NHL: News & Notes
With the NHL Trade Deadline coming up in less than a week on March 2, all the rumors and rumblings continue to pick up. Lets take a look at some headlines from Tuesday.
Early Tuesday, a pair of young forwards were traded for each other as the Anaheim Ducks and Montreal Canadiens struck a deal. The Ducks sent gritty Devante Smith-Pelly to the Canadiens in exchange for rookie Jiri Sekac.
Both players are 22 years-old and will provide their new clubs with different skill sets. Smith-Pelly is a blossoming power forward with some offensive potential, while Sekac has a higher offensive ceiling than Smith-Pelly.
My take: I’m a big fan of Smith-Pelly. He was excellent for the Ducks in the playoffs last year. He’s the type of player that will be a huge benefit to the Canadiens adding much needed grit. If Sekac can live up to his potential, then the Ducks obtain a high skilled forward that can be a top-6 forward for many years to come. This is a true trade that should benefit both teams and while any deal can’t have a winner or loser until games are actually played and time goes by, this move has the makings of a deal that will have two winners.
The New York Islanders agreed to a seven-year contract extension with defenseman Nick Leddy, with an AAV of $5.5m. The 23-year-old has been a great addition to the Islanders back-end this season both offensively and defensively.
My Take: This is a great deal for the Islanders. Leddy has been fantastic for them this season and with being so young, should only get better as he reaches his prime years.
The Los Angeles Kings signed forward Jordan Nolan to a three-year contract extension with an AAV of $950,000. The 25-year-old son of Buffalo Sabers head coach Ted Nolan had been a healthy scratch earlier in the season, but has been playing very well since getting back in the lineup. Nolan is a tough customer that also has a bit of skill. He’s a nice 4th line player.
My Take: While this is a minor move, the interesting factor is Nolan has been somebody mentioned as possible trade bait for the Kings, as he generated a lot of interest from Eastern Conference teams looking for size. Perhaps Nolan can still be dealt or possibly Kyle Clifford could be on the outs or of course they can both stay. If Nolan can continue to develop and make the most of his time, it’s not a reach to suggest he can be a 10-12 goal scorer per year which is excellent value for a 4th line player, in addition to his speed and grit.