The New York Rangers acquire Brendan Smith from the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for a 2018 second-round pick and a 2017 third-round pick.
The Rangers get: A once sought-after prospect who never did hit the heights we all expected of him. Smith is 28 now and extremely unlikely to ever reach that potential. His career high is 19 points. His career high for shots on goal is 90. He doesn’t even block many shots. This is a player unlikely to make an impact in any fantasy setting. But he’s a useful defenseman who can skate and move the puck. Over the past three years, he had the best relative Corsi numbers among Red Wing defensemen.
The Rangers starting defense group is set with Marc Staal, Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonagh, Kevin Klein, Brady Skjei and Nick Holden. Their seventh and eighth defensemen are currently Steven Kampfer and Adam Clendening, both righties. Smith gives them depth on the left side. Smith wasn’t relevant before and it doesn’t appear that he will be now. Still – a new environment could see a short-term blip from him in terms of points and he 'can' be decent in leagues that count hits.
The Red Wings get: A good return on a rental, although subtracting one of the better defensemen from their roster will not do them any favours. Petr Mrazek had started to show signs of turning things around. His job just got more challenging. The forward group will also take a small hit although the potential Thomas Vanek trade will do more to hurt Detroit’s scoring than Smith’s absence will.
Smith’s absence means more minutes are available for Detroit’s group of young defensemen: Nick Jensen, Ryan Sproul and Xavier Ouellet. All have flashed some intriguing skills, particularly Jensen whose contract was extended by the Wings yesterday. None of these guys will get a great chance at fantasy relevance until Mike Green is gone and all indications are that he will stay.
Players this helps, in order:
Players this hurts, in order:
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