The Dallas Stars were involved in two trades today. The first of which was dealing Derek Roy to the Vancouver Canucks for defense prospect Kevin Connauton and a second round pick. They also shipped Jaromir Jagr to the Boston Bruins for forward prospects Cody Payne, Lane MacDermid, and a conditional second round pick. I will analyze each trade individually.
Vancouver Canucks receive C Derek Roy
Derek Roy stats and team ranks
Aside from a bumpy 2010-11 season, Roy has been a top-six forward, if not a good top-six forward in for many seasons, and at just age 29, he is still close enough to his prime to be a viable asset. Vancouver has struggled with scoring this season: as of now, their Goals For are 3 below the NHL average. Roy gives the Canucks a much-needed shot in the arm. If they can keep Ryan Kesler healthy as well, they should help re-establish Vancouver's forward group as a top unit.
Roy is a speedy, skilled offensive player, and despite his diminutive size (5'9''), he shows defensive value and will battle through checks. Aside from that one blip in 2010-11, he has been a good puck possession forward while taking on tough if not very tough minutes during the last few seasons with Buffalo and Dallas. This season, his team has shot a high percentage when he has been on the ice (10.31%), but Roy himself is shooting just 6.2% compared to a career 12.4%. Consequently, his goals-per-game rate is below his career mark while his assist rate is up. As both of those rates could see regression, his value should remain roughly the same.
Dallas Stars receive D Kevin Connauton and a second round pick in the 2013 draft
Kevin Connauton was a third round pick by Vancouver in 2009, and an AHL All Star last season. The 23-year-old, 6'2'' defenseman was my #4 prospect in Vancouver's system last summer, and while he hasn't had a great season, he would still be pretty high if I had done another ranking today. Connauton struggled to start the season, as the great offensive defenseman was adjusting to some of the defensive skills the Chicago (his AHL team) coaches were trying to implement into his game. It is questionable if Connauton will ever be more than average in his own end, but there is some hope he can at least get to that point.
Connauton is at his best when he has the puck. He is a high-end skater who can simply jet through the neutral zone. He moves the puck well, with one NHL source praising his ability to get pucks through tight passing lanes well, and has a big shot from the point. Arguably, he could be ready for NHL duty next season although it might be in a sheltered role at first, and with the young defensive depth Dallas is building up, they can afford to give him time to further develop.
Roy is likely a rental for Vancouver, who have 14 players signed for next season and even with 14 players they only have $4 million in cap space left. As with most rentals of such a short timeframe, the team doing the selling tends to get more value. Connauton has the potential to be a top-four defenseman for Dallas with controlled rights for several seasons. The chances of him being that aren't high, but there is a notable probability he could be that player, to where he delivers more value in this deal to Dallas than a good player like Roy brings to Vancouver for a playoff run. The second round pick, which will likely be late, adds some value too in a deep draft, to where I would equate it to a high second rounder in an average draft.
That isn't a ton of value by itself mind you, but Dallas makes out well in this deal while Vancouver adds a quality top-six forward. Both teams accomplish their team goals in this trade.
Boston Bruins receive W Jaromir Jagr
Jaromir Jagr stats and team ranks
At 41 years old, Jagr is still a viable asset, and per GVT he has been a 1.5 win player these last two seasons with Philadelphia and Dallas. His all-world skill and his big frame are always desirable tools to get, although at this point in his career, he is only useful in an offense-only role. There is also a potential worry about him burning out in a deep playoff run due to his age.
Over these last two seasons, his coaches have deployed Jagr primarily in the offensive zone and on the power play. He has faced average opponents and gotten next to no penalty killing time. In that somewhat sheltered deployment, Jagr has been a very good puck possession player who finishes at a high rate. He is a career 14% shooter who has scored on 12.8% of his shots since returning to the NHL. His 16% rate will come down this season, but even with that in mind, he will remain a good offensive player.
Boston has scored at an NHL-average pace this year, getting the majority of their team value from defense and goaltending. They missed out on Jarome Iginla, so the addition of Jagr will help their offense get a notch or so better.
Dallas Stars receive W Cody Payne, W Lane MacDermid, and a conditional second round pick
The two prospects Dallas received are not really of consequence. The 19-year-old Payne, who plays in the OHL, is the better prospect and could become a decent third line winger. He was a fifth round pick of the Bruins in 2012. He is a 6'2'', 200-pound winger who plays a tough, physical game. Payne brings the well don't make me say it. He protects the puck well and will drive the high percentage areas. He is hard working in both ends and covers his defensive assignments well. His offensive upside is questionable due to poor puck skills, so the question with Payne is whether he has enough offensive instincts to be capable with the puck. I see potential arguments on both sides of that question, and if you say no, then he probably tops out as a fourth line player.
MacDermid doesn't really have a whole lot to offer. He is a 23-year-old, 6'3'' winger who throws his weight around well but has next to no upside. He is a fourth line player at most and may just end up as a replacement-level forward.
Boston makes out well in this deal, getting an above-average NHL player for only one prospect of real consequence. They are also in a cap bind for next season, with 17 players signed and only $7 million in cap space. As they will need to re-sign Tuukka Rask, Jagr is likely a rental. They do give up a second round pick, which could become a first per TSN's Bob McKenzie if Boston wins two rounds, but by that time, the value from Jagr would likely have been mostly recouped.
Dallas still gets some value from this deal. The pick is certainly worth something and Cody Payne has some value as a prospect, but this seems like a rare occasion where the seller in a trade deadline deal doesn't clearly get more value than the buyer.
Corey Pronman is an author of Hockey Prospectus.
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