Team Grades: Winners & Losers of an Action-Packed 2022 Deadline

The NHL Trade Deadline is often criticized for lacking the excitement that fans anticipate, but the 2022 edition exceeded expectations. The sheer number of trades was astounding, with 33 trades still pending after the 3:00 PM EST deadline. The impressive volume of impact players on the move was unprecedented in recent years. The NHL’s insiders were busy all day, breaking trade after trade on Twitter.

Related: 2022 NHL Trade Deadline: Deal Tracker

Now that the frenzy is complete, it’s time to determine the winners and losers of the deadline and the week leading up to it. Without further ado, here are the grades for every team’s performance.

Columbus Blue Jackets: F

Out: F Max Domi, 2022 Sixth-Round Pick

In: D Aiden Hreschuk

The Columbus Blue Jackets only made one trade and it was a strange one, sending Max Domi to the Carolina Hurricanes for only a former third-round pick. Domi was not a good fit in Columbus, but he remains a high-impact forward. The return for him should have been much higher.

Max Domi Columbus Blue Jackets
Max Domi, Columbus Blue Jackets (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Nashville Predators: D

Out: D Frederic Allard, 2022 Second-Round Pick

In: F Brayden Burke, D Jeremy Lauzon, D Alex Biega

The Predators mostly stood pat at the deadline, but their grade is low because of a severe overpayment for Lauzon. Most depth defensemen dealt at the deadline garnered lower picks, and he has had a very poor season in Seattle with the Kraken.

New York Islanders: D

Out: N/A

In: N/A

The Islanders were the only team to do nothing at all at the deadline, a strange choice given their poor season. General manager (GM) Lou Lamoriello appears committed to staying competitive, handing out ill-advised extensions to forward veterans Cal Clutterbuck and Zach Parise. The Islanders would have been better off dealing their pending free agents instead of re-signing them.

Vegas Golden Knights: C-

Out: F Evgenii Dadonov, 2023 Second-Round Pick

In: F Ryan Kesler, D John Moore

The Vegas Golden Knights were handcuffed by the salary cap, leaving GM Kelly McCrimmon unable to do much. He did manage to send Dadonov to the Anaheim Ducks (if it goes through), clearing some much-needed cap space.

St. Louis Blues: C-

Out: F Oskar Sundqvist, D Jake Walman, 2023 Second-Round Pick

In: D Nick Leddy, D Luke Witkowski

It was no secret that the St. Louis Blues were looking to add a left-handed defenseman, but Leddy was a poor choice. His impact is not nearly what it once was, and the price they paid was far too much for a player of his caliber.

Buffalo Sabres: C

Out: D Robert Hagg

In: 2022 Sixth-Round Pick

This was an uneventful deadline in Buffalo, with only Hagg exiting. A sixth-round pick is a fine return for him.

Washington Capitals: C+

Out: F Daniel Sprong, 2023 Third-Round Pick, 2022 Fourth-Round Pick, 2023 Sixth-Round Pick

In: F Johan Larsson, F Marcus Johansson

The Washington Capitals did a decent job, adding solid middle-six options in Johan Larsson and Marcus Johansson for mid-round picks. Their playoff outlook looks bleak though, as the rest of the Eastern Conference loaded up with much more consequential deals.

Dallas Stars: C+

Out: 2023 Conditional Fourth-Round Pick, 2024 Fourth-Round Pick

In: F Vladislav Namestnikov, G Scott Wedgewood

It’s the one deal the Dallas Stars didn’t make that leaves them with such a low grade. Namestnikov and Wedgewood are fine adds, but the failure to trade defenseman John Klingberg will come back to haunt GM Jim Nill. The Stars are a bubble playoff team at best, and Klingberg will almost certainly walk this summer in free agency considering his trade request earlier this season. It would have been far more prudent to trade him for a hefty package.

Ottawa Senators: C+

Out: F Nick Paul, F Zach Sanford, D Josh Brown, 2022 Third-Round Pick, 2022 Conditional Seventh-Round Pick

In: F Mathieu Joseph, F Zach Senyshyn, D Travis Hamonic, G Michael McNiven, 2024 Fourth-Round Pick, Two 2022 Fifth-Round Picks

The addition of Joseph in exchange for Paul, who was a pending free agent, was a great move. Joseph is a solid, young player who should improve with greater opportunity on the Senators. However, the choice to add Hamonic for a third-round pick was a headscratcher for a basement team.

