The Carolina Hurricanes had a massive trade deadline day and in addition to acquiring Vincent Trocheck from Florida, they added a pair of defensemen in Brady Skjei and Sami Vatanen.
I already broke down the trade for Vincent Trocheck yesterday, so you can give that a read here.
In the meantime, I’ll look at the trades for Skjei and Vatanen.
In terms of the deal for Skjei, I was a bit surprised to see them add a left-shot defender. That said, they didn’t have a ton of time to find defensive help and to get a fairly young defenseman who’s under contract at a reasonable price for another four years, is a solid add. I imagine this means they’ll look to move Gardiner in the offseason.
Giving up a first-round pick is a fair deal. Not an overpayment, not cheap but fair all around. The Hurricanes still have a first-round pick, so they basically got Skjei simply for taking on Patrick Marleau’s contract for a year. It’s a good add.
As for Sami Vatanen, they managed to get their right-shot defenseman, even if he’s just a rental. With Jaccob Slavin, Brett Pesce, Jake Gardiner and now Brady Skjei under contract for years to come and considering Dougie Hamilton is still in need of a contract extension next year, I'd imagine it's unlikely that Vatanen is extended past this season.
They gave up Janne Kuokkanen, Frederik Claesson and a third or fourth round pick. Obviously, Claesson and the pick are a small price to pay– Kuokkanen is the main piece here. I praised the Hurricanes in the Trocheck deal for moving prospects that weren’t realistically going to be impact players on the team rather than picks but in the case of Kuokkanen, I think he could’ve been a good middle-six player for the Hurricanes. Still, it was obvious that the Hurricanes desperately needed a right-handed defenseman and were dealing from a position of weakness, so as result, it’s not a huge price to pay.
I think the only miss yesterday was passing up on making a deal for a goaltender. Vegas didn’t pay a massive price to get Lehner and after seeing the contents of it, I’m pretty surprised the Hurricanes weren’t willing to give up what Chicago was asking for, even factoring in the assets they gave up in their other deals.
Overall though, deadline day was a huge win for the Hurricanes. They made the moves they needed to and have a strong enough team to compete in the playoffs.
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OTHER ARTICLES FROM FEBRUARY
Hurricanes acquire Trocheck from Panthers
Moves need to be made
Could adding a defenseman affect Hamilton's long-term future in Carolina?
Hurricanes trade Julien Gauthier to Rangers, acquire Joey Keane
Hurricanes need more secondary scoring
Gardiner is taking advantage of increased role