The trade deadline talent ledger

While Penguins load up, it comes at a steep future cost

Updated: April 12, 2013, 11:35 AM ET
By Rob Vollman | Hockey Prospectus
Jarome Iginla Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY SportsThe Penguins exchanged a lot of future value to add to their 2013 Stanley Cup chances.

The trade deadline had a huge impact on a number of NHL rosters, but while some teams loaded up for a big playoff run, it comes at a cost.

The Pittsburgh Penguins undeniably improved their team by the widest margin this trade deadline season, but also at a far higher future cost than any of this year's other buyers like the Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks. On the flip side, the Buffalo Sabres got the most future value and did so while giving up less than half of the next top-two sellers, the Dallas Stars and the Calgary Flames.

The true "winners and losers" of the deadline will be revealed only in time, but right now we can get an idea of what each side obtained by examining the expected value of the prospects and draft picks exchanged for present players. And through that lens, it's clear that while the Penguins loaded up for a big playoff push, the price they paid was a very steep one.