NHL Notebook: Colorado Avalanche acquire Sean Walker and Casey Mittlestadt, Vegas Golden Knights swing big with Noah Hanifin and more

Photo credit:Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
Ryley Delaney
4 months ago
Despite the National Hockey League trade deadline being on Friday at 1:00 PM MT, there were many trades on Wednesday, including the Oilers and quite a few other Pacific Division teams.
That said, let’s take a look at Wednesday’s league news, including which rivals improved and what this means for the Oilers going forward.


Edmonton Oilers trade for Adam Henrique and Sam Carrick

We’ve already covered this trade a lot at Oilersnation today, but I wanted to offer up some of my own thoughts on this swap.
At first, I was more than a little annoyed that the Oilers used their first-rounder on Henrique and Carrick, as I preferred them to trade it for a top-six winger. However, landing Henrique at 75 percent retention and Carrick at 50 percent retention allows them to make trades to fill other holes.
Not just that, but Henrique is a fantastic middle-six player, as he has 18 goals and 42 points this season and is on pace to set a new career-high in the latter category. Carrick, stat cards be damned, is a useful fourth-line centre that will slot in nicely with Mattias Janmark, Connor Brown, Derek Ryan, and/or Dylan Holloway.
The Oilers are middle of the pack in terms of penalty killing, so adding Henrique (eighth-most minutes for forward penalty killers) and Carrick (fifth-most minutes for penalty killers) will certainly help.
I still wish they used that first to land a top-six winger because there are plenty available, but the players they got in this trade are good. Please, Ken Holland, trade for Anthony Duclair and Alexandre Carrier before the deadline.

Seattle Kraken trade Alexander Wennberg to the New York Rangers

Another Pacific Division team made a trade on Wednesday, as the Seattle Kraken traded third-line centre Alexander Wennberg to the New York Rangers in exchange for a 2024 second-round pick and a 2025 fourth-round pick.
Wennberg this season has nine goals and 25 points after scoring 37 and 38 points in the two prior seasons with the Kraken. His career-high in goals game in 2020-21 with the Florida Panthers, while his career-high in points came in 2016-17 when he had 13 goals and 69 points.
This trade doesn’t impact the Oilers all too much. But here’s one that may.

Colorado Avalanche make a one-for-one swap

The Avalanche made two deals on the deal, the first was moving left-shot defenceman Bowen Byram to the Buffalo Sabres for Casey Mittelstadt.
Byram’s development has been hindered by injury, but he scored eight goals and 20 points with the Avalanche before the trade. At certain points during the season, he was playing on the right side of the ice due to the Avalanche’s immense depth, so moving a surplus left-shot defenceman for a second-line centre makes sense.
As for Mittelstadt, the 25-year-old centre has 14 goals and 47 points in 62 games this season and led the lowly Buffalo Sabres in points this season. Middelstadt carries a cap hit of $2.5 million and will be a restricted free agent after the season ends.

Colorado Avalanche add Sean Walker

That wasn’t the only move the Avalanche made on Wednesday. They also acquired Sean Walker and a 2026 fifth-rounder from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for Ryan Johansen and a conditional 2025 first-round pick (top 10 protected).
There are two important factors to this trade. Sean Walker will slot in nicely as the third-pairing right-shot defenceman, as left-shot defenceman Caleb Jones is currently in that role according to Daily Faceoff’s daily line combinations. Moreover, he’s a replacement for the departing Byram.
The second factor is that they dumped salary on Wednesday, creating $2.7 million in cap space by unloading Johansen’s $4 million cap hit (50% of his contract was retained by Nashville) and Byram’s $3.85 million cap hit. For context, Walker has a cap hit of $2.65 million and Mittelstadt has a cap hit of $2.5 million.
They probably aren’t done either, so look out for them to add a winger or a netminder.

Vegas Golden Knights acquire Noah Hanifin

According to Sportsnet’s Ryan Leslie, the Vegas Golden Knights are acquiring Noah Hanifin from the Calgary Flames.
We know a few things about this trade so far at the time of publishing. Elliotte Friedman noted on the Sportsnet broadcast that a third-party broker will be involved in the trade, eating an additional 25 percent of Hanifin’s $4.95 million cap hit. On top of the 50 percent the Flames are retaining, this means that Hanifin has a $1,237,500 cap hit until the end of the season.
According to Darren Dreger, another other aspect of this trade is that the Golden Knights are trading 26-year-old Daniil Miromano. Miromanov is a right-shot defenceman with 29 games in the National Hockey League. We’ll wait for the full return, but if he’s the only player coming back along with a few picks, yikes — especially if Hanifin has a contract in place.
So yeah, the Oilers can’t sit around and only add Adam Henrique, Sam Carrick, and a seventh defender. Ken Holland needs to find a way to be creative and add an impact winger or upgrade on Cody Ceci, but it’s hard to do so when he traded his first-round selection.
We’ll see what happens as the trade deadline is just two days away.
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