It wasn’t a terribly busy trade deadline regarding top prospects and rookies. Only two players from ESPN’s early-season top 100 prospect rankings were moved in the leadup to Monday’s deadline. Draft picks, as expected, were among the most sought-after commodities, giving sellers some solid futures to play with in the next few drafts.
But there was one whopper of a prospect moved in Erik Brannstrom, who was No. 31 in our preseason drafted prospects ranking and will have a much higher placement on our top 50 drafted prospects coming in a few weeks (no spoilers!). Outside of Ryan Donato, the rest were mid-range prospects.
Here are the top 10 traded prospects from the 2018-19 NHL trade deadline.
The centerpiece of the Mark Stone return for the Sens, Brannstrom is the kind of prospect Ottawa absolutely needed to get back, especially in the absence of a first-round pick. He immediately becomes Ottawa’s No. 1 prospect and should be ready for full-time NHL duty next season. There’s little reason to bring him up this season to be part of a team that appears destined for a last-place finish.
Though he lacks size, Brannstrom has high-end hockey sense and vision. He is a tremendous skater with solid footwork in all zones and higher-end north-south speed. Only in his first year in North America — spent primarily with the Chicago Wolves in the AHL — Brannstrom has put up very solid numbers for a U20 defenseman in the league. In fact, the only U20 blueliner who produced at a higher per-game rate than Brannstrom over the last 20 years is John Carlson.