The Top 5 Most Impactful NHL Trade Deadline Players

As we exit the NHL Trade Deadline and enter the stretch run of the season trying to figure out these teams is harder than ever. It seems like this year more than others we have more questions than answers for the final month of the season. Instead of evaluating the teams why not evaluate the players with the most impact potential? We’ve seen significant pieces like Tomas Hertl, Noah Hanifin, and Anthony Mantha move. Oh wait, that’s just what the Vegas Golden Knights did over the deadline. We don’t which pieces will fit how but let’s countdown the top 5 most impactful players post-NHL Trade Deadline. 

5. Adam Henrique, Edmonton Oilers

The Oilers traded their first-round pick for a reason. Not only did they get Sam Carrick as a solid depth option, Adam Henrique now allows a plethora of options for Kris Knoblauch. Henrique would likely be a second-line centre if McDavid and Draisaitl are put together or a more than solid third-liner if they’re split up. Henrique’s two-way game and playoff experience have to be the biggest factor for the Oilers once the second season begins. He won’t be leading the Oilers in points but he’s someone that can play in all situations. 

4. Jake Guentzel, Carolina Hurricanes

The Carolina Hurricanes do not typically make a splash like this but with Guentzel and Evgeny Kuznetsov, GM Don Waddell is adding extra scoring for his team. Guentzel, who is a free agent after the season will fit in nicely somewhere in the top 6. He also adds a proven postseason performer with 34 goals in 58 postseason contests. It’s out of Carolina’s usual character but this a year where many teams think they have a realistic shot at a Stanley Cup.

Carolina Hurricanes on X: "THINGS WE LOVE TO SEE:"  / X
The Top 5 Most Impactful Trade Deadline Players

3. Noah Hanifin, Vegas Golden Knights

The Top 5 Most Impactful NHL Trade Deadline Players

The biggest splash of the trade deadline was the Vegas Golden Knights getting Noah Hanifin. With all the cap gymnastics aside Vegas has built a legitimate threat to repeat. Anthony Mantha fits in more as a middle-6 winger. Tomas Hertl is still out after surgery to clean out loose cartilage from his left knee. Hanifin has already stepped in on the top pair in Vegas with Alex Pietrangelo and recorded an assist in his debut against Detroit. Contract extension aside Vegas and Hanifin are focused on the here and now.

2. Tyler Toffoli, Winnipeg Jets

The biggest splash from Canada reunites two former Ottawa 67’s linemates Sean Monahan and Tyler Toffoli. A crucial piece in deep playoff runs with Los Angeles and Montreal now gets the chance again in Winnipeg. It makes sense that he slots in with Monahan and former LA Kings teammate Alex Iafollo on the second line. Toffoli brings experience and adds depth to an already impressively deep squad in Winnipeg. Expectations are high but there is a gauntlet built in the Central Division.

67's Toffoli sets torrid pace - Ottawa 67s

1. Vladamir Tarasenko, Florida Panthers

A team like the Florida Panthers was already a Stanley Cup favourite. Then you add Vladimir Tarasenko to that lineup and it’s hard to imagine who is taking down the defending Eastern Conference champions. Tarasenko has already found his fit on the top line with Aleksander Barkov and Sam Reinhart. Potting a pair of goals against Matthew Tkachuk’s former club has to be brownie points in the locker room. Tarasenko already owns a home in South Florida, cost the Panthers two draft picks, and 50% of his contract is retained. 

The Stanley Cup Playoffs will ultimately decide which trade deadline moves have the largest outcome. But for now, it is speculation and hope that fans feel. Once a champion is crowned no one will remember what draft picks, prospects, or players it cost them to become champions. They may not all be but these could be the top 5 most impactful NHL trade deadline players. Check out Area 51 Sports Network for all NHL content leading up to and through the playoffs.