A minor move? Not so fast.
Fantasy Impact: Arizona Coyotes have traded winger Jordan Weal to the Montreal Canadiens for center Michael Chaput
The Coyotes get: a depth pivot who is reliable defensively and could probably carve himself a home as a fourth-line center in the NHL.
The Canadiens get: a former Dobber Darling and likely bust player, but who has a lot more upside and brings a lot of energy. Before getting screwed over by the CBA, Weal was a clutch, over-achieving player at the junior and minor-league level. But then, two years ago, he had to clear waivers in order to be sent down – and his team didn't want to lose him. But the team – the Kings and later the Flyers – remained healthy and he couldn't get into the lineup. The result? He played 14 games that entire year. How's that for development? Each year this CBA waivers rule hurts the growth of a handful of players. More often than not, they become busts as a direct result. In 2016-17 Weal was able to clear waivers, because his low games played the year prior kept teams away from risking a claim. But an injury to the lineup allowed him to get called up and thrust into the top six. He immediately paid dividends, tallying eight points in the final 10 games of the season. That led to him getting his first one-way contract, a two-way deal. It also led to Weal getting some 'sleeper pick' hype in the summer.
This hype fizzled out when the Flyers lucked out in drafting Nolan Patrick. That put another body into the top six and nudged Weal out. Since then, Weal has been on and off – mostly off – in terms of production. So is he washed up? Let's just say he's hanging by a thread. NHL teams obviously feel that he might still have something because as soon as Arizona acquired him they put him on a line with Clayton Keller. Later, when that didn't work, he was shifted to a line with Alex Galchenyuk. This is something that won't happen with Michael Chaput. These two players are acquired for a certain role. Because Weal was placed with Keller and later Galchenyuk, you know what his role was to be. And you know that Chaput will be checking and killing penalties.
Fantasy Players Impacted: He's like a cat. I look at this as Weal's seventh or eighth life out of his nine lives. The Habs have been pretty good at turning last-gasp players into something decent. See Byron, Paul. Or Deslauriers, Nic. And while Philip Danault wasn't on his 'last gasp', he would never have gottent his opportunity in Chicago. Montreal has turned him into a top-six center. And then there is Tomas Tatar. So can Coach Claude Julien work some magic one more time with Weal? I'm interested in finding out. He will get a shot in the top six, though unlike with Arizona perhaps he is allowed to get used to the new system on a depth line for a couple of games first.
It's a long shot, but one that I felt was worth writing about. His arrival will impact the ice time of Joel Armia, Artturi Lehkonen and possibly even Byron.
In Arizona, Lawson Crouse stands to benefit and this is also an indicator that Christian Dvorak is ready to be recalled from his conditioning stint. Dvorak his pointless in two games for Tucson.
Fantasy players this helps, in order:
Fantasy players this hurts, in order:
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