It’s often said that you need to wait years before you can really determine the winners and losers of a trade. That’s especially true when draft picks or prospects are involved. It’s often the case that years after a big trade, the picks and prospects acquired wind up having a huge impact that’s really the result of a trade that isn’t often looked back on.
With that in mind, here’s a look at 11 players who are with their current team because of trades they aren’t often associated with. They’re the forgotten pieces of massive trades or they were a part of a small trade that wasn’t given much attention at the time of the move.
T.J. Brodie, Calgary Flames
Dougie Hamilton isn’t the only player on the Calgary blue line who arrived in a trade with the Boston Bruins. Though, Brodie arrived in a roundabout manner, like many on this list. He was selected with a pick originally owned by the Washington Capitals, acquired by the Bruins in a trade that involved Milan Jurcina.
Boston sent that pick to the Flames in a trade that landed Andrew Ference and Chuck Kobasew in Boston back in February 2007. In return, Calgary acquired Brad Stuart, Wayne Primeau and a conditional fourth-round draft pick. At the time, Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli said one impetus for the trade was that he “wasn’t having success signing Brad [Stuart].”
When Calgary decided not to re-sign Stuart at the end of the season, it triggered the condition and Calgary got the pick. They used it to select Brodie.
Pavel Buchnevich, New York Rangers
While most New York Rangers trades end in draft picks heading out of town, Buchnevich is an unheralded part of the Rick Nash trade in the summer of 2012 after Nash had requested a trade from then-GM Scott Howson. Columbus did pretty well in the trade, acquiring Artem Anisimov (who would later be a part of the Brandon Saad trade), Brandon Dubinsky, Tim Erixon and a 2013 first-round draft pick that would become Kerby Rychel (traded for Scott Harrington and a conditional fifth-round pick in the summer of 2016). In return, the Rangers got Nash and minor league defenseman Steven Delisle, as well as a conditional draft pick.
When the Rangers didn’t make the 2012 Stanley Cup Final, the conditional pick became a third rounder, which they used to select Buchnevich. The Russian forward spent time developing in Russia and made his NHL debut in the Rangers’ season-opener this month, giving the Rangers some ongoing positive benefits from that trade. Delisle is still playing but never made his NHL debut.
Jordan Eberle, Edmonton Oilers
In terms of an impact on the 2016-17 NHL season, Eberle is the biggest remaining impact of the Edmonton Oilers trading Chris Pronger to the Anaheim Ducks in the summer of 2006. The Ducks were gearing up for a Stanley Cup run and got an anchor on the blue line who had just helped the Oilers make it to Game 7 of the Finals. Pronger asked to be traded for personal reasons. “Whether fans agreed with it or not that’s the direction we took,” he said on a conference call at the time.
To acquire Pronger, the Ducks had to send Joffrey Lupul, Ladislav Smid, a 2007 first round pick (later traded away), and a conditional 2008 second round pick. When the Ducks reached the 2007 Stanley Cup Final, that condition was triggered and the second-round pick became a first-round selection. The Oilers acquired the 22nd pick in the 2008 draft and selected Eberle, who would tear up the World Junior Championship over the next two tournaments.
Oscar Klefbom, Edmonton Oilers
Though he missed the bulk of last year with an injury and an infection, the Oilers have high hopes for defenseman Oscar Klefbom. Just like with Jordan Eberle, the pick used to select Klefbom was acquired from a California club. The Oilers received the 19th overall pick in the 2011 draft through a deal that sent Dustin Penner to the Los Angeles Kings. In return, the Oilers acquired Colten Teubert, a 2011 first-round pick and a conditional third-round pick in 2012, which became Daniil Zharkov, who is currently playing in the KHL. Teubert played 24 games for the Oilers that season, recording one assist and no goals. It was the only season in which he saw NHL games.
The prior spring the Kings had ended an eight-year playoff drought, and this trade was one sign that they had transitioned from sellers to buyers. Penner never regained that 20-goal form but did help the Kings win the Stanley Cup in 2012.
Darcy Kuemper, Minnesota Wild
While many Wild fans continue to lament the loss of fourth-line role player Kyle Brodziak, the repercussions of his trade still linger. In dire need of center depth in 2009 (some things never change), Minnesota acquired Brodziak and wound up acquiring the best years of his career. He was drafted by the Oilers back in 2003, but would spend six seasons playing with Minnesota’s ManBearPig logo on his chest.
The trade saw the Wild fourth and fifth round picks in the 2009 draft head to Edmonton (those would become Kyle Bigos and Olivier Roy, respectively). In return, the Wild got Brodziak and Edmonton’s 2009 sixth-round draft pick, which would be used on goaltender Darcy Kuemper. While there are few who think Kuemper is the future of the net in St. Paul, the Wild came out pretty well in that trade. Brodziak would break the 20-goal barrier with the Wild and neither Bigos or Roy would ever play an NHL game.
Jon Merrill, New Jersey Devils
Merrill is the last remaining vestige of the Ilya Kovalchuk trade in New Jersey. In a massive deal with the Atlanta Thrashers, the Devils acquired Kovalchuk, who was the Thrashers’ captain, as well as Anssi Salmela and a 2012 second-round pick that became Merrill.
