The Ottawa Senators have traded Mark Stone to the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for Erik Brannstrom, Oscar Lindberg and a second-round pick in 2020 (originally owned by the Dallas Stars).
Per @DarrenDreger, OTT receives Brannstrom, Oscar Lindberg and DAL 2nd round pick in 2020 for Mark Stone.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) February 25, 2019
The 26-year-old Stone was one of the biggest fish on the trade market this season. A player who’s scored over 20 goals in every single season of his career and who’s recorded at least 60 points four times in five years, scoring 51 points in 71 games in 2016-17, Stone was a hot commodity.
On top of his offensive potential, Stone excels as a 200-foot skater and because of this, his ability to play at five-on-five and on both special teams units coupled with his size at 6 foot 4 and 219 pounds made him very appealing to fans.
In 366 career games in the NHL, Stone has scored 123 goals and 311 points and has largely flown under the radar as one of the league’s best wingers despite being one of the most complete wingers in the world.
The Golden Knights are making another strong push to win the Stanley Cup in just their second NHL season. Adding Stone is a huge move for the team that fell just short a year ago in their inaugural year.
The Senators are a team in transition as they look to rebuild their team from the ground up. This was seen last offseason when the Senators started moving on from key pieces in their lineup such as captain Erik Karlsson, Mike Hoffman and even Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingel just a few days earlier.
Recouping strong value for these players was a must for the Senators given the fact that they committed heavily to bring in Duchene a season ago in a deal that saw them trade multiple assets including their 2019 first-round pick; a pick that could wind up being used on highly-coveted prospect Jack Hughes.
Senators Getting Different Return Than Expected
The Senators made the entire hockey world wait for a deal involving Stone. The expectation was that the Senators were hoping to get multiple first-round picks and top prospects but ultimately failed to do so.
In fairness to the Senators, Brannstrom has the potential to be a legitimate No. 1 blueliner in the NHL. With the Senators looking to replace Erik Karlsson, building a new blue-line that features Thomas Chabot and Brannstrom is a good start, even if the return seems light in general.
There’s also the fact that Brannstrom seems like a legitimate can’t-miss prospect at this point and the Senators could have felt that getting a nearly sure-thing was more important than collecting multiple first-round picks as “what-if” players.
In 41 games in the AHL this season, Brannstrom has scored seven goals and 28 points in his first professional season in North America. The 19-year-old previously spent two-plus seasons with HV71 Jonkoping of the Swedish Hockey League.
The Golden Knights opted to take a win-now approach with Stone, even at the expense of Brannstrom. They may have retained multiple first-round picks in this deal but losing Brannstrom can’t be easy nonetheless. Especially considering just how good he’s truly been in his young career.
The Senators also acquired Lindberg in the deal. The 27-year-old has scored four goals and 12 points in 35 games this season after scoring just nine goals and 11 points in 63 games a season ago. He provides extra depth for the Senators this season and is in the final year of a two-year contract that carries a cap hit of $1.7 million.