The summer of 2015 was incredibly active across the NHL with some big names changes places. In the wake of the Ryan Johansen-Seth Jones trade, and with everyone trying to name one of the two teams an instant winner, it’s worth looking back now at how some of the bigger trades from the summer have turned out so far.
- Buffalo acquires forwards Ryan O’Reilly and Jamie McGinn
- Colorado acquires defenseman Nikita Zadorov, forwards Mikhail Grigorenko and J.T. Compher and a 2nd round pick (#31 – Jeremy Roy) in 2015
A deal that was intriguing for many but didn’t move the needle across the league has turned out to be a fantastic trade for Buffalo. O’Reilly has as many goals (17) in 41 games as he did last year in 82 with Colorado and has become a central figure in the Sabres’ offense. Grigorenko has just 12 points in 38 games this season and Zadorov played 11 games with the Avs before being sent to the AHL. Compher, perhaps the best asset going back to Colorado, has 25 points in 18 games for the University of Michigan.
- Los Angeles acquires forward Milan Lucic
- Boston acquires defenseman Colin Miller a 1st round pick (#13 – Jakub Zboril) in 2015 from LA, forward Sean Kuraly and 1st round pick in the 2016 draft from San Jose
- San Jose acquires goaltender Martin Jones
The moving pieces here were in two separate transactions. The Lucic trade happened on June 26, and Boston subsequently flipped Jones to the Sharks four days later. To date, Lucic is on pace to match his disappointing numbers from last season in Boston; he has 11 goals and 12 assists in 40 games. Miller, who somewhat surprisingly made the jump to Boston’s lineup, has three goals and 11 assists in 30 games with the Bruins. Jones, meanwhile, has taken the spot on top of the Sharks’ depth chart in net and has a .910 save percentage and 16-13-2 record with three shutouts in 32 appearances this season.
- Columbus acquires forwards Brandon Saad and Alex Broadhurst and defenseman Mike Paliotta
- Chicago acquires forwards Artem Anisimov, Marko Dano, Jeremy Morin and Corey Tropp and a 4th round pick in 2016
The surprise deal of the summer had Chicago fans blown away, but with half of a regular season behind us the pain of losing a future star in Saad has diminished for many. The Hawks immediately signed Anisimov to a five-year extension and he has become a solid, reliable center on the best offensive line in Chicago. Dano has spent most of the season in Rockford but still has a lot of promise, and adding a pick in the upcoming draft helps. Tropp’s rights went to Albany of the AHL, where he has spent the season. Morin was traded recently for Richard Panik.
Saad has been good for the dysfunctional Blue Jackets this year. He has 16 goals and 13 assists in 41 games, but the center most envisioned him spending the next decade with – Johansen – fell out of favor with the new coaching staff and is no longer in Columbus. Paliotta and Broadhurst are both with Lake Erie in the AHL.
- Pittsburgh acquires forwards Phil Kessel and Tyler Biggs, defenseman Tim Erixon and a conditional future draft pick
- Toronto acquires forwards Nick Spaling and Kasperi Kapanen, defenseman Scott Harrington, a 3rd round pick in 2016 and a conditional future draft pick
Toronto got Spaling (4 assists in 24 games), Kapanen (10 points in 17 games in the AHL) and Harrington (split time between the Leafs and Marlies; has played 15 NHL games with one assist) and may have actually won this trade. Kessel was supposed to make Pittsburgh an unstoppable offensive team, and they’ve been far from that this year. For his part, Kessel has contributed 23 points in 50 games, and is on pace for the worst full 82-game regular season of his NHL career. Biggs has two points in five games in the AHL, and Erixon has 12 points in 30 AHL contests. What makes this deal worse for Pittsburgh is Kessel’s cap hit, and giving up a third round pick to get it done.
- Dallas acquires forward Patrick Sharp and defenseman Stephen Johns
- Chicago acquires forward Ryan Garbutt and defenseman Trevor Daley.
This was a pure salary dump for the Hawks, and Stan Bowman was able to convince Dallas to retain half of Garbutt’s cap hit. Daley tried to carve himself a role in the Hawks’ lineup but it didn’t work out, and he was later traded to Pittsburgh for Rob Scuderi in another deal in which Bowman talked another team into retaining salary. Sharp has been everything Hawks fans loved for nearly a decade for the Stars, and has been a big part of the Stars’ run to first place in the Central. Johns is still in the AHL. Garbutt is still working in a fourth line role for the Hawks.
- Boston acquires forward Jimmy Hayes
- Florida acquires forward Reilly Smith and Marc Savard’s cap hit
An intriguing deal at the time, the biggest news when the deal was announced was Savard’s cap hit moving. But Hayes was coming off a 19-goal season in Florida and Smith was coming off a nice 40-point campaign in Boston. This deal has worked out fairly well for both sides. Smith is among the team leaders with 12 goals for the first place Florida Panthers (say that a few times), while former Hawks prospect Hayes is on pace for the best season of his career with 20 points in 37 games for the Bruins.