Eastern Conference Trade Deadline Impact (2016)

Eric Daoust

2016-03-08

Which players gained the most from getting moved at the trade deadline?

Even though this year’s trade deadline was seen as a letdown by most, the action still had a major impact on the fantasy hockey landscape. Now more than one week past the deadline, we can begin to look at how each player is adjusting in his new environment and also the importance of his new role. Today we will cover nine players from the Eastern Conference who were involved in transactions on February 29 or in the days leading up.

Jiri Hudler (Florida)

Hudler has had a rough start with the Panthers, failing to register a point in two games with his new club while being minus-five before finally getting on the board last night. So far he has seen time on a line with Nick Bjugstad and has been a fixture on the power play. The biggest area of concern is, like in Calgary before the trade, Hudler’s overall ice time (13:56 and 16:34 heading into last night) is not great even for a second-line player which limits offensive upside significantly. Look for this trend in ice time to continue as the Panthers have added several pieces to their already-impressive roster. Adding depth usually hurts players individually and ice time could become even scarcer when Jonathan Huberdeau returns from injury.

Jakub Kindl (Florida)

For years Kindl has shown glimpses of being fantasy-relevant with an average of 23 points per 82 games over the last five years. The 29-year-old fell out of favor in Detroit this year and after being buried in the minors received a second chance at life in the NHL, this time in Florida. So far the outlook is very bleak as Kindl has seen his ice time drop by close to 25 percent from his season average of 16 minutes and has not seen any power-play action. Previously he had some value in deep leagues but so far it appears the move to Florida may push him to the free-agent pile in those leagues as well.

John-Michael Liles (Boston)

Liles has seen his ice time increase in each of his three games in Boston and has also seen secondary power-play time. That said, he has only been worth owning in deep leagues since his 46-point effort back in 2011 despite second-pairing minutes most years. The Bruins’ power play was ranked first in the NHL for much of the year but has come back down to earth which means Liles is unlikely to see much of a boost in this area as well. He still holds some value as a puck-mover in the NHL but it simply does not translate well to fantasy hockey.

Shane Prince (New York Islanders)

Prince is an interesting player to follow for the simple fact he has spent time on the John Tavares line since being acquired by the Islanders. He has had a decent NHL rookie campaign but prior to making the big jump to Ottawa Prince was a highly-successful AHLer for three years, including 65 points last year. Ultimately opportunity will be the biggest hurdle as the Islanders have many capable bodies up front with more experience and Prince could be pushed to the press box once Mikhail Grabovski returns from injury. He may not be of much value in one-year leagues but is definitely worth a look in keeper leagues if you want to take a chance on him climbing up the depth chart over time.

Teddy Purcell (Florida)

Purcell has bounced back nicely this year after a disappointing 34 points last season. The increase in production made him coveted at the trade deadline and the 30-year-old now