The Tomas Tatar trade is now official:
OFFICIAL: The #RedWings today acquired a first-round pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, a second-round pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft and a third-round pick in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft from the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for LW Tomas Tatar. pic.twitter.com/5djK4Lzpzi
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) February 26, 2018
Let’s make this thing official. Welcome to Vegas, @Trto21! 👏
— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) February 26, 2018
Here’s the Red Wings’ press release:
RED WINGS ACQUIRE TRIO OF PICKS FROM VEGAS FOR TOMAS TATAR
… 2018 First-Round Pick, 2019 Second-Round Pick and 2021 Third-Round Pick Headed to Detroit …
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today acquired a first-round pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, a second-round pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft and a third-round pick in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft from the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for left wing Tomas Tatar.
Tatar, 27, is tied for second on the Red Wings with 16 goals and ranks sixth on the team with 28 points (16-12-28). Tatar has spent parts of seven seasons playing for the Red Wings, compiling 222 points (115-107-222) in 407 games. The Ilava, Slovakia, native led Detroit in goals with 25 in 2016-17 during his third-consecutive 20-goal season. He also picked up seven points (3-4-7) in 17 postseason games with the team. Originally drafted in the second round (60th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Tatar won a Calder Cup with the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins in 2013 and was named the playoffs’ most-valuable player. He totaled 196 points (87-109-196) in 265 games with the Griffins from 2009-13. Internationally, Tatar has represented Slovakia at the 2009 and 2010 IIHF World Junior Championships (totaling 10-6-16 in 13 games), the 2009, 2011, 2014 and 2015 IIHF World Championships (totaling 8-9-17 in 29 games) and the 2014 Winter Olympics (picking up 1-1-2 in four games).
The deal gives Detroit up to 11 picks in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft: two picks in the first, second, third and sixth rounds; one pick in the fourth and seventh rounds; and one conditional fourth-round pick acquired last week from Philadelphia. Additionally, the team has up to 10 selections in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft: two picks in the second and fifth rounds; one pick in the first, third, fourth, sixth and seventh rounds; and a conditional third-round pick acquired last week from Philadelphia.
VEGAS (February 26, 2018) – Vegas Golden Knights General Manager George McPhee announced today, February 26, the following roster transaction: the team has acquired forward Tomas Tatar from the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for three draft picks: Vegas’ own first round pick in 2018, a second round pick in 2019 (originally belonging to New York Islanders) and Vegas’ own third round pick in 2021.
The 27-year-old Tatar is a veteran of 407 NHL games – all with the Red Wings – and has tallied 115 goals and 107 assists for 222 points in his NHL career. He has also appeared in 17 playoff games for Detroit with three goals and four assists in those postseason contests. This season, Tatar has tallied 16 goals and 12 assists for 28 points in 62 games in Detroit.
The native of Ilava, Slovakia set a career high in goals, assists and points during the 2014-15 season after registering 29 goals and 27 assists.
Tatar was a member of the 2013 Calder Cup Champion Grand Rapids Griffins and was named the playoff MVP after scoring a league-best 16 postseason goals. He has represented Slovakia at several international tournaments including the Winter Olympics (2014), World Junior Championships, and World Championships.
Tatar was selected by the Red Wings in the second round (60th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
Vegas Golden Knights General Manager George McPhee will be available on a media conference call Monday, February 26, at 3 p.m. PT to discuss this transaction and the NHL Trade Deadline.
Tomas Tatar, Forward
Birthplace: Ilava, Slovakia
Weight: 185 lbs.
Draft: Selected by the Detroit Red Wings in the second round (60th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft
–Made his NHL debut and scored his first career NHL goal on his first shot on December 31, 2010 against the New York Islanders.
-Played for Slovakia during the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia
-Won the 2013 Calder Cup with Grand Rapids and led the AHL playoffs in goals with 16
-Set a career high in goals, assists and points during the 2014-15 season after registering 29 goals and 27 assists
-Has 16 goals and 12 assists for 28 points in 62 games this season in Detroit
TRANSACTION: Vegas Golden Knights acquire forward Tomas Tatar from the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for three draft picks: Vegas’ own first round pick in 2018, a second round pick in 2019 (originally belonging to New York Islanders) and Vegas’ own third round pick in 2021.
Update: Here’s ESPN’s Emily Kaplan’s Wings trade grade…
Detroit Red Wings: A
He’s 27, and has three years left on his deal at $5.3 million per season, which could entice some teams while turn others off. Detroit found a good trade partner in Vegas, which has a ton of cap space (and no bad contracts to skirt around). The draft picks are spaced out from this year to 2021, and it’s an important caveat that the first-round pick in 2018 will likely be a low one, as the Golden Knights are very much in contention for the President’s Trophy this season.
However, that is quite the haul for what’s probably a third-line player. Detroit was also selling low, considering Tatar’s points per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 has gone down big time this season compared to last, from 1.85 to 1.01, while averaging essentially the same ice time.
Overall, we can’t really find anything bad to say about this deal. The only thing we can criticize the Red Wings for is for not moving Green and Nyquist as well.
Here’s the Sporting News’s Marc Lancaster’s take…
Tatar has 16 goals and 28 points through 62 games for the Red Wings, as his production has slipped a bit compared to recent seasons. The 27-year-old player is no short-term rental for Vegas; he signed a new four-year deal with an average annual value of $5.3 million last summer.
Still, three draft picks is a steep price to pay for a player who could end up on the Golden Knights’ third line. But Vegas was willing to make a splash as it looks to build on what has been the best season ever for an expansion team. The Golden Knights entered Monday night’s games with 86 points, best in the Western Conference and one behind the Lightning for the top total in the league.
