Hidden value in lower-tier trades

A look at under-the-radar trades that may provide value down the stretch

Updated: March 6, 2014, 12:36 PM ET
By Neil Greenberg | ESPN Insider

Claude Giroux #28 of the Philadelphia Flyers and Andrei Loktionov #21 of the New Jersey DevilsAndy Marlin/NHLI via Getty ImagesAndrei Loktionov has had positive puck possession numbers at each of his NHL stops.

The dust has settled -- 17 trades were made near the NHL's trade deadline, including 31 players, 22 draft picks and one future consideration.

Some teams made major moves. The New York Rangers sent their captain, Ryan Callahan, to Tampa Bay for their captain, Martin St. Louis. The Wild acquired Sabres forward Matt Moulson, while Thomas Vanek will don a Montreal sweater after spending 47 games with the New York Islanders. However, teams did not have to go big to get value for the final games of the regular season.

The Washington Capitals got started early, when they turned a fourth-round pick in the 2014 draft into top-six forward Dustin Penner from the Ducks. The Manitoba native is a big rig at 6-foot-4, 247 pounds, and is a strong net-front presence. In the salary-cap era, just 19 forwards picked in the fourth round have played 20 games or more at the NHL level, making it a good bet Washington will come out ahead in this deal. The move also gives coach Adam Oates a player known for working close to the goal -- Penner's average shot distance has gone from 32.1 feet during the 2011-12 season to 28.3 this season. That will be a nice complement to Washington's two superstars, Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom.

Plus, Penner has playoff experience, scoring 35 points in 78 games, and he was with the Ducks (2006-07) and the Los Angeles Kings (2011-2012) when they won the Stanley Cup.

Here are other trades that might provide more bang for the buck than some of the bigger-name moves made.


Detroit acquires: F David Legwand

Nashville acquires: F Patrick Eaves, F Calle Jarnkrok, 2014 third-round pick

Neil Greenberg is ESPN Insider's NHL analytics expert. His columns have appeared on the Washington Post website, and he is a regular guest on Sirius XM NHL Radio.