Two significant trades took place this past week. Below we’ll look at the fantasy impact this directly has on Elias Lindholm and Sean Monahan. We’ll also look at how this affects players on the teams they are joining and on the teams they are leaving behind.
Fantasy Hockey Impact of Elias Lindholm to Vancouver Canucks
To Vancouver Canucks: Elias Lindholm
A big, top-six forward that can play both center and wing, Lindholm brings a lot of versatility to the Canucks.
Lindholm will be an immediate fixture in the Canucks top two lines. This allows Rick Tocchet to play Elias Pettersson more often on the wing at five-on-five. Lindholm is a big body at 6’1″ and 202 pounds, lining him up with Pettersson would allow JT Miller and Brock Boeser to remain together. Although, Tocchet may have his own plans. It would also provide the Canucks with two strong lines and potentially create matchup problems.
He is a clear upgrade over Kuzmenko, especially on the physical side of the game.
Lindholm also sees an upgrade on the power play. The logical adjustment is for Lindholm to take Pius Suter’s spot on the first power play unit. Playing alongside Pettersson, Miller, Boeser, and Quinn Hughes is quite an upgrade over Yegor Sharangovich, Nazem Kadri, and Andrew Mangiapagne.
It hasn’t been Lindholm’s strongest year, with 32 points in 49 games. Expect his production to see a big boost down the stretch. To expect point-per-game production isn’t unrealistic.
You have to think this will have some level of positive impact on whoever Lindholm lines up with. He’s a clear upgrade over Kuzmenko. With Pettersson, Miller, and Boeser already having career years it will be hard to measure how much his acquisition directly impacts them.
It’s the third player on his line, that will benefit the most, whether that is Nils Hoglander or Ilya Mikheyev. One of them should see a slight uptick at five-on-five. Unless you’re in a deep pool, neither is a fantasy hockey fixture.
Negative Impact: Pius Suter
Recently moved to the first unit, it is expected he will lose that coveted spot to Lindholm. That’s a massive hit to his offensive production. He is a bottom-six forward who has been playing higher in the lineup due to the inconsistency of Kuzmenko.
As a bottom-six forward this was Suter’s only real opportunity to provide consistent production. He will move to the second unit, but that is a far cry from the All-Star first unit Vancouver puts on the ice. It likely spells the end to his top-six opportunities for the time being as well.
To Calgary Flames:
Andrei Kuzmenko, Hunter Brzustewicz, Joni Jurmo, 2024 1st Round Pick, Conditional 2024 4th Round Pick (Becomes 3rd Round Pick if Vancouver reaches Western Conference Finals)
It is a fresh start for Kuzmenko. Coming off a year where everything seemed to go right, this year, everything seemed to go wrong. He’s a skilled forward who, 37-goal season aside is a pass-first forward. He will slide into Calgary’s top-six and possibly their first power play unit.
Time will tell if the new team results in an increase in offense or if, what we’ve seen is what we get. This should bring him back to life and, at least for points pools make him a viable option down the stretch.
Hunter Brzustewicz is an intriguing prospect. He is scorching the AHL this year, averaging 1.44 points per game (69 in 48 games). Calgary also doesn’t have a Quinn Hughes on the roster or in their system blocking Brzustewicz if he develops properly. They do have Jeremy Poirier who is closing in on a shot with the Flames. Beyond him, there is not a lot in the system in front of Brzustewicz.
Joni Jurmo, holds very little fantasy value moving forward, if any. Expect him to develop into a defense-first, third-pairing defenceman – if he reaches the NHL. I would not go out and make a claim.
The first-round pick is nice, but with the Canucks challenging for the President’s Trophy it will be in the 24-32 pick range. This gives the Flames about a 27% chance of drafting a prospect that will become an impact player in the NHL in 2-4 years.
Positive Impact: Connor Zary
Now that Lindholm is gone, he should slide into the third-line center role. He could also replace him on the power play. With the increased responsibility, there will be a learning curve. It should result in a bump in his overall production but as a rookie, don’t increase expectations too much. Take a look around the league, only a couple of rookies have a chance to surpass 50 points this year.
Fantasy Impact of Sean Monahan to Winnipeg Jets
To Winnipeg Jets: Sean Monahan
I think this is a great landing spot for Monahan. He goes to a team in desperate need of a second-line center and should line up with two of: Nikolaj Ehlers and Cole Perfetti, Kyle Connor and Gabe Vilardi, or Nino Neiderreiter. Considering his four most common wingers with Montreal were Josh Anderson, Jake Evans, Brendan Gallagher, and Tanner Pearson, this is a significant improvement.
Monahan should also play on the Jets top power-play unit. Montreal did have some offensive weapons in Nick Suzuki, Cole Caufield, and Mike Matheson, but they aren’t quite Kyle Connor, Mark Scheifele, Ehlers, and Josh Morrissey.
He should see a sizeable boost in his five-on-five production. As long as he receives consistent time with the Jets’ top power play unit there should be little, if any drop-off in his power play production. Few landing spots offered the potential the Jets lineup offers.
With 35 points in 49 games, Monahan was on pace for 58 points. On the Jets’ top power play, Monahan could see a 5-10 point bump on that pace.
To Montreal Canadiens: 2024 1st Round Pick & Conditional 2027 3rd Round Pick
Similar to the first-round pick Calgary received, the Jets first-rounder will also be between 24-32. The impact of the deal won’t be felt for a few years.
2027, is a long way away. The significance of this pick seems insignificant right now. Montreal should be competing for a playoff spot by 2027, don’t be surprised if that pick is on the move down the road.
Sean Farrell could receive a look as the Canadiens second-line center in the interim.
This trade doesn’t help anyone in Montreal in terms of fantasy value. With Monahan’s power-play productivity, gone, we could see a dip in Suzuki, Caufield, and Matheson’s power-play production.
With the NHL trade deadline still weeks away (March 8th, 2024), the fun has begun early.
Thanks for reading.
Follow me on X (Twitter): @doylelb4