Trade grades for the 2024 NHL trade deadline
The first major transaction of what we could reasonably call "NHL trade season" shook out on Jan. 31, a little earlier than usual.
That is increasingly the trend in the NHL, though. Unless you're really not sure about your direction, why wait to acquire a player who can help you for five, 10, 15 extra games for more or less the same price as you would pay in early March? Only makes sense for clubs to act quickly if they're confident they're playoff-bound.
Conversely, why wait to trade a guy you know you're moving in hopes that a market develops for him? Moving on might also allow you to improve your draft position, and also root against the team whose pick(s) you may have just acquired.
Hard not to be confident this is the future of the NHL. But let's stay in the present for now, and grade so
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