With the NHL Playoffs about to get underway, it felt like a great time to look at those who made an impact from the NHL Trade Deadline. That is correct. A few players shifted their teams into even better versions of themselves.

Unlike last year, when the Eastern Conference was so top-heavy at the NHL Trade Deadline, this year’s trade deadline saw fewer standout moves. However, the contending teams will still make some moves that can help their chances in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Anyway, it is time to reveal some of our best.

NHL Trade Deadline Fallout: Blues, Lightning, Maple Leafs, and the Capitals

Impactful Eastern Conference Trade Deadline Moves

Jake Guentzel – Carolina Hurricanes

The Carolina Hurricanes finally decided to change their philosophy and go big game hunting at the trade deadline. Carolina usually shied away from trading for a pending unrestricted free agent, but this year was different. They acquired Jake Guentzel from the Pittsburgh Penguins and Evgeny Kuznetsov (one year left on his contract) from the Washington Capitals.

Carolina can get to the Eastern Conference Final, but their offense disappears. That won’t be a problem with acquiring one of the best playoff performers in Jake ‘The Snake’ Guentzel. In 16 games with the Canes, he has 24 points (eight goals and 16 assists). He is already producing for Carolina.

Guentzel’s playoff production of 58 points (34 goals and 24 assists) in 58 games. Most of that came in his first two seasons, with 21 points in 2016-17 and 2017-18, winning the 2017 Stanley Cup with the Penguins. But in 2022, he had 10 points in seven games. So, he shows up in the most significant moments.

Vladimir Tarasenko – Florida Panthers 

The Florida Panthers were also active at the trade deadline, picking up playoff performer Vladimir Tarasenko. The addition of Tarasenko by the Panthers was sneaky enough to complete their top six and nine.

Tarasenko can play on either the first or second line and on the power play. As we have seen, special teams are essential to a team’s success in the playoffs. In 17 games since the NHL Trade Deadline, Tarasenko has 13 points (six goals and seven assists). He fits nicely into Paul Maurice’s system.

We know what Tarasenko can do in the playoffs, similar to Guentzel. In 97 games in the playoffs, he has 64 points (44 goals and 20 assists), including 17 points (11 goals and six assists) when he won the Stanley Cup with the St. Louis Blues in 2019. He steps up when it matters.

No Need For The NHL To Expand the Stanley Cup Playoffs

Anthony Duclair – Tampa Bay Lightning

Again, there were not many names to choose from in the East. However, the Tampa Bay Lightning made sneaky good moves to improve their team. First, they added Anthony Duclair from the San Jose Sharks.

Duclair has brought stability back to the Lightning’s offense. They are not just relying on their top guys to carry the load; they once again have depth. GM Julien BriseBois did not have much money to play with, and thus, he had to find value. Duclair is that value.

In 14 games with the Lightning, he has 12 points (six goals and six assists). He can play the middle to bottom six. He does not have much playoff experience, but last year in 20 games with the Florida Panthers, Duclair recorded 11 points. So that is good depth value for a Lightning team that can beat anyone right now.

Honorable Mention Move Of The Deadline

Matt Dumba – Tampa Bay Lightning

In the honorable mention category, we are staying with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Again, there is not much to choose from the NHL Trade Deadline in the East, but what Matt Dumba has done for the Lightning defense is worth mentioning.

Dumba has brought the energy back to the Lightning locker room and on defense. Things looked grim with Mikhail Sergachev lost for the season, but again, BriseBois had to find value in the trade market with the limited cap space.

Dumba has been excellent for them. While the numbers might not be the best, he is playing on the third pair for the Lightning. He is just there for depth, but he has rejuvenated the Lightning. Not to mention, he has plenty of playoff experience.



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