Fantasy Take: Vegas Trades for Dadonov, Signs Baertschi

Ian Gooding

2021-07-28

The Ottawa Senators have traded Evgenii Dadonov to the Vegas Golden Knights for Nick Holden and a third-round pick in the 2022 NHL draft. The Golden Knights have also signed Sven Baertschi to a one-year, two-way contract worth $750,000.

In his only season with the Senators, Dadonov scored 13 goals and 20 points in 55 games – by far his lowest output since returning to the NHL in 2017-18. Yet some sort of decline was to be expected when he chose Ottawa as a free agent. After all, he would be going from Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau as his most frequent even-strength linemates to… whatever rebuilding Ottawa could offer. That turned out to be a variety of forwards, but he most often lined up with Colin White, who had his own struggles.

What's more, Dadonov was signed for his power-play ability after back-to-back 17 PPP seasons with Florida, but he managed just a single power-play point with Ottawa. This even after he received what amounted to be top power-play minutes. When that happens, the player might simply need a fresh start. Being in a COVID bubble away from family may have also affected him. So the trade might help both the player and the team, as Vegas' power play was ranked just 22nd during the regular season, and even worse in the playoffs (dead last at 9.3%).

Even-strength wise, the trade does not address Vegas' most pressing need – the center position. After trading Marc-Andre Fleury, the Golden Knights freed up some cap space to perhaps take a run at Jack Eichel. It's possible that a winger or two is moved to make room for Eichel or another center, with Reilly Smith's name coming up in trade rumors. From an even-strength standpoint, Dadonov probably fits on the third line with Alex Tuch should Vegas' normal units remain the same.

Meanwhile, Baertschi spent most of the past two seasons in the AHL after the Canucks buried his contract to make room for others (J.T. Miller, for one). He is still only 28, so it's possibl