In return, the Thrashers got Niclas Bergfors (lasted two more seasons in the NHL), Johnny Oduya, Patrice Cormier (suspended for the rest of the QMJHL season at the time due to an elbowing incident) and a first and second round pick in the 2010 draft. Cormier is the last part of the deal that’s still with the Jets today. He played two games last season and has totaled 52 NHL contests.
New Jersey’s first round and second round picks wound up in the hands of the Chicago Blackhawks via the trade that brought Dustin Byfuglien to Atlanta. Chicago used the first-round pick on Kevin Hayes, who never played for Chicago. The second round pick was used on Justin Holl, who never wound up playing an NHL game.
Ty Rattie, St. Louis Blues
The 23-year-old winger has had huge success in the AHL over the last couple seasons, showing promise in his development toward becoming an NHL regular. But his place in the Blues’ organization actually tracks back to the Kevin Shattenkirk and Erik Johnson trade in February of 2011.
The deal sent Erik Johnson, Jay McClement and a conditional first-round pick to Colorado, with Kevin Shattenkirk, Chris Stewart and a conditional 2011 second-round pick coming back to St. Louis. The conditions surrounded whether or not the Blues picked in the top 10 at the draft. The Blues got the 11th overall pick, which triggered the condition to give that pick to the Avalanche. They used it to select Duncan Siemens. Meanwhile, the Blues got the 32nd overall pick in the 2011 draft, used to select Rattie.
Siemens has played just one NHL game and is still inside the Colorado organization. The Blues may get more out of their second-round pick in that draft than the Avalanche get out their first-round selection. Though, both are just 23 and don’t have their value chiseled in stone.
Tobias Rieder, Arizona Coyotes
Rieder put up 14 goals and 37 points for the Coyotes last season and didn’t cost them much to acquire. His arrival in Arizona actually took a couple of trades.
First Edmonton drafted Rieder in the fourth round of the 2011 draft after acquiring the pick they used on him in a trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins. They sent Mathieu Garon to Pittsburgh in exchange for Dany Sabourin, Ryan Stone and this draft pick.
After he was drafted, the Oilers flipped him to Arizona in exchange for another 2011 fourth-round pick, Kale Kessy, who never played an NHL game. The deal worked out well for Arizona, even if getting him signed this summer proved to be a bit of a chore.
Jaccob Slavin, Carolina Hurricanes
On January 20, 2012, the New Jersey Devils were gearing up for what they hoped would be a deep run into the playoffs. They acquired three-time 20-goal scorer Alexei Ponikarovsky from the Carolina Hurricanes. They made it to the Final and Ponikarovsky added three points in the Finals before the Los Angeles Kings took the Cup. The Devils would trade for him midseason again the following season, sending a seventh-round draft pick in 2013 and a fourth-round selection in 2014 to Winnipeg this time.
In the trade with Carolina, the Devils gave up Joe Sova, a minor league defenseman who would never play an NHL game, and a fourth-round draft pick in the 2012 draft. That pick was used on Slavin, a 22-year-old defender who has become an important part of the ‘Canes blue line.
Mark Stone, Ottawa Senators
Mark Stone is the result of another trade for a pick that worked out well. The Ottawa Senators traded journeyman goaltender Alex Auld to the Dallas Stars for a 2010 sixth-round pick that was used to acquire Stone, who proved to be a late-blooming goal-scoring sensation.
However, at the time, it looked like a steal for the Stars. There was a lot of hope surrounding his arrival. Auld played pretty well at the outset, taking a lot of time away from struggling starter Marty Turco. ESPN claimed that Auld’s play might portend the end of Turco’s time in Dallas. Auld grabbed 21 games with the Stars, more than Kari Lehtonen that season, but started to slip. He was eventually waived and the Rangers claimed him, continuing a journey that would see him wear the sweater of eight NHL clubs over 10 seasons. He’d end his career back with the Senators in 2011-12.
Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues
The trade that ultimately put Vladimir Tarasenko into a Blues jersey wasn’t that exciting, but it’s worth remembering that the Blues basically acquired a guy who could contend for the Rocket Richard Trophy in exchange for David Rundblad, a defenseman who hasn’t had much impact in the NHL.
In June 2010, the Blues traded Rundblad, the 17th overall pick in the 2009 draft, for a 2010 first round draft pick. The Senators gave the Blues the 16th overall pick in the 2010 draft, which the Blues used to pick Tarasenko. At the time, Rundblad was highly regarded, but the deal clearly wound up benefitting St. Louis.
Through no fault of his own, Rundblad has been a part of some trades that have not worked out well for the teams acquiring him. Ottawa eventually traded Rundblad to Arizona with a 2012 second-round pick (eventually traded as part of a package for Antoine Vermette) for Kyle Turris. Later, Arizona traded Rundblad, along with Mathieu Brisebois, to the Chicago Blackhawks for a 2014 second-round pick that became Christian Dvorak, who is on Arizona’s opening night roster this season.
Dustin Nelson writes about news and the Minnesota Wild for The Hockey Writers.