NHL Trade Deadline 2023 Winners and Losers: Bruins, Rangers load up for playoffs; Blackhawks miss on return

One of the craziest times on the NHL calendar is finally over.

The NHL trade deadline is always hectic. Teams are moving parts everywhere, whether it’s contenders bringing in players for the postseason or sellers bringing in draft capital to position themselves for the future.

There have been a number of highly active teams, particularly in the Eastern Conference. The top six teams in the East have all replenished their rosters and braced themselves for a playoff-time bloodbath. The West has also made some notable moves, although they haven’t involved big names.

NHL TRADE DEADLINE TRACKER 2023: All players and draft picks have moved

The Sporting News identifies the biggest winners and losers in the 2023 NHL trade deadline.

Winners and losers of the 2023 NHL trade deadline

Winner: Boston Bruins

The best team in hockey has added a top-four defenseman in Dmitry Orlov, a top-6 winger in Tyler Bertuzzi, and one of the best fourth-liners in Garnet Hathaway. The Bruins haven’t had to give up any players other than deep forward Craig Smith and have been dealing first-round picks in lieu of prospects they don’t have much of.

MORE: Bruins ace deadline move for Dmitry Orlov

It’s almost unfair how GM Don Sweeney could improve the team so much when it was already elite.

Winner: Toronto Maple Leafs

If this turns out to be Kyle Dubas’ last year in Toronto, he’ll be gone swinging. The Maple Leafs acquired Ryan O’Reilly, Jake McCabe, Noel Acciari, Sam Lafferty, Erik Gustafsson and Luke Schenn on time. Out the door went Pierre Engvall and Rasmus Sandin, for whom Dubas picked up a first-round pick.

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Should Toronto repeat itself as a first-round elimination, it will be hard to blame Dubas, who contributed to the last six and provided the team with a wealth of quality defenders.

Loser: Chicago Blackhawks

It’s really hard to blame GM Kyle Davidson for Patrick Kane’s slight return in trade. With Kane’s full no-trade clause, Davidson had no leverage and Rangers GM Chris Drury took him to the woodshed. All it cost to get Kane was a conditional 2023 second-round pick that could turn into a 2023 first and fourth.

MORE: Rangers land Patrick Kane for minimal return

No guaranteed first-round pick and no prospects for one of the organization’s superstars. Davidson managed to get a conditional first place finish from the Maple Leafs in the trade between Jake McCabe and Sam Lafferty, but Kane’s lack of return still hurts.

Winner: New York Rangers

The Rangers brought not only one goalscorer, but two. New York timely added Vladimir Tarasenko and Kane, giving the club one of the most talented top six forward groups in the league. While it cost Tarasenko a first-round shot, Kane didn’t give Rangers much at all thanks to his no-trade clause.

New York can roll out a top six with Kane, Tarasenko, Mika Zibanejad, Artemi Panarin, Chris Kreider and Vincent Trocheck. This will not be an easy group to defend.

MORE: Rangers address top priority in deal for Vladimir Tarasenko

Loser: Arizona Coyotes

From the 2022 deadline through the last off-season to the start of this season to the 2023 deadline, all hockey fans heard the Jakob Chychrun trade rumours.

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However, after all the rumblings and reported interest from multiple applicants, the offer the Coyotes accepted was a conditional first-round pick and two seconds from the Senators. Arizona received no prospects in the deal, although the senators had a number of enticing candidates. So that a reconstruction team can sniff at their most valuable asset, that’s an L.

Winner: Ottawa Senators

On the other side of the chychrun trade is a team of Senators jumping for joy on Parliament Hill. GM Pierre Dorion was determined not to give up prospects like Ridly Greig and Tyler Kleven in a deal for the Coyotes’ fullback, and the tactic paid off.

Needing to find a top-four defender, Ottawa got a 24-year-old with two more years on his contract. That fits the team perfectly. Chychrun can help Ottawa reach the playoffs this year and add an essential element to the young core.

Loser: Pittsburgh penguins

It felt like every playoff contender in the Eastern Conference made a significant move… except for the Penguins. Pittsburgh traded a second-round pick for Predators forward Mikael Granlund, who is an expensive, underwhelming option for the bottom six. The Jets paid the Predators exactly the same price for Nino Neiderreiter, a much better player than Granlund.

The Penguins also traded for forward Nick Bonino and defender Dmitry Kulivo, but both are depth options. Pittsburgh is slipping in the standings and with the core of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang not getting any younger, this deadline feels like a huge miss for GM Ron Hextall.

Winner: Nashville predators

Speaking of Predators, how about David Poile’s latest trading deadline? The Predators GM announced that he would be retiring at the end of the season and that former Nashville head coach Barrydios will be his replacement. Poile did his pal a good disservice by stocking up on tons of draft capital.

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The Predators traded Granlund, Neiderreitter, Mattias Ekholm and Tanner Jeannot. The return yielded nine draft picks, including two first and three second. Forward Reid Schaefer and young defenseman Cal Foote were also acquired from Nashville. It was a great job from Poile to see where the team stands and sell rather than patrol.



The hurricanes made two inexpensive moves, adding forward Jesse Puljujarvi and defenseman Shayne Gostibehere, costing a third-round pick and European draft pick Patrik Puistola overall. One of the deepest teams in the league went even deeper at minimal cost.

While the team wasn’t overly active, the Devil The acquisition of Timo Meier was huge for the club as they were able to include a top scorer in the top 6. Return shipping wasn’t overly expensive either.

The oiler also made some strong deals. Edmonton dealt with the problems on defense and took over Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm, who has been signed for another three years. The club also brought in striker Nick Bjugstad as a strong depth option.


Speaking of Meier trade, the sharks did not get the return expected by many. The highlights of the deal were forward Fabian Zetterlund, defender Shakir Mukhamadullin and a first-round pick. Considering the interest in Meier, his age and that he’s an RFA, the Devils should have gotten more.

Both Panthers And Flames sit outside of the playoff picture, but neither team made any additions. An odd pick from both Panthers GM Bill Zito and Flames GM Brad Treliving.

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