Mathieu Joseph, Tampa Bay Lightning
Mathieu Joseph, Tampa Bay Lightning (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

San Jose Sharks: C+

Out: F Andrew Cogliano, F Nick Merkley, D Jacob Middleton, G Alexei Melnichuk

In: F Antoine Morand, D Anthony Bitetto, G Kaapo Kahkonen, 2022 Fifth-Round Pick, 2024 Fifth-Round Pick

The San Jose Sharks made several under-the-radar deals, all of which were fairly reasonable value. They get a lowish grade for choosing to retain Tomas Hertl on an eight-year contract. The deal simply does not make sense given the direction of the team. Hertl’s deal gets added to the several immovable long-term contracts on San Jose’s roster.

Boston Bruins: B-

Out: F Zach Senyshyn, D John Moore, D Urho Vaakanainen, 2022 First-Round Pick, 2023 Second-Round Pick, 2024 Second-Round Pick, 2022 Fifth-Round Pick

In: D Hampus Lindholm, D Kodie Curran, D Josh Brown, 2022 Conditional Seventh-Round Pick

GM Don Sweeney identified a need on the left side of his blueline and filled it nicely, acquiring Lindholm from Anaheim. However, the price it extracted was a bit rich, requiring a number of high picks and top prospect Vaakanainen. Sweeney also failed to add a top-six forward, which remains a major hole for Boston heading into the postseason.

New Jersey Devils: B-

Out: F Nate Schnarr

In: G Andrew Hammond

The Devils didn’t do much of anything at the deadline. Their one move, acquiring Hammond from Montreal, was simply an exchange of AHL-caliber players.

Philadelphia Flyers: B-

Out: F Claude Giroux, F Derrick Brassard, F Connor Bunnaman, F German Rubtsov, D Justin Braun, 2024 Fifth-Round Pick

In: F Owen Tippett, 2024 First-Round Pick, Two 2023 Third-Round Picks, 2023 Fourth-Round Pick

The Flyers were forced to part with longtime captain Claude Giroux, sending him to Florida to chase a championship. Although the return was less than expected, GM Chuck Fletcher was handcuffed by Giroux’s no-movement clause and his desire to play for the Panthers.

Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers
Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Los Angeles Kings: B

Out: F Brayden Burke, D Markus Phillips, 2022 Seventh-Round Pick

In: D Troy Stecher, D Nelson Nogier, D Frederic Allard

The Kings were smart not to go all-in. Although this season is a nice step forward, the time for contention in Los Angeles will likely come in the next few years. The acquisition of Troy Stecher for only a seventh-round pick was particularly nice work.

Pittsburgh Penguins: B

Out: F Zach Aston-Reese, F Dominik Simon, G Calle Clang, 2022 Second-Round Pick, 2022 Conditional Seventh-Round Pick

In: F Rickard Rakell, D Nathan Beaulieu

Adding Rakell was a very good move for the Penguins, who needed a scoring winger to play alongside Evgeni Malkin. Unfortunately, the return was rather rich, with two good roster players heading back to the Ducks along with a solid prospect and a high pick.

Seattle Kraken: B

Out: F Calle Jarnkrok, F Marcus Johansson, F Mason Appleton, F Colin Blackwell, D Mark Giordano, D Jeremy Lauzon

In: F Victor Rask, F Daniel Sprong, Three 2022 Second-Round Picks, Two 2023 Second-Round Picks, 2024 Third-Round Pick, 2022 Fourth-Round Pick, 2023 Fourth-Round Pick, 2023 Sixth-Round Pick, 2024 Seventh-Round Pick

The Seattle Kraken had a decent first trade deadline, adding a plethora of draft picks for many of their expansion draft selections. Ideally, captain Mark Giordano would have netted a first-round pick though.

Toronto Maple Leafs: B

Out: D Travis Dermott, D Alex Biega, 2022 Second-Round Pick, 2023 Second-Round Pick, 2024 Third-Round Pick

In: F Colin Blackwell, D Mark Giordano, 2022 Third-Round Pick

The Giordano and Blackwell deal was a very good move, shoring up forward and defense depth for a fairly low price. However, the choice to sell low on Dermott and the failure to add a better goalie hurt the Leafs’ grade in the end.

Mark Giordano Seattle Kraken
Mark Giordano, Seattle Kraken (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Winnipeg Jets: B

Out: F Andrew Copp, F Bryan Little, F Nathan Smith, D Nathan Beaulieu, D Nelson Nogier, 2023 Fourth-Round Pick, 2022 Fifth Round Pick, 2023 Sixth-Round Pick

In: F Zach Sanford, F Mason Appleton, D Markus Phillips, F Morgan Barron, 2022 Second-Round Pick, 2023 Second-Round Pick, 2022 Fourth-Round Pick, 2023 Fifth-Round Pick, 2022 Conditional Seventh-Round Pick

The Jets made the right choice by selling despite remaining in the playoff race. The return for Copp, in particular, was very solid.