Pro Hockey Talk’s James O’Brien weighed in…
Who won the trade? The Red Wings embrace rebuild in at least one key case. Meanwhile, the Golden Knights embrace a far brighter present than expected while locking up Tatar for the future … a future with fewer draft picks.
Even with a Green trade, the Red Wings are really loading up, especially for the 2018 NHL Draft. Still, Vegas gets a useful forward who might benefit from a change of scenery, not to mention an attacking system.
Here’s USA Today’s Kevin Allen…
According to TSN’s Gord Miller, the Red Wings acquired three picks (first, second, third). Tatar Tatar is under contract until 2021 at $5.3 million per season. He has had a down year with 16 goals and 28 points, but he will be a nice fit in a secondary scoring role in Vegas. The Red Wings want future assets.
TSN’s Scott Cullen…
The Red Wings Get: A first-round pick, 2019 second-round pick and 2021 third-round pick
Detroit needs to re-stock the cupboards and these three picks will certainly help in that effort. The first-round pick from Vegas is going to be late in the round, which tends to be a little better than 50% proposition that it turns into an NHL player. A second-round pick has about a one-in-three chance in becoming an NHL Player and a third-rounder has nearly a 28% chance of playing 100 NHL games.
Now, it’s going to be some time before those picks come to fruition, if they ever do, but the Wings have 11 picks in the first three rounds of the next two drafts. For a team that needs to inject talent in the organization, that’s a good way to go about it. (Not trading pending free agent Mike Green is not necessarily the right way, but that’s another story.)
With Tatar departing, that could open up more playing time for a young winger like Tyler Bertuzzi.
Verdict: It’s not like the Golden Knights got Tatar inexpensively; they paid a significant price in terms of picks, but they are also a team that had accumulated a lot of picks, particularly in the future, and Tatar being under contract effectively gives them insurance against any potential losses in free agency. Nothing wrong with the rebuilding Wings making this deal, but credit the Golden Knights for using their draft pick currency to provide immediate help to their surprising playing team.
Update: And, from the Hockey News:
VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS acquire: Tomas Tatar, LW
DETROIT RED WINGS acquire: 2018 first-round draft pick; 2019 second-round draft pick; 2021 third-round draft pick
THN analysis: Whew. The Wings whiffed on dealing pending UFA Mike Green, but GM Ken Holland makes up for it with this massive haul for Tatar. Holland also retained no salary, meaning the Golden Knights will carry Tatar’s $5.3-million cap hit through the 2020-21 season. The Red Wings now have multiple picks in the first, second, third and fourth rounds of the 2018 draft, and 10 selections in total. The rebuild is on. The Golden Knights have already gotten tremendous production from their forward group this year, so Tatar feels like a luxury, but it’s clear this team knows it has an unexpected Stanley Cup window. Tatar is also versatile, good at both ends of the ice and capable of playing either wing. We also joked in the office: “If Vegas can change William Karlsson from a checker into a Rocket Richard Trophy contender, what does Tatar, an established 25-goal guy, do in Vegas’ up-tempo offense?” He’s also under team control for three more seasons after this one, meaning he fills a void if the Golden Knights don’t re-sign James Neal and/or David Perron. It cost the team a lot in terms of futures and money, but Vegas clearly believes it has to take a shot with such unexpected success.
Update: Here’s the Hockey News’s Matt Larkin:
After the Wings ended a 25-year playoff streak last season, this is essentially just Holland’s second deadline as a seller, and while he only batted .500 on major moves, his one hit was a grand slam. The Wings now have exactly two picks in each of the first, second, third and fourth rounds this June. The pick they get from Vegas will be late in the first round, but Detroit’s own selection will be lottery-eligible, so it’s not outside the possibility the franchise gets its highest draft pick since taking Keith Primeau third overall in 1990 – on top of picking again in Round 1 to boot.
This is a luxury trade for the Golden Knights. They don’t even have enough farmhands to field a full AHL affiliate yet, but (a) they did remarkably well in their first draft, nabbing Cody Glass, Nick Suzuki, Erik Brannstrom and Nic Hague with four of the first 34 overall picks, so they have a good prospect base even though they’ve lost draft picks going forward; (b) they have plenty of cap space, so Tatar’s cap hit is no problem; and, (c) they find themselves in a once-in-a-lifetime situation, having perhaps the most shockingly successful season of any expansion team in major pro North American pro sports history. They reportedly pursued Erik Karlsson to the bitter end on Monday for that very reason, per TSN’s Bob McKenzie. With the Tatar deal, they have, in a sense, delayed the long-term construction of their roster by dealing away three picks, but they aren’t a rebuilding team right now, plain and simple. They lead the NHL in points percentage, meaning the most deadly home team in the league is on track for home-ice advantage through the entire playoffs. Tatar is a fun piece for coach Gerard Gallant to play with, too, as Tatar can play on either wing and his speed will fit nicely in the Knights’ extreme-up-tempo forechecking system. Tatar is just 27, so he has good years left to offer, and his current production – 16 goals and 28 points in 62 games – at least partially reflects the weak team he’s played on. He has long been one of Detroit’s best possession players relative to his teammates.
Another interesting thing about Tatar: he’s younger than pending UFAs James Neal and David Perron. If Tatar ends up playing well down the stretch for this team, he might turn a Perron or Neal into a “rental,” with Tatar the medium-term replacement. So the deal isn’t as rash as it might seem on Vegas GM George McPhee’s part. Tatar can be part of the team’s plans for several seasons. Also, McPhee obviously has the green light from owner Bill Foley to spend money, whether it’s real dollars or cap dollars.