The trades are coming hot and heavy in the hours before the NHL Entry Draft.
The St. Louis Blues decided to get a jump on the action Friday afternoon, acquiring forward, Pavel Buchnevich from the New York Rangers in exchange for Sammy Blais and a 2022 second-round pick.
According to Sportsnet's Chris Johnston, early indications suggest that Buchnevich, a pending RFA, is unlikely to sign a contract extension with the Blues in the coming days.
On the surface, all signs point towards the Blues making out like bandits in the aftermath of today's deal. Buchnevich is a legitimate top-line calibre winger in the prime of his career, one coming off a career-best 2021 campaign that was highlighted by an impressive 48 points in 54 games.
The Blues can use Buchnevich as a building block for years to come. Despite his RFA status, the Russia-native can do wonders in offsetting the impending loss of Jaden Schwartz, who seems destined to depart via free agency, all for what will assuredly be roughly the same monetary value. Not to mention, the 26-year-old is a remarkably balanced player, capable of maintaining his torrid offensive pace without sacrificing much in the defensive end, either.
The Rangers, on the other hand, continue their recent trend of quizzical moves.
After handing Barclay Goodrow a six-year contract on Wednesday worth far too much money, Chris Drury chose to follow up that risky deal by forfeiting a highly productive two-way asset in exchange for a 25-year-old fourth-liner and 2022 second-round pick.
The 2022 draft is projected to be one of the strongest in recent years, sure. But does that outweigh the difference in quality between Buchnevich and Blais? No one can say for sure right now, but it doesn't seem likely.
Buckle up, folks. There's a trade storm coming.