Arizona Coyotes: B+

Out: F Riley Nash, F Johan Larsson, G Scott Wedgewood, 2022 Second-Round Pick, 2022 Fourth-Round Pick

In: F Bryan Little, F Jack McBain, F Nathan Smith, 2023 Third-Round Pick, 2023 Conditional Fourth-Round Pick

The Coyotes did exactly what they’ve done for the last year or so by selling their pending free agents. Adding two solid NCAA prospects in McBain and Smith was good work by GM Bill Armstrong. Ideally, veteran forward Phil Kessel would have been dealt, as he will almost certainly walk in free agency this summer.

Edmonton Oilers: B+

Out: D William Lagesson, 2022 Conditional Second-Round Pick, 2023 Fourth-Round Pick, 2024 Seventh-Round Pick

In: F Derrick Brassard, D Brett Kulak

The Oilers’ moves were very good, adding a solid bottom-six center and a very good third-pairing defenseman. However, the failure to acquire a goalie is a problem, as their netminders have struggled this season. They should be in full-on win-now mode with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl on the roster, so GM Ken Holland’s unwillingness to move his first-round pick was curious.

Florida Panthers: B+

Out: F Frank Vatrano, F Owen Tippett, F Ty Smilanic, D Tyler Inamoto, 2023 First-Round Pick, 2024 First-Round Pick, 2023 Third-Round Pick, 2022 Fourth-Round Pick, 2022 Sixth-Round Pick

In: F Claude Giroux, F Connor Bunnaman, F German Rubtsov, F Egor Korshkov, D Ben Chiarot, D Robert Hagg, 2022 Fourth-Round Pick, 2024 Fifth-Round Pick, 2022 Sixth-Round Pick

The Panthers are perhaps the most all-in team in the league, having dealt their next three first-round picks, two of which netted pending free agents. GM Bill Zito gets a fairly high grade for his fleecing of the Philadelphia Flyers, acquiring the still borderline elite Giroux. However, his mark takes a hit for having severely overpaid for Chiarot, a player whose impact is very weak.

Minnesota Wild: B+

Out: F Nico Sturm, F Victor Rask, F Jack McBain, G Kaapo Kahkonen, 2022 Conditional Second-Round Pick, 2023 Third-Round Pick, 2022 Fifth-Round Pick

In: F Tyson Jost, F Nicolas Deslauriers, D Jacob Middleton, G Marc-Andre Fleury, 2022 Second-Round Pick

GM Bill Guerin had to make the most of this season, as contention will get very difficult next year when the Zach Parise and Ryan Suter buyouts begin to majorly affect his cap situation. Guerin managed to make some key adds without giving up his first-round pick. Acquiring Marc-Andre Fleury was a smart move, with Wild goaltender Cam Talbot having a difficult season to this point.

Marc-Andre Fleury Chicago Blackhawks
Marc-Andre Fleury, Chicago Blackhawks (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Tampa Bay Lightning: B+

Out: F Mathieu Joseph, F Taylor Raddysh, F Boris Katchouk, F Antoine Morand, 2023 First-Round Pick, 2024 First-Round Pick, 2024 Fourth-Round Pick

In: F Brandon Hagel, F Nick Paul, F Riley Nash, G Alexei Melnichuk, 2022 Fourth-Round Pick, 2024 Fourth-Round Pick

The Lightning gave up a lot, sending not one, but two first-round picks to the Blackhawks in exchange for Hagel. GM Julien Brisebois has repeatedly shown a willingness to swing for the fences, and so far, his deadline bets have paid off. Time will tell whether or not that trend continues.

Vancouver Canucks: B+

Out: F Tyler Motte, D Travis Hamonic, 2022 Third-Round Pick

In: D Travis Dermott, 2022 Third-Round Pick, 2023 Fourth-Round Pick

The Canucks had a decent deadline, dealing Hamonic for more than he was worth and buying low on Dermott. It was rumored that they would be making more of a splash, with forward Conor Garland entrenched in rumors, but ultimately nothing materialized on that front.

Anaheim Ducks: A-

Out: F Rickard Rakell, F Nicolas Deslauriers, F Ryan Kesler, D Hampus Lindholm, D Josh Manson, D Kodie Curran

In: F Evgenii Dadonov, F Zach Aston-Reese, F Dominik Simon, D Drew Helleson, D Urho Vaakanainen, G Calle Clang, 2022 First-Round Pick, 2022 Second-Round Pick, Three 2023 Second-Round Picks, 2024 Second-Round Pick, 2023 Third-Round Pick

New Ducks GM Pat Verbeek worked his first trade deadline to near perfection. With a number of impact players on expiring contracts, Verbeek dealt them all and managed a strong return for his new team. Dadonov, Aston-Reese, and Simon are quality forwards that will help insulate the younger players on the roster, and Helleson and Vaakanainen add to a bright future on the Anaheim blue line. The plethora of high picks added was nice work as well.

