The holiday season is the time of year which is known to be the beginning of a busy period of time for the National Hockey League and it’s front office staff members who work tireless hours to put together a winning franchise to draw in the fans who fill their seats on an everyday basis and make the atmosphere in the building as great as it can be.
We certainly saw this last year when the Montreal Canadiens went out to acquire defensemen Shea Weber from the Nashville Predators while sending back P.K. Subban as the exchange piece of the deal.
Now, this year has been slower than past seasons have experienced, however, that does not mean teams have not been doing putting in their all to long hours of player scouting and research in order to find their next big talent.
That being said, the New Jersey Devils have been fairly active on the trade market since the 30th of November when they surprised fans by sending Center Adam Henrique, forward Joe Blandisi and a third-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for defensemen Sami Vatanen and a conditional third-round draft pick.
Since the completion of that deal, Devils general manager Ray Shero like many others has been busy seeking his next target to make his team a serious contender for postseason play and did just that with his latest acquisition.
On Sunday afternoon, the New Jersey Devils announced that veteran goaltender Eddie Lack had been acquired from the Calgary Flames in exchange for defensemen Dalton Prout who now returns to his home country for the first time in his young NHL career as a result of the trade.
According to the team press release, Lack has since been re-assigned to the club’s American Hockey League affiliate located in Binghamton. During Lack’s tenure with the Flames organization, he most recently spent time with the Stockton Heat.
Taking a look at the netminder’s NHL statistics thus far into the season, Lack, 29, appeared in a total of just 4 games played while owning a record of 1–2–0. That went alongside a GAA of 5.29 and a .813 save-percentage.
As for his tenure with the Heat in Stockton, Lack, who was re-assigned back on the 25th of November, appeared in a total of five games played while owning a record of 2–2–1 to go alongside a GAA of 2.57 and a .916 save-percentage.
Lack, who is a native of Norrtälje, Sweden, is currently playing out the final year of a two-year, $5.5-million deal which he originally signed with the Carolina Hurricanes back in October of 2015.
Speaking of which, Lack, who currently weighs in at 6–4, 185 lb., owns a record of 55–53–18 to go alongside a GAA of 2.60 GAA in 140 NHL games played combined between the Vancouver Canucks (2010–2015), the Carolina Hurricanes (2015–2017) and Calgary Flames (2017), all of whom he has played for over the course of a seven-year career on NHL ice in North America.
As for his overall statistics when found at the AHL-level, Lack owns a record of 59–48–11 to go alongaide a GAA of 2.36 and a .923 save-percentage in a total of 119 regular-season games played. He was then named to the 2011 AHL All-Rookie Team as a result of his strong display which led to his first free agent contract signing done with the Vancouver Canucks on April 6, 2010.
During the tenure that he spent on Canada’s west coast, Lack worked alongside goaltending coach Roland Melanson from 2013–15, now with the Devils whom he is likely to soon reunite with.
During the 2015 NHL Playoff run with Vancouver, the left-catching goaltender recorded two wins in four games played before the Canucks were officially eliminated by Calgary in first-round action.
Taking a look on the other end of the trade now, Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet.ca reports that the Dalton Prout, 27, will report to the AHL Stockton Heat.
Prout, a defensemen from Kingsville, Ontario, has played in a total 242 career NHL games combined between both the Devils organization as well as the Columbus Blue Jackets who initially selected him in the 6th round (154th overall) at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
Taking a look at his statistics thus far into the 2017–18 season, Prout, much like Lack, has appeared in only four games played this season while recording zero points, averaging 13:59 minutes of ice time per night and accumulating a total of 13 penalty minutes recorded. He also adds three assists to his resume in 18 regular season games played overall with the club.
As for his career totals, Prout has recorded 36 points, 306 penalty minutes while adding 511 hits to his name as well.
Prout, who was re-assigned to Binghamton after clearing waivers back on December 29, was acquired from Columbus back in March of 2017 at the NHL Trade Deadline which sent 32-year-old defensemen Kyle Quincey the other way in exchange.
Prout cleared waivers on Saturday December 28 while Lack cleared waivers earlier in the season.
For ramification purposes, this trade now provides the Flames with a roster spot at the AHL level for Tyler Parsons in Stockton which will definitely give the young goaltender a chance to thrive and prove his worthy higher up from the Kansas City Mavericks of the ECHL while it is also worth noting that the Flames essentially used an extra $200k of cap space to clear room for the 20-year-old netminder to continue his progression into the American Hockey League where he may very soon just lock up a spot of his own.
Prout, much like Lack, is in the final year of a two-year contract that pays him a base value of $1.575 million annually while he is also registered under a cap hit of $550k.