The Ottawa Senators said goodbye to another superstar on Monday afternoon, as they traded Mark Stone to the Vegas Golden Knights.
In return, Ottawa received Erik Brannstrom, Oscar Lindberg, and a 2020 second round pick.
The first thing that jumps out in this deal is that Ottawa did not receive a first round pick in exchange for the best player on its roster. The caveat to that is that general manager Pierre Dorion did receive Brannstrom, the 15th overall pick in 2017 and one of the best prospects on the planet, instead.
Brannstrom is nothing short of spectacular. In the top Swedish league as a teenager, he had 15 points in 44 games. Now, in his first season in North America, he has 28 points in 41 games with the Chicago Wolves.
Brannstrom is known in specific for his puck moving ability. He is an assist machine, and he can be the backbone of the Ottawa powerplay for year’s to come. He and Thomas Chabot provide for a nasty one-two punch down the left side for Ottawa.
Although it is easy to gloss over on the surface, Brannstrom is a gargantuan addition. It certainly hurts to lose Stone, but getting Brannstrom makes up for it.
Also in the deal, Oscar Lindberg can immediately enter the Senators’ lineup and try and re-kindle some of his magic that he had in New York at the dawn of his career. The second round pick in 2020 is a solid touch, too.
Mark Stone will definitely thrive in Vegas for the next nine year, and subsequently, it will definitely hurt to see from Canada’s capital.
But, for Dorion, owner Eugene Melynk, and the entire organization, it was a necessary evil. Keeping Stone around would have only caused more speculation moving forward, and after this year’s draft where they have to watch the Avalanche make a top-four pick in their name, the Senators can move on to brighter and greener pastures.
So, cheer up Senators fans. It hurts now, but once Brannstrom comes hurdling down the ice on a powerplay to set up Brady Tkachuk for a goal, it will all seem like a distant memory.