As the trade deadline approaches there is much speculation, anticipation, and reservation to go around, depending on where your rooting interests lie. Sometimes it is easy to predict the players that will be traded, but where they go and for who can be a little tougher to pick. Instead of trying to figure the future out, I am going to revisit some recent trades that involved some of the bigger names in the next few days/week. Let’s see where some of these moves stand now and the affects they have had on the respective teams:
Today’s trade is:
Blues send former No. 1 overall pick Erik Johnson, forward Jay McClement and a first-round pick (Duncan Siemens) to the Avalanche for winger Chris Stewart, defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk and a second-round draft choice (Ty Rattie).
This trade was a real surprise. There wasn’t any buzz about the Blues looking to move Johnson at the time and Chris Stewart was playing great hockey for the Avs. 3 of the 4 NHL players involved in this trade were former 1st round draft picks (Johnson, Stewart, Shattenkirk).
Starting with the Avs they had defensive holes in their lineup and needed somebody that could come in and eat huge minutes while contributing solid defense and good offense. They took a chance on Johnson’s high ceiling just as the Blues did when they drafted him #1. Thus far Johnson is eating up the minutes and playing sound defense however his offensive numbers leave much to be desired given the promise when he was drafted, he has only 1 goal so far this season to go along with18 assists
Jay McClement is playing third line minutes with 13 (7 goals) points in 52 games.
Duncan Siemens was the player drafted in the first round by Colorado with the St. Louis pick and he is currently playing defense for the Saskatoon Blades in the WHL and has 6 goals 20 assists through 51 games.
From the Blues standpoint they were looking to jump start their offense by adding Chris Stewart, who at the time was scoring tons of goals in Colorado. Initially Stewart was great, scoring 15 goals in 26 games to finish off the second half as a Blue. However this has not been the case in 2011/2012 as Stewart could be considered a disappointment. He only has 10 goals and 10 assists in 48 games (and only 1 assist in his last 7). Given how great the Blues have played since Hitchcock took over, this is surprising. Stewart has struggled offensively to the point where there are rumors out there that have St. Louis trading him this upcoming deadline.
Luckily for the Blues Kevin Shattenkirk has been a really nice addition to their blue line to help eat the minutes that Erik Johnson’s void left behind. In 50 games Shattenkirk has 6 goals and 17 assists. Shattenkirk’s offensive numbers so far are better than Johnson this year and while Shattenkirk may not be as good defensively as Johnson, he is not hurting the Blues in that department either.
The Blues took Ty Rattie with their 2nd round choice they received from Colorado. He is a winger who plays for the Portland Winterhawks in the WHL in 50 games this season he has an impressive 42 goals and 45 assists for 87 points as well as 50 PIMS. His point total is best in the entire WHL.
After reviewing all the pieces of the deal I would give the edge the St. Louis Blues for this particular trade. Strangely in what should have been the main piece for the Blues (Stewart) playing well below his intended value, the Blues still made up for it with the other pieces. Shattenkirk is the main reason why the Blues are able to absorb Stewart’s shortcomings in this trade. Shattenkirk is able to provide the same offensive punch as Johnson while also not hurting his team defensively. The fact that Rattie is leading the WHL in scoring is also a major plus. So far the results speak for themselves as the Blues are ripping through the competition, and the Avs are not having a good year at all (record, Stastny trade rumors etc). Unless Johnson can finally ascend towards his perceived ceiling the Johnson/Shattenkirk portion of the trade is close to a wash, and that isn’t good news for Colorado.
Next up: The Jeff Carter trade…