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Which team made the best trade for a defenseman?

February 19, 2020, 10:42 AM ET [5 Comments]
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There were no shortage of trades made on Tuesday and they all featured defensemen switching hands. In this edition of the hotstove, we share our choices for favorite move of the bunch.

Todd Cordell

I loved the Dylan DeMelo trade for Winnipeg.

Defense has been a serious issue for the Jets all season long. They give up Grade A chances at a higher rate than every team in the league at 5v5, and only prevent expected goals better than Chicago and New York (R). That’s very concerning for a team with playoff aspirations.

Largely exceptional goaltending from Connor Hellebuyck has kept the Jets afloat but they simply can’t rely on him the way they are and expect to make much noise come playoff time. They needed some help, and they got it in DeMelo.

The Senators generated more attempts/60 with DeMelo on the ice than any other regular defender. They also allowed fewer. The exact same can be said when looking at scoring chances or expected goals. DeMelo helps tilt the ice and control the run of play.

He’s hardly a marquee name but his on-ice impact is as good or better than all the other rental blueliners being moved and he came at a fraction of the cost.

Michael Stuart

I think Winnipeg won this 'competition' by a mile. Dylan DeMelo is incredibly underrated, and they managed to acquire him from the Ottawa Senators for pennies on the dollar.

Before, being moved, DeMelo led Senators regulars in five-on-five shot attempt share, shot share, and expected goal share as per Natural Stat Trick. He's really, really good at what he does on a nightly basis. The Winnipeg Jets landing him for a single third-round pick, especially with the context of the day's other days, has to be considered a major victory for them.

James Tanner

While I don't think any of those trades will do anything for anyone, I suppose the best of the bunch was the Jets getting Dylan Demelo.

Demelo is a decent enough player, but he's no star. He will help a depleted Jets blueline a bit, but reading over the analysis of these moves it's pretty clear that people are overrating what Scandella, Demelo, Martinez or Dillon can bring to a team.

These are - all four of them - OK, low impact players. Thinking Alex Martinez is going to put you over the to is like like trying to get ripped like Arnold by taking a leisurely stroll twice a week. At best, you might drop a few pounds, but it's no INSANITY with Shaun T.

The NHL is a strong-link game where star players make big impacts. These players won't make big impacts and the winners are all the teams getting draft picks.

Numbers via NaturalStatTrick.com

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