shoring up their backup spot was a must for the Pacific-leading Golden Knights.

Philadelphia Flyers: B

Added: F Derek Grant, F Nate Thompson, F Nathan Noel, future considerations
Lost: F Kyle Criscuolo, D T.J. Brennan, G Jean-Francois Berube, 2020 fourth-round pick, 2021 fifth-round pick

Grant and Thompson add depth to the Flyers’ bottom-six, a position the team was looking to expand upon at this year’s deadline. Though not the flashy moves Flyers fans wanted to see at the deadline, Philadelphia added much-needed depth for a very small price.

Detroit Red Wings: B

Added: F Kyle Brodziak, F Brendan Perlini, F Robby Fabbri, F Sam Gagner, D Alex Biega, D Kyle Wood, G Eric Comrie, 2020 second-round pick, 2020 fourth-round pick (conditional), 2021 second-round pick
Lost: F Andreas Athanasiou, F Ryan Kuffner, F David Pope, F Jacob de la Rose, D Mike Green, D Alec Regula, D Vili Saarijarvi, D Oliwer Kaski

Detroit added three picks for the next two upcoming NHL drafts at this year’s deadline. The loss of Athanasiou hurts in the short-term, but the forward was never fitting into the Red Wings’ rebuilding plans so the pair of second-round picks Detroit picked up for him even the scales.

Los Angeles Kings: B

Added: F Trevor Moore, F Tim Schaller, F Tyler Madden, 2020 second-round pick, 2020 second-round pick, 2020 third-round pick, 2021 second-round pick, 2021 third-round pick (conditional), 2021 fourth-round pick (conditional), 2022 fourth-round pick (conditional)
Lost: F Tyler Toffoli, F Kyle Clifford, D Alec Martinez, D Derek Forbort, G Jack Campbell

The Kings were bonafide sellers at this year’s trade deadline, putting themselves in a position of strength by adding seven draft picks over the next three seasons — with three of those coming in the first few rounds of the upcoming draft. The Toffoli deal is a standout here for the Kings, as the Canucks overpaid for the upcoming free agent just a bit.

Calgary Flames: B

Added: D Erik Gustafsson, D Derek Forbort, 2020 fourth-round pick, future considerations
Lost: D Brandon Davidson, F Michael Frolik, 2020 third-round pick, 2021 fourth-round pick (conditional)

Calgary made very few moves at the 2020 trade deadline, but the Gustafsson addition is a nice pickup for a Flames team that could use more defense. Getting a fourth-round pick for Frolik back in January is also a notable move to add to Calgary’s stock of draft picks for the upcoming summer.

New York Rangers: B-

Added: F Julien Gauthier, D Nick Ebert, G Jean-Francois Berube, 2020 first-round pick, 2021 fourth-round pick
Lost: F Vladislav Namestnikov, D Brady Skjei, D Joey Keane, future considerations

Snagging a 2020 first-round pick in exchange for Skjei is a great pickup for the Rangers, who by all accounts should not be competing for a playoff spot this season. And yet, New York extended coveted trade piece Chris Kreider to a seven-year extension instead of trading him away at a high price. Maybe the Rangers couldn’t find a dance partner for Kreider at the right price, or the team believes their rebuild phase to be over, but the move without a doubt shook up the rest of trade deadline day.

Vancouver Canucks: B-

Added: F Tyler Toffoli, F David Pope, G Louis Domingue
Lost: F Tim Schaller, F Tyler Madden, D Alex Biega, G Zane McIntyre, 2020 second-round pick, 2022 fourth-round pick (conditional)

The injury-riddled Canucks paid a steep price for upcoming unrestricted free agent Toffoli, who does not guarantee the Canucks a playoff spot with over a month to go. Vancouver has 72 points and sits in third place in the Pacific, but the division is volatile and quick to change with how close the teams are. Toffoli is a good add, however, it may not be enough to get the Canucks into the playoffs when all is said and done.

Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images
Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images /

Tier 3: Hit or miss

Montreal Canadiens: C+

Added: F Jake Lucchini, F Aaron Luchuk, F Joseph Blandisi, F Andrew Sturtz, F Laurent Dauphin, 2020 second-round pick, 2020 third-round pick, 2020 seventh-round pick, 2021 fourth-round pick (conditional), 2021 fourth-round pick, 2021 fifth-round pick, 2021 fifth-round pick
Lost: F Ilya Kovalchuk, F Nate Thompson, F Nick Cousins, F Phil Varone, F Riley Barber, F Matthew Peca, F Michael McCarron, D Marco Scandella, D Mike Reilly, 2020 fourth-round pick

The Canadiens nabbed seven draft picks over the next two seasons — though only two of them are top-round draft picks — over the last few months leading up to the deadline. Kovalchuk went a bit under their original asking price (for a third-round pick instead of a second) and Montreal overall did what needed to be done in acquire future assets, but it wasn’t flashy.

Anaheim Ducks: C+

Added: F David Backes, F Sonny Milano, F Kyle Criscuolo, F Danton Heinen, D Christian Djoos, D Erik Gudbranson, D Joel Persson, D Matt Irwin, D Axel Andersson, 2020 first-round pick, 2020 fourth-round pick, 2022 sixth-round pick
Lost: F Ondrej Kase, F Devin Shore, F Nick Ritchie, F Daniel Sprong, F Andreas Martinsen, F Derek Grant, D Korbinian Holzer, G Angus Redmond, 2021 seventh-round pick, 2022 seventh-round pick (conditional)

Anaheim’s position as a seller in this year’s deadline didn’t do them any favors as they took on the last year and a half of Backes’ $6 million contract. Props to general manager Bob Murray for getting the Bruins to retain 25 percent of that contract, however, and for snagging Boston’s first-rounds as well. Overall a slightly above average deadline for Anaheim, who really just moved around the margins outside of the Kase deal.

Colorado Avalanche: C+

Added: F Vladislav Namestnikov, G Michael Hutchinson
Lost: D Calle Rosen, 2021 fourth-round pick

Monday was a pretty quiet deadline for the Avalanche, adding just Namestnikov and Hutchinson. Colorado was rumored as a destination for a handful of big trade pieces — such as Kreider — but ultimately were shut out on that front. Colorado had a bunch of cap space to spend this deadline, but opted to make a few auxiliary moves to flesh out the team’s depth.

Arizona Coyotes: C

Added: F Taylor Hall, F Blake Speers, F Markus Hannikainen, D Vili Saarijarvi
Lost: F Nate Schnarr, F Nick Merkley, D Kevin Bahl, G Eric Comrie, 2020 first-round pick (conditional), 2020 seventh-round pick (conditional), 2021 third-round pick (conditional)

The Coyotes opted to make just one trade on Monday’s deadline — for Hannikainen — but their big pick up came back in December when the team traded for Hall. As a wild card contending team, it would have been nice to see Arizona make another splash of some kind, but Hall has helped keep the Coyotes in the race with 25 points in 30 games for the team so far this season.

Minnesota Wild: C

Added: F Alex Galchenyuk, D Calen Addison, 2020 first-round pick (conditional)
Lost: F Jason Zucker

Minnesota was just one of three teams on Monday to stand pat at the deadline, with their only deal the Zucker one made weeks before the deadline. The Wild were rumored to be moving forward Zach Parise to the Islanders for Andrew Ladd in the closing hours of the deadline, but the deal fell through in the end. Sad, as that was the most surprising trade rumor to come from the day, but the Wild remain in playoff contention despite the lack of activity.

St. Louis Blues: C

Added: F Jacob de la Rose, D Marco Scandella
Lost: F Robby Fabbri, 2020 second-round pick, 2021 fourth-round pick (conditional)

The Blues also made no moves at the 2020 NHL trade deadline, likely due to the increasing health of forward Vladimir Tarasenko, who has been out with a shoulder injury since October. St. Louis sits as the three-point leader of the Central Division, a balance they probably did not want to upset by making moves just to make moves at the deadline.

Winnipeg Jets: C

Added: F Cody Eakin, D Dylan DeMelo
Lost: 2020 third-round pick, 2021 fourth-round pick (conditional) 

Like the Blues and Wild before them, the Jets also made no moves at the trade deadline on Monday. Their pair of pickups — Eakin and DeMelo — came in mid-February, and while the team seemed to be looking to trade defenseman Dustin Byfuglien, no potential deal emerged for the injured blue liner.

Columbus Blue Jackets: C

Added: F Devin Shore, 2020 seventh-round pick (conditional)
Lost: F Sonny Milano, F Markus Hannikainen

The Blue Jackets had the cap space to make moves at this trade deadline, yet opted to make a pair of secondary depth moves. Shore is a nice bottom-six piece that can be slotted in and out with ease, but overall doesn’t tip the scales either way for the Blue Jackets.

