Fantasy Impact: The St. Louis Blues acquire depth winger Nikita Soshnikov from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for a fourth-round pick in 2019.
The Blues get: a depth winger to play on their third or fourth line, with enough offense to pinch hit on a scoring line.
The Maple Leafs get: A small amount of draft capital, but more importantly it resolves their roster log jam, which allows them to keep Kasperi Kapanen with the main club. It also brings them down to 49 contracts (they were previously at the 50-contract limit), which gives them some flexibility to add in future trades.
Fantasy Players Impacted: Soshnikov probably won’t have much impact for fantasy owners. Last season he was a fourth-line checker who put up nine points and 70 SOG in 56 games while skating 11 minutes per game. Odds are he is headed for that sort of production in St. Louis. He does offer modest upside as a provider of hits, especially if his minutes crank up closer to the 14-minute mark, but that would be on the high end. The 24-year-old forward did flash some scoring upside with 17 points in 19 AHL games this season so if injuries mount we could see him thrust into a scoring role.
As it stands Soshnikov will be competing with wingers like Ivan Barbashev, Scottie Upshall, and enforcer Chris Thorburn for regular minutes on the third or fourth line. Also impacted here is winger Zach Sanford who was a key piece in the Kevin Shattenkirk trade, but has been out all season with injury. He was just sent to the minors on a conditioning stint. If Sanford can get healthy, he could be the best option of the aforementioned wingers. Rookie winger Tage Thompson is in the mix as well, even after being demoted yesterday.
The Blues are nowhere close to the contract limit and have been rumoured to be in the mix to add a scoring winger. Soshnikov probably isn’t that big acquisition. If they aim bigger everyone on the above list could get bumped down a peg.
In Toronto, Kapanen’s spot on the fourth line is now safe and the removal of Soshnikov means no one needs to be demoted, which will keep Josh Leivo off the trade block and in the press box.
Fantasy Players this helps, in order:
Fantasy Players this hurts, in order:
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