The Nashville Predators have had a rather successful NHL Trade Deadline. With a big push in the final hours of the 2019 NHL Trade Deadline, Nashville made some big improvements to their roster which should help them as they look to make a deep playoff run.
The Predators started off their day by trading 22-year-old winger Kevin Fiala to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for 26-year old centreman Mikael Granlund. This trade came as a shock to the hockey world as Granlund was not a player who was heavily linked to Nashville leading into this year’s trade deadline.
The one-for-one trade definitely helps both Nashville and Minnesota. The Wild came into the trade deadline looking to deal some of their skilled veterans for younger skill and that is exactly what they did at the end of the day.
Kevin Fiala is a young, skilled NHL player with plenty of potential to be a key member of the Wild’s future. Fiala is a restricted free agent at the end of the regular season and will likely command a rather significant pay raise.
Fiala is in the midst of a 32 point season in 64 games so far. He is currently on pace to finish up with a total of 41 points this season. His current career high came last year in which he recorded 48 points in 80 games alongside P.K. Subban with the Predators.
Mikael Granlund is under contract for the 2019-2020 season at $5,750,000 before he hits unrestricted free agency. Fiala has established himself as a high-end forward in the NHL. Granlund currently has recorded 49 points through 63 games for the Wild this season, meanwhile, he is on pace for 64 points which would be his third highest career total.
Last season, Granlund recorded 67 points and the season before, he had recorded just two more at 69 points. Granlund is a skilled forward who is a reliable point producer.
He is a skilled playmaker with great creativity and has a strong hockey IQ. He will be a great addition to the Predators lineup and going into the playoffs, he has the potential to be a top player for the Predators.
The Predators first trade of the day comes with some mixed emotions. Granlund is a high-end talent who can be a difference maker for the Predators. He is not a pure rental as he is under contract next season for a team friendly contract, however, he will be a unrestricted free agent at the conclusion of next season.
Fiala, on the other hand, is not yet at the skill level of Mikael Granlund. In a win-now standpoint, the Granlund trade is a win for the Predators. When you focus on the future however, Fiala is a restricted free agent and is only 22-years-old.
He would likely stay in Nashville long-term and could develop further into becoming an even more skilled and developed left-winger. Minnesota got a player that can be a key member of their franchise for the future, however, the Predators got the better player as it stands for the time being.
In the closing minutes of the trade deadline, the Predators added Wayne Simmonds to their roster. In exchange for Simmonds, the Flyers acquired 24-year-old forward Ryan Hartman who was acquired by Nashville at last year’s trade deadline and a 2020 fourth round pick.
The fourth-round pick will become a third-round pick in 2020 if the Predators win one playoff series as per TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie. The Flyers were asking for a high return earlier in the day to deal Wayne Simmonds.
It was originally believed that the Flyers were looking for a first-round pick and a prospect to send Simmonds from Philadelphia. This led to multiple teams pulling out of the Simmonds race which enabled the Predators to swoop in and acquire the pending unrestricted free agent for a relatively lower price then what was originally expected.
The Predators were able to acquire Simmonds without having to sacrifice a first-round pick which is already a early win for Nashville Predators management involved in this deal. The Predators gave up a first-round pick last year when they traded it to the Chicago Blackhawks in a deal which sent Ryan Hartman to the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena.
The Predators will likely be called the winners of the Simmonds trade as they were able to keep their first-round pick which going into the deadline was not expected to be what happened.
Simmonds is set to be a unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and will likely not be signing an extension with the Predators. For a rental player, the Predators really did not have to give up too much, especially for a player rumoured to have as much interest as Simmonds did.
The Flyers acquired Ryan Hartman instead of a high pick and a prospect. Hartman is a former first-round pick who generally plays a fast paced game. He has great puck handling abilities and still has plenty of untapped skill to show as he is just 24-years-old.
He has NHL experience and has shown what he can do and what he is capable of doing further down the line. Hartman has a lot of raw potential and needs a steady home and the right opportunity in order to maximize on his growing potential.
Overall, the Nashville Predators had a rather successful NHL Trade Deadline day and are surely one of the most feared teams going from here on out into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.