Chicago Blackhawks: A-

Out: F Brandon Hagel, F Ryan Carpenter, G Marc-Andre Fleury, 2022 Fourth-Round Pick, 2024 Fourth-Round Pick

In: F Taylor Raddysh, F Boris Katchouk, 2023 First-Round Pick, 2024 First-Round Pick, 2022 Conditional Second-Round Pick, 2024 Fifth-Round Pick

Rookie GM Kyle Davidson did great work in the lead-up to the deadline, selling off players in exchange for young forwards and high draft picks. His grade takes a hit due to his inability to deal forwards Dylan Strome and Dominik Kubalik, neither of whom was likely to be re-signed by the Blackhawks.

New York Rangers: A-

Out: F Morgan Barron, D Anthony Bitetto, 2022 Second-Round Pick, 2023 Second-Round Pick, 2023 Third- Round Pick, 2022 Fourth-Round Pick, 2023 Fourth-Round Pick, 2023 Fifth-Round Pick

In: F Andrew Copp, F Frank Vatrano, F Tyler Motte, F Nick Merkley, D Justin Braun, 2023 Sixth-Round Pick

The Rangers had a very strong deadline, shoring up depth at all positions. Vatrano, Motte, and Copp will provide secondary scoring and solid impact in the middle-six, and Braun offers a strong veteran presence on the back end. GM Chris Drury managed to retain all of his roster players as well as his first-round pick.

Calgary Flames: A

Out: G Michael McNiven, 2022 Second-Round Pick, 2023 Third-Round Pick, 2024 Fifth-Round Pick, 2024 Seventh-Round Pick

In: F Calle Jarnkrok, F Ryan Carpenter

After acquiring Tyler Toffoli in February, the Flames continued to load up with the additions of Jarnkrok and Carpenter. GM Brad Treliving deserves high marks for adding to his forward group without giving up too much in the way of high-end assets.

Colorado Avalanche: A

Out: F Tyson Jost, D Justin Barron, D Drew Helleson, 2023 Second-Round Pick, 2024 Second-Round Pick, 2024 Fifth-Round Pick

In: F Artturi Lehkonen, F Nico Sturm, F Andrew Cogliano, D Josh Manson

The Avalanche were without their 2022 first-round pick heading into the deadline, having dealt it in the offseason for goaltender Darcy Kuemper, but still managed to make a splash without giving up any future first-rounders. Lehkonen is an excellent middle-six forward and will slide in seamlessly, and Manson adds to already great blue line depth.

Artturi Lehkonen Montreal Canadiens
Artturi Lehkonen, Montreal Canadiens (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Detroit Red Wings: A

Out: F Vladislav Namestnikov, D Nick Leddy, D Troy Stecher, D Luke Witkowski

In: F Oskar Sundqvist, D Jake Walman, 2023 Second-Round Pick, 2024 Fourth-Round Pick, 2022 Seventh-Round Pick

Steve Yzerman continues to show why he’s so often tabbed as one of the best GMs in the league. Most of his deadline work was fine, but the hefty return for Leddy, a player whose reputation far exceeds his value, was excellent work.

Carolina Hurricanes: A+

Out: F Egor Korshkov, D Aidan Hreschuk

In: F Max Domi, D Tyler Inamoto

GM Don Waddell largely left his team alone, a good choice given the Hurricanes’ dominance this season. The addition of Max Domi, an impact forward who fell out of favor in Columbus, for very little is a fantastic move and makes Carolina even more dangerous up front.

Montreal Canadiens: A+

Out: F Artturi Lehkonen, D Ben Chiarot, D Brett Kulak, G Andrew Hammond

In: F Ty Smilanic, F Nate Schnarr, D Justin Barron, D William Lagesson, 2023 First-Round Pick, 2022 Conditional Second-Round Pick, 2024 Second-Round Pick, 2022 Fourth-Round Pick, 2024 Seventh-Round Pick

For the first time in years, the Canadiens have a clear direction. The rebuild is well underway in Montreal, and new GM Kent Hughes worked his first deadline to perfection. The return for Chiarot was excellent, and netting Barron from Colorado was a fantastic get, even with beloved winger Lehkonen going the other way.

The Hurricanes and Canadiens stand as the biggest winners of the 2022 NHL Trade Deadline, with the Predators, Islanders, and Blue Jackets at the other end of the spectrum. Most importantly, such an eventful deadline will make for a fascinating rest of the season, with several teams having established themselves as all-in going into the playoffs.

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