It’s trade season in the NHL, and with the flurry of activity at the NHL Trade Deadline, ESPN has the instant fantasy hockey reaction to guide what to expect from these old faces in their new places.
Keep it locked on this page, as it will update in real time as more trades become official. To keep track of who is still on the board and the terms of all deals that have been made so far, check out the NHL Trade Tracker as well as Trade Grades.
Florida Panthers acquire Claude Giroux from Philadelphia Flyers: The logical first fit to try for the Panthers overkill acquisition is on the top line with Aleksander Barkov. The second line with Jonathan Huberdeau, Anthony Duclair and Sam Bennett has a groove going, while room can be made next to Barkov by moving Maxim Mamin down the depth chart. Regardless, this is nothing but good news for Giroux, who is now a key piece of a powerhouse offense instead of bumbling around to the tune of 1.6 fantasy points per game with the Flyers. This will now doubt elevate Giroux’s output, as Barkov is a fantasy kingmaker. Carter Verhaeghe might be the only fantasy free agent you can target from the Panthers that gets elevated by this deal. He likely has first dibs on filling out the top line with Barkov and Giroux, and is available in just under 50 percent of ESPN leagues. Surely Giroux also gets time on the top power-play unit, but whether that comes at the expense of Anthony Duclair or Sam Reinhart is less clear.
Philadelphia Flyers acquire Owen Tippett: Tippett is the Flyers return for the rental of their longtime captain. Tippett has potential as a scoring winger with the right linemates, but this isn’t the time or place for him to blossom. The Flyers are playing out the year without center Sean Couturier. With 33 points in 94 games across two seasons with the Panthers, I’m not sure there’s a market to stash Tippett in even the deepest of dynasty formats, as his breakout doesn’t appear imminent. We can revisit Tippett for fantasy before next season when we see what the Flyers do in the offseason.
Toronto Maple Leafs acquire Mark Giordano and Colin Blackwell from Seattle Kraken: This much-rumoured trade has come to fruition to give the Leafs another veteran to solidify the blue line. Giordano has averaged better than 2.0 fantasy points per game in each of the past six seasons before seeing his output fade to 1.8 with the expansion Kraken. This will be a comfortable spot for Giordano, who gets to pair up with his longtime partner T.J. Brodie (who helped Giordano to the Norris Trophy in 2018-19). While Giordano probably doesn’t supplant Morgan Rielly on the top power-play unit, he doesn’t necessarily need to; Giordano still pushed past 2.0 fantasy points per game last season even though Rasmus Andersson had more power-play minutes. The improved environment alone should be enough to get Giordano back to being a fantasy regular.
Blackwell is a longshot for any value, but he did play 200 minutes with Ryan Strome and Artemi Panarin last season with the New York Rangers. The trio had 12 goals together (and only six against), so Blackwell has some upside if pushed into a top-six role.
Ottawa Senators acquire Travis Hamonic from Vancouver Canucks: There are a couple of subtle fantasy implications here, mostly driven by the fact that Hamonic is one of 26 defensemen averaging 2.0 fantasy points per game or better this season. Hamonic has only played 23 games, so there isn’t a lot of season-long value there, but the per-minute value shouldn’t be ignored completely. Hamonic has a chance to continue driving spot-start value with the Senators, who lost Thomas Chabot and his 26 minutes per game for the rest of the season. If Hamonic starts getting 20-plus minutes to keep hitting and blocking shots, there might be some continued value here.
Vancouver Canucks acquire Travis Dermott from the Toronto Maple Leafs: On the other side, Dermott should replace Hamonic on the Canucks third pairing, but probably can’t replicate Hamonic’s per-game stats here.
Boston Bruins get Hampus Lindholm from the Anaheim Ducks: Charlie McAvoy has found his new defensive partner for the foreseeable future, and it’s a good one. A defensive stalwart who can manage the power play when he has to, Lindholm should push McAvoy’s fantasy value up to the next level. Already a top-20 defensemen for fantasy this season, McAvoy could push toward the top-12. Lindholm has never been a solid fantasy play on his own, topping out at 1.7 fantasy points per game in 2017-18, but he’ll make McAvoy better and he’ll make life even easier than it already is for Jeremy Swayman.
Tampa Bay Lightning get Brandon Hagel from Chicago Blackhawks: We’ll have to wait and see if Hagel can push out some of the Lightning’s top-six regulars, but he’s a fantastic insurance policy for any injury on the wings going forward. In his Lightning debut, he did not get a scoring-line role over Alex Killorn, Anthony Cirelli or Ondrej Palat. But Hagel has been sniping this season, with 21 goals and a regular role on the Hawks power play. He’s not someone to jump on for fantasy production in this new spot, but if you see him start to edge up the depth chart — particularly replacing Killorn on the top power play — then Hagel could have some value down the stretch.