Feb 9 – Vladimir Tarasenko to the Rangers
This is already one of the biggest NHL trades of the season and it may not even be New York’s biggest by Deadline Day. With the move from St. Louis, Tarasenko went from a bottom feeding team very unlikely to make playoffs to one of the most exciting teams and cities to play for in the league. Even though he may not be what he once was, Tarasenko is still a talented winger that won’t have to be the main producer for his new team and helps their depth at forward considerably. With New York looking very solid in net and on the blue line already, this move basically ensures that the team will have no real holes heading into playoffs.
Feb 17 – Ryan O’Reilly to the Leafs
If the Leafs want to finally get past the first round of the NHL playoffs, they need to be a grittier team than they’ve been in the past. With O’Reilly, they get a tough, veteran leader that fits the bill with playoff experience and a knack for coming up big in the most important games. His impact was immediate with the team, as he notched a hat trick in just his third game as a Maple Leaf. Although they didn’t make the move for him to shine in the regular season, it’s great to see the instant chemistry he’s been able to form with his new linemates. Given where Toronto wants to go this year, this move from Kyle Dubas certainly has the potential to be the biggest of the NHL trades this season.
Feb 26 – Timo Meier to the Devils
Often overlooked in San Jose, Timo Meier now has a chance to show the NHL world just how good he is on this young and exciting Devils team. Whether he plays with Hischier or Hughes, Timo should expect to see good minutes in New Jersey’s top six as well as first unit powerplay time. If he gels quickly with his new team, scoring 40 this season is definitely not out of the realm of possibility for Meier. New Jersey’s path in the playoffs won’t be an easy one, but grabbing another forward like Meier makes them even more dangerous as a young team coming in with something to prove.
Even with these big moves already in the books, expect a lot more excitement this week as Trade Deadline Day looms ever closer!
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