Dallas Stars: C

Added: F Oula Palve, 2020 sixth-round pick
Lost: D John Nyberg, D Emil Djuse

Dallas had the chance to snag Joe Thornton from the Sharks, as there was mutual interest between the two parties at the deadline, but a deal fell through. There is a case to be made that no moves were good moves to make for the Stars, as they stand eight points above the wild card and are third in the Central with 78 points. It would have been nice to see them take a legitimate run at someone, but the team was in a good position to stand firm at the deadline.

Florida Panthers: C-

Added: F Erik Haula, F Lucas Wallmark, F Eetu Luostarinen, F Danick Martel, F Mason Marchment, F Ryan Haggerty, F Aleksi Saarela, F Chris Wilkie, D Chase Priskie, D Emil Djuse
Lost: F Vincent Trocheck, F Anthony Greco, F Jack Rodewald, F Denis Malgin, F Kevin Roy, D Ian McCoshen, 2020 sixth-round pick

The Trocheck deal is a bit mystifying for the Panthers, who are just four points out of a wild card spot and who gave up a forward that put up 31 goals just two seasons ago. Florida got a haul in return, for sure, but given the Panthers’ spot as playoff contenders, the trade is a bit of a head-scratcher, as Trocheck is no doubt the best player in that deal.

Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images /

Tier 4: Poor showings

Toronto Maple Leafs: D+

Added: F Kyle Clifford, F Denis Malgin, F Max Veronneau, F Miikka Salomaki, F Matt Lorito, D Calle Rosen, G Jack Campbell, 2020 fifth-round pick
Lost: F Trevor Moore, F Mason Marchment, F Aaron Luchuk, F Martins Dzierkals, D Jordan Schmaltz, D Ben Harpur, G Michael Hutchinson, 2020 third-round pick, 2021 third-round pick (conditional), 2021 sixth-round pick (conditional) 

Given how disasterous Toronto’s last few weeks have gone, it’s a surprise to not see a move made to help jolt the team back to life. No major additions were made to the Maple Leafs’ lineup, which needs a kick, while general manager Kyle Dubas was unable to find a trading partner for Tyson Barrie. Not an inspiring trade deadline for Toronto, that’s for sure.

Nashville Predators: D+

Added: F Michael McCarron, D Ben Harpur, D Korbinian Holzer
Lost: F Laurent Dauphin, F Miikka Salomaki, D Matt Irwin, 2022 sixth-round pick

The Predators did next-to-nothing at the 2020 NHL trade deadline, an unfortunate sight given how the team has gone 6-3-1 in their last 10 games and have crawled back into playoff contention as they sit two points out of the wild card spot. Nashville had the cap space to make moves, but seemingly did not want to rock the boat despite the desperate nature of this team’s playoff hopes.

Buffalo Sabres D-

Added: F Wayne Simmonds, F Michael Frolik, F Dominik Kahun, D Matt Spencer, 
Lost: F Conor Sheary, F Evan Rodrigues, D Marco Scandella, D Devante Stephens, 2021 fifth-round pick (conditional) 

The Simmonds trade, frankly, makes no sense for the Sabres. Buffalo may still be alive in the playoff race, with 4.4 percent odds to make the postseason according to MoneyPuck, but the acquisition of Simmonds doesn’t get them there. The deal is even more perplexing when Devils interim general manager Tom Fitzgerald revealed that Simmonds chose to go to Buffalo because he “[wants] to get to the playoffs.” Yeah, we don’t get it either.

Chicago Blackhawks: F

Added: F Joseph Cramarossa, D T.J. Brennan, D Slava Demin, D Ian McCoshen, D Alec Regula, G Malcom Subban, 2020 second-round pick, 2020 third-round pick
Lost: F Brendan Perlini, F Graham Knott, F Aleksi Saarela, F Nathan Noel, D Erik Gustafsson, G Robin Lehner

Chicago’s deal to send solid backup goaltender Lehner — who has a .918 save percentage in 33 games played this season — for a worse backup in Subban (.890 save percentage in 20 games) was probably the worst move made on Monday. After the trade broke, reports came down that Lehner even offered to take a three-year contract extension for less money from the Blackhawks to stay in Chicago, but he never received an offer. Overall, a highly disappointing deadline for usually astute general manager Stan Bowman and the Blackhawks.

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