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 lead-up 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 rankings and will have a much higher placement on our top 50 rankings coming in a few weeks (no spoilers!). Outside of Ryan Donato, the rest were midrange prospects.
Here are the top 10 traded prospects from the 2019 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 past 20 years is John Carlson.
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