The draft doesn’t happen until tonight, but the NHL offseason is already getting interesting! Yesterday, the speculation around Tyler Toffoli and Pierre-Luc Dubois ended as both forwards were moved by the Flames and Jets. Today, we’ll break down the two biggest trades of the offseason so far.
Toffoli to the Devils
New Jersey added another big piece up front yesterday to round out what is now a very dangerous Top 6. With Toffoli telling Calgary he wouldn’t resign, the Devils’ front office had the leverage in this deal and ended up shipping Yegor Sharangovich and a 3rd round pick back to the Flames. This move marks the beginning of what could be a very challenging offseason for Calgary, as the futures of players like Noah Hanifin, Michael Backlund and Elias Lindholm are still very much up in the air.
In New Jersey, however, the future is BRIGHT. After a surprisingly successful regular season and a playoff series win against the rival Rangers, the Devils look to be in a great spot to contend for the next five years. Toffoli may not end up re-signing with the team, but he’d be hard-pressed to find a better scenario if he does decide to walk at the end of next season. New Jersey has Timo Meier, Jack Hughes, Jesper Bratt, Nico Hischier, Ondrej Palat and Dougie Hamilton all locked up for at least the next four seasons. They’ve also got Luke Hughes, Simon Nemec and Alexander Holtz looking to become big factors in the next year or two.
Despite a very competitive roster, a veteran like Tyler Toffoli will still play a big role. His game is in a great spot, as he just led Calgary with a career-high 73 points in 82 games. Now, he’ll be alongside one of the best young players in the NHL in Jack Hughes. For what they gave up, this is a great deal for the Devils and a great result for Toffoli.
PLD to the Kings
The Devils weren’t the only ones who made a splash for a big forward on his way out of a Canadian market, as the L.A. Kings scooped up Pierre-Luc Dubois from Winnipeg. Dubois had already requested a trade from the Jets and immediately signed an eight-year deal worth $68m. Like the Flames, Winnipeg is facing an exodus of big-name players this offseason, and PLD’s deal is probably just the beginning.
The Kings may not have a future as bright as New Jersey’s, but they should still be a force in the Pacific with PLD on the roster. L.A.’s best chance to contend may actually be next year, as Trevor Moore and Anze Kopitar will become UFAs at the end of next season, while Arthur Kaliyev and Quinton Byfield become RFAs. Of course, lots will happen over Dubois’ time with the Kings if it doesn’t get cut short, but the team should understand that next season will give them a great opportunity.
In return, the Jets actually did pretty well for themselves. They picked up Gabe Vilardi, Alex Iaffalo, Rasmus Kupari, and a 2024 2nd-round pick, all for a player that wasn’t going to stay there anyways. Vilardi and Kupari are both former first-round picks with a lot of offensive potential, while Iafallo has proven to be a steady depth producer over his five years in the league. Realistically, this trade could easily give Winnipeg three top-9 forwards next season. Unfortunately, both Vilardi and Kupari are both RFAs at the moment, so signing them should be a priority in the coming weeks.
The offseason started with a bang with these trades, and hopefully, we’ll see a few more tonight at the NHL Draft! In the meantime, check out our 2023 Mock Draft.