One of the biggest trades the Carolina Hurricanes have made in recent memory was acquiring defenseman Dougie Hamilton in a blockbuster deal with the Calgary Flames, back in June of 2018.
With Hamilton leaving the Hurricanes after three seasons, however, it’s worth looking back at the trade to see which team is still benefitting the most from the deal. The swap saw the Hurricanes send defenseman Noah Hanifin and forward Elias Lindholm to the Calgary Flames, in exchange for Hamilton, forward Micheal Ferland and defenseman Adam Fox.
Hanifin was just 21 years old at the time of the deal and had been selected fifth overall in the 2015 NHL Draft. Since the trade, he’s taken a large role with the Flames and has scored 14 goals and 70 points in 197 games with the team.
Lindholm, on the other hand, has significantly upped his game since heading to Calgary, becoming a top forward for the team. In six seasons with the Hurricanes, Lindholm had averaged 14 goals and 41 points per 82 games, but in his three seasons with the Flames, Lindholm has managed a pace of 30 goals and 71 points per 82.
As for the other players who came to the Hurricanes, Ferland spent one year with the team, where he scored 17 goals and 40 points in 71 games, before signing with the Vancouver Canucks in free agency at the end of the year.
Perhaps the biggest name in the entire trade, however, was the one player who wasn’t even in the NHL at the time of the deal, being Adam Fox. After Fox wouldn’t sign in Carolina, the Hurricanes dealt him to the New York Rangers, where he’s had a massive impact over the last two years, winning the Norris Trophy this year at just 23 years old.
In exchange for Fox, the Hurricanes got back two second-round picks. They dealt the first to move down in the 2019 draft, selecting Jamieson Rees with the 44th overall pick and then Anttoni Honka with the 83rd pick. The team followed up by using the remaining second-round pick to select Noel Gunler with the 41st overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.
So to recap, here’s where the two teams stand now:
F- Elias Lindholm
D- Noah Hanifin
F- Noel Gunler
F- Jamieson Rees
D- Anttoni Honka
D- Adam Fox (with New York)
D- Dougie Hamilton (with New Jersey)
F- Micheal Ferland (with Vancouver)
It’s interesting assessing this trade because the Hurricanes did get the better return on paper and if they had both Hamilton and Fox on the roster right now, it wouldn’t be much of a question as to who won the deal. However, the Hurricanes now have just three prospects to show for from the trade, while the Flames retained key pieces.
You could make the argument that Hamilton was the most impactful player of the bunch for a large part of the three years since the trade, but again, he won’t be around going forward. The Hurricanes also likely didn’t expect Lindholm to become such an impactful player with the Flames but he’s been great for them since being acquired.
While the Hurricanes couldn’t have necessarily anticipated Hamilton leaving in free agency when they made the deal, the Flames are almost surely to benefit more from the trade than the Hurricanes going forward, with two key pieces remaining on their roster.
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