The Journey – Where Are They Now

by Kevin LeBlanc on February 27, 2016

How far along are the prospects that were involved in the 2015 trade deadline?

This week in The Journey, we look back on last season's trade deadline acquisitions and examine how they have helped their new teams.  

On Monday, many NHL teams will look to add to their future through the addition of picks and prospects at the 2016 NHL Trade Deadline. Today, we look back on the prospects traded last season, and how they have impacted their teams.

William Karlsson, C – Columbus Blue Jackets

The Trade:

To Anaheim: James Wisniewski and a 2015 3rd Rounder

To Columbus: Rene Bourque, William Karlsson and a 2015 2nd Rounder

An important piece in the Blue Jackets deadline deal of James Wisniewski back to Anaheim, Karlsson has had an up-and-down year in Columbus. Acting most nights as the Blue Jackets’ third-line center, Karlsson has contributed 16 points in 61 games. Like many of his teammates, he has been a minus player in a tough situation this season. Given his defensive instincts, do not expect Karlsson to remain a minus player for career, and look for him to continue to improve his offense in the coming years. Karlsson could be a fantasy asset as he continues to develop.

Sven Baertschi, W – Vancouver Canucks

The Trade:

To Calgary: 2015 2nd Round Pick

To Vancouver: Sven Baertschi

The Swiss-born Baertschi played 66 games in the NHL before being moved to Vancouver at the deadline last year. Despite his 28 points in less then a full season in the NHL, many thought that the second-round return was solid value for Calgary after deciding to move on from a player in need of a change of scenery in order to develop further. In 52 games this season with Vancouver, Baertschi has 21 scoring points, which is on par with his career average. With the 2015 second-round pick that Calgary acquired for moving their former first rounder, the Flames selected a Swedish defenseman, Rasmus Andersson, who is averaging almost a point per game this season for the Barrie Colts.

Simon Despres, D – Anaheim Ducks

The Trade:

To Pittsburgh: Ben Lovejoy

To Anaheim: Simon Despres

Pittsburgh fans hated this one from the start, and likely don’t feel much better about it now. To call Despres a prospect when he was traded from the Penguins to the Ducks at the deadline last year is a bit of a stretch, but it’s obvious he was never given a permanent spot on the Pittsburgh blueline. After being traded for the 31 year old Lovejoy, it was obvious that Anaheim got the better end of this deal. After scoring 12 points in 32 regular season and postseason games last season, Despres started the 2015-16 campaign with a lengthy stint on IR. He is a potential player in fantasy leagues that can provide points, shots, blocked shots and hits moving forward as he continues to develop.

Maxim Letunov, C – Arizona Coyotes

The Trade:

To St. Louis: Zbynek Michalek, Conditional 2015 3rd Round Pick

To Arizona: Maxim Letunov

In a trade deadline move, St. Louis added the coveted Michalek, a stay-at-home defenseman who would provide valuable cover to any playoff team. Drafted by St. Louis in 2014, the Russian former second round pick from the USHL was a perfect piece going the other way to help Arizona’s rebuild. As a college freshman at the University of Connecticut, Letunov is in the top 20 among college hockey scorers averaging over a point per game. His 38 points in 33 games are good for third among freshman scorers behind potential Hobey Baker winner Kyle Connor and fellow first round draft pick Colin White.

Anthony Duclair, W – Arizona Coyotes

The Trade:

To New York: Keith Yandle, Chris Summers, 2016 4th Round Pick

To Arizona: Anthony Duclair, John Moore, Conditional 2016 1st Round Pick, 2015 2nd Round Pick

Duclair was one of the most touted prospects moved at the 2015 deadline. Acquired when the New York Rangers decided they needed a top defenseman in their push for the Stanley Cup, the Montreal native has been an integral part in Arizona’s turnaround this season. Playing along fellow rookie Max Domi, Duclair has produced 33 points in his 60 games. His outrageously high shooting percentage (20.8%) give caution moving forward about his scoring rates, but the young winger has been especially effective on the power play where he is typically parked in front of the net. Duclair appears to be the perfect complement to the elite playmaking talent that will be coming up through Arizona’s system over the next few years.

Mattias Janmark, C – Dallas Stars

The Trade:

To Detroit: Erik Cole, Conditional 2015 3rd Round Pick

To Dallas: Mattias Janmark, Mattias Backman, 2015 2nd Round Pick

Janmark has paid dividends in the 2015-16 season since being acquired for the now inactive Erik Cole. The 36-year-old Cole was initially supposed to be a veteran presence added for the Red Wings playoff push, but his spinal contusion late in the 2014-15 season left him unable to play in the postseason.  In his first NHL season, the former third round pick Janmark has posted 25 points in 61 games. The rookie has spent the majority of this season on a line with Jason Spezza, occasionally featuring on the Stars’ second power play unit. He ranks in the top 15 in scoring among NHL rookies, and is currently third among rookies with a +11 rating. Outside of scoring and his plus-minus, he does not yet factor into many fantasy categories.

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