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Silver Nuggets: Sens Trade Deadline Recap

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New BSens forward Phil Varone provides centre depth.
New BSens forward Phil Varone provides centre depth.
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Despite yesterday being the trade deadline, I think we can all agree that Bryan Murray and co. acted early (for good reason) in making their significant transaction of bringing in Dion Phaneuf almost three weeks ago.

Cumulatively, the Senators trade movement since the start of the 2015-16 season stands at:

IN: Dion Phaneuf, Michael Keränen, Casey Bailey, Ryan Rupert, Cody Donaghey, Jason Akeson, Phillip Varone, Jerome Gauthier-Leduc, conditional 2016 7th round pick, 2016 3rd round pick

OUT: Patrick Mullen, Jared Cowen, Colin Greening, Milan Michalek, Tobias Lindberg, 2017 2nd round pick, Eric O'Dell, Cole Schneider, Alexander Guptill, Michael Sdao, Shane Prince, 2016 7th round pick

Let's briefly examine the implications of each trade, skipping the much talked about Phaneuf trade, to get everyone up to speed and assess whether it'll have an impact on the organization in the future

Patrick Mullen, Conor Allen, Michael Keränen

Finally, the trade you've all been waiting to hear about! *crickets*

Mullen, a right-shot defenseman, was acquired last year by the Senators in exchange for unsigned NCAA prospect, Jeff Costello (Notre Dame), and was signed to a one-year contract (UFA) extension heading into the 2015-16 season. Although he was a decent option offensively for the BSens with 57 points in 110 games, the team decided that they had seen enough and shipped him off to Nashville earlier in the year in exchange for fellow blueliner Conor Allen.

Allen, who's four years younger than Mullen, was seen as an upgrade given his perceived defensive ability was higher than Mullen and he still put up a solid 34 points in 72 AHL games with the Hartford Wolf Pack (NYR) in 2014-15. Despite the BSens having an extremely bad defensive (to the tune of the worst goals against in the entire AHL), Allen found himself playing as many games as forward as he did at defense, which is somewhat confusing. It was clear that his two month trial wasn't working out, so the Senators decided to trade him (potential RFA) to Minnesota for Michael Keränen.

Despite being the same age as Allen (and four years younger than Mullen), Keränen has the most impressive pedigree of the trio. The key difference with Keränen is that he's a forward, but addresses a need for skill in Binghamton given the departure of Tobias Lindberg, Eric O'Dell, and Cole Schneider. A late-bloomer, the RFA-to-be will be playing for a qualifying offer next year. Impressively, he was named as the MVP of the top men's league in Finland (SM-Liiga) back in 2013-14 but came over to North America right away after he was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Minnesota Wild. At 6'1, 192lbs, Keränen is not known to throw his size around, but definitely has the strength to play a top-six game in the AHL and likely hopes to be a bottom-nine winger for an NHL squad.

Jason Akeson, Phillip Varone, Jerome Gauthier-Leduc

A minor-league blockbuster meant to shake up both the Rochester Americans and the Binghamton Senators, this exchange of RFAs will surely have an impact on both AHL squads next season.

Akeson's claim to fame is his OHL-leading performance as an overager back in 2010-11 with the Kitchener Rangers, which gave him enough pedigree to earn an ELC with the Philadelphia Flyers despite being an undersized, undrafted player. It's easy to look at his 3 straight 50+ performances in the AHL and claim that he's a better player than O'Dell and Schneider, but their point-per-game rates are all around 0.80. Nonetheless, all are high scorers with the ability to fill in at the NHL level if need be.

In comparison, Varone was drafted in the 5th round back in 2009 by the San Jose Sharks, and has spent all of his AHL time in Rochester, frequently atop their scoring leaders. A slick, undersized playmaker, he has two seasons of 40+ assists that have earned 42 games of NHL experience with the Sabres as a 4th line centre, providing the depth that the team lost with O'Dell gone. Again, all there is to this deal is swapping potential RFAs (O'Dell, Schneider, Akeson, Varone) with the ability to fill-in a depth role at the NHL level.

Leduc is the youngest player in this deal by two years, and was drafted in the 3rd round back in 2010 by the Buffalo Sabres. He was named the QMJHL's top defenseman in 2011-12 as an overager with a stat line of 28-46-74 in 62 games but has only managed to put up 0.25 PPG in now his fourth AHL season. Leduc helps bring AHL talent to the battered BSens blueline, but I'm doubtful that he could even fill-in at the NHL level.

3rd round pick

A lot of work has been done on estimating draft pick value, but one thing I think many don't understand is that it's rare to have a pick after the first round to turn into an NHLer like Shane Prince did. Now obviously, not all NHL teams are created equal and the Senators are *known* for their drafting and development, but we are looking at around or below a 15% chance of having this pick turn into an NHLer of any sort (no games played requirement). Unfortunately for the Senators, there isn't really that much of a difference between a 3rd round pick and a 7th round pick, despite what we think, as most teams just go by their draft boards instead of set rankings by CSS for example. The odds of getting a player of Shane Prince-like calibre (remember, Prince was a second round pick in a strong 2011 draft) is slim.

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What do you think about the Senators trade deadline? Happy? Disappointed? Let us know in the comments!

Sens Links

Other Links
  • Here's Travis Yost on the sellers market at the deadline. [TSN]
  • Give the inaugural episode of "That's What She Said" a listen! A ton of intelligent conversation on many hot-button issues related to the Senators. [TSN1200]
  • A great column on the trade deadlines of the past: a player for a player, prospect, and pick. [The Globe & Mail]
  • Patrick Kearns writes about the NHL role player, and wonders if our perception of them are slowing changing to reflect the modern game. [The Guardian]
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Thanks for reading!