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The Western Conference Deadline Review

Recapping a very exciting Trade Deadline in the Western Conference.

With the Trade Deadline officially in the rear-view mirror, it’s clear where every team stands in the Western Conference. The top teams in both divisions were actively looking to get better, and almost all of them have done that in the past week. The Western Conference playoffs are set to be an absolute gauntlet of competition and we cannot wait for it to get underway. For now, let’s review the biggest moves.

Central Division

Winnipeg Jets

At the top of the Central, the Jets didn’t stop with the addition of Sean Monahan a few weeks ago. On Friday, they grabbed forward Tyler Toffoli and blueliner Colin Miller. Both players are most likely rentals for the postseason run but should be playing valuable minutes for their new team. Winnipeg gave away a 2nd, 3rd, and 4th round pick in total for the two players, meaning that they’ve clearly only improved their current roster. Toffoli has 44 points in 61 games this season, while Miller has put up 8 in 41. Both were playing in New Jersey before the deals. 

Colorado Avalanche

Colorado was just as busy as the Jets. It was tough to see Bowen Byram go, but the addition of Sean Walker probably makes them a better team defensively. In the Byram deal, they got Casey Mittelstadt in return, who quietly put up 47 points in 62 games for Buffalo this season before the trade. It was pretty clear than Ryan Johansen was not working out with the Avs, so to be able to get rid of him in the Walker deal and then grab Mittelstadt was certainly a win for Joe Sakic and the management group. Colorado also added a few more depth pieces, and if the new guys can gel, this team will once again be a formidable one to see in the postseason. 

Dallas Stars

Dallas, the last of the top dogs in the Central, was a little quieter. In fact, their trade for Chris Tanev on February 28thmarked their last move before the deadline. Still, we love where the Stars are right now, and even picked them to win the division at the end of the season. Tanev brings the type of play that any team could use in the postseason, and he joins a group already full of veterans with playoff experience. Sometimes, not changing anything is OK, and it was nice to see Dallas stick with their roster despite the big moves from Colorado and Winnipeg. 

Pacific Division

Vegas Golden Knights

In the Pacific, the Vegas Golden Knights led the way once again. After getting things kicked off with a deal for Anthony Mantha, Vegas also grabbed Noah Hanifin and Tomas Hertl before the deadline. This team has always been aggressive when it comes to bringing in difference-makers, and this year’s deadline week was no exception. Despite not even holding a top three spot in the division right now, it’s clear that Vegas believes they can still compete at the top of the Western Conference. If Mark Stone and Alec Martinez are back off the LTIR for game one of the playoffs, they absolutely can. Vegas just keeps getting away with it. 

Edmonton Oilers

The Oilers also made some noise before the deadline, bringing in Adam Henrique, Sam Carrick and Troy Stecher. Carrick and Stecher won’t play huge minutes for Edmonton, but both are established NHL-quality players that help round out the lineup. Adam Henrique, on the other hand, will come with higher expectations. With 42 points in 60 games this season, Henrique should see some time in the top six, meaning he’ll be playing alongside Leon Draisaitl or Connor McDavid. If that’s the case, he’ll be expected to produce for the Oilers almost immediately.

Vancouver Canucks

Finally, we go to Vancouver. Like Dallas, the Canucks made their only move a while ago and spent the week watching their competition improve. The current roster is the one that’s gotten them to the top of the Western Conference, so we’re not too concerned with their lack of activity. They were reportedly trying to get more deals done, but the team simply could not match other offers. Instead of getting desperate for another move, the roster will stay intact, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. However, if they were to see Vegas in the first round, they may end up regretting not going all out for that extra trade.

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