NHL Trade Deadline

Where Sharks stand in Western Conference after Gustav Nyquist trade

Where Sharks stand in Western Conference after Gustav Nyquist trade

Sharks general manager Doug Wilson already pushed his chips all in back in September, when San Jose acquired all-world defenseman Erik Karlsson. 

He had one of the best hands at the table leading up to the NHL trade deadline, yet Wilson still scrounged his pockets for a few more chips to raise his big bet, trading a couple of draft picks for Detroit Red Wings playmaker Gustav Nyquist. 

Before you ask, we're well-aware this wouldn't be possible in any officially sanctioned card game of cards or dice.  It's in the name: "All in" means you've bet everything you have. But metaphors can only go so far, and Wilson clearly doubled down on San Jose's pursuit of a Stanley Cup with Sunday's trade.

On Monday, most of the Sharks' peers atop the Western Conference followed his lead. 

The Central Division-leading Winnipeg Jets brought in center Kevin Hayes and depth defenseman Nathan Beaulieu. The Nashville Predators' forwards got a makeover, as the team swapped out Kevin Fiala and Ryan Hartman for Mikael Granlund and Wayne Simmonds, respectively. The Calgalry Flames didn't do much, but it's hard to fault the team in the driver's seat for home-ice advantage in the Western Conference. 

Befitting of their location, the Vegas Golden Knights made a bigger bet than anyone else. The second-year franchise traded a top prospect who's drawn comparisons to Karlsson in a package for a high-scoring forward who played with Karlsson. Defenseman Erik Branstromm is headed to the Ottawa Senators, and Mark Stone will go to Sin City -- and reportedly for a very long time, at that. 

Standing 16 points and two standings spots back of the Flames for first in the division, Vegas needed to make a big move more than anyone else. Stone, a prolific scorer and an elite driver of puck possession, certainly fits the bill. 

He seems set to join Jonathan Marchessault and William Karlsson on a revamped top line for the Golden Knights, All of a sudden, Vegas' forward group feels a lot more like the one that steamrolled through the Western Conference a year ago. 

The Stone trade makes catching the Flames atop the Pacific particularly important for the Sharks down the stretch. Sure, Vegas only has three more points than the Minnesota Wild, who held the West's second wild-card spot on Monday, but that gap feels much wider after Monday. A first-round series against the Golden Knights could go the distance, and even mean an early exit. 

[RELATED: Jeremy Roenick explains what Nyquist brings to Sharks]

But the Sharks still have plenty of reasons to be confident. They've scored more goals than just about anyone this season, and that was without Nyquist.

Nyquist might not be Stone, but he is in the middle of a career year offensively and is no slouch in terms of puck possession. Relative to his teammates, Nyquist has posted positive 5-on-5 numbers in all but two seasons of his NHL career, according to Natural Stat Trick. 

He should fit in seamlessly with San Jose's style of play. The Sharks are no worse than fifth in controlling shot attempts, shots, or chances, and adding a strong possession player to an already deep crop of forwards is a move that solidifies an existing strength. 

The Sharks are in striking distance of the top of the Western Conference because of that strength, and doubling down puts them in position to get there.

Gustav Nyquist trade: Why Jeremy Roenick thinks Sharks are best in west

Gustav Nyquist trade: Why Jeremy Roenick thinks Sharks are best in west

The dust has settled on the NHL trade deadline, and Jeremy Roenick thinks the Sharks stand above their peers in the Western Conference. 

"I've said this for the last couple weeks: I think the Sharks are the top team in the West," the NBCSN analyst said Monday. "They have four lines that are productive. Their defense is one of the best, if not the best in the National Hockey League -- offensively and defensively." 

San Jose entered Monday three points behind the Calgary Flames for first place in the conference and the Pacific Division. Late on Sunday, the Sharks bolstered their forward depth by acquiring Gustav Nyquist from the Detroit Red Wings. 

The 29-year-old winger has scored 49 points (16 goals, 33 assists) in 62 games, and is only five points shy of matching his career-high. Nyquist pushed play in the right direction in Detroit, and the Red Wings controlled a greater share of shot attempts, scoring chances and high-danger chances with Nyquist on the ice than he wasn't.

Nyquist was second on the offensively-starved Red Wings in points at the time of the trade, and third in goals. In San Jose, he won't be asked to carry that some offensive load, and Roenick thinks that ultimately suits the Swede's skillset best. 

"You can't have him every night being the guy that's scoring goals and being depended on to score goals every single night," said Roenick, a 20-year NHL veteran who spent the last two years of his career in San Jose. "But, what he can be is a good support role. ...  He's a guy that can help on the second power play. He's a good distributor of the puck, and he has a good scoring touch too when he has the opportunity."

[RELATED: Nyquist give Sharks scary offensive depth in playoff push]

It's not clear where in the lineup that opportunity will ultimately lie. Nyquist would appear to fit anywhere on the Sharks' top three lines, and his place in one of those trios would push another winger down the lineup and help San Jose's bottom-six forwards create mismatches. 

Without Nyquist, the Sharks have scored more goals than any team not named the Tampa Bay Lightning, and they're among the NHL's best puck-possession teams. With him, Roenick thinks the Sharks will be "really tough to beat come playoff time."

"[They] didn't need much," Roenick said, "but what they got out of Gustav Nyquist is a really nice tool that adds a little bit more offense to an already potent offense."

NHL rumors: Latest news, updates, reported deals from 2019 trade deadline


NHL rumors: Latest news, updates, reported deals from 2019 trade deadline

Just hours after the Sharks made a big splash, the NHL trade deadline is on the horizon. 

The Sharks woke up Monday three points back of the Calgary Flames for first place in the Pacific Division and Western Conference. They're much deeper than they were a day ago, but now the Flames (and the rest of the West) have a chance to respond.

[RELATED: How Nyquist makes the Sharks even scarier]

Will Calgary bolster its already formidable forward group? Can the Nashville Predators and Winnipeg Jets land the missing piece up front? And just how will the Vegas Golden Knights set up their encore? 

Although Matt Duchene, Gustav Nyquist, and Mats Zuccarello have new homes, there are plenty of intriguing names still on the market. Just how many of them will have new addresses in the afternoon? 

Tune in here throughout the trade deadline for the latest news, rumors and updates before it comes to an end on Monday at 3 p.m. ET:

2:25 p.m. PT: The trade deadline has passed, and the final numbers are in.

The Predators, Sharks and Golden Knights loaded up for the stretch run, while the Jets and Flames added around the edges. With just over a month remaining in the season, the races atop the Western Conference and Pacific Division will be fascinating to watch. 

1:12 p.m. PT: In a conference call with reporters, Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said that defenseman Erik Karlsson is day-to-day. He also would not comment on the status of Karlsson's extension.

Dahlen, son of former Sharks forward Ulf Dahlen, will wear the same number his dad wore in San Jose when he joins the AHL Barracuda.

12:51 p.m. PT: The Sharks and Canucks swapped Swedish prospects. San Jose gets 2016 second-round pick Jonathan Dahlen, and Vancouver gets 2018 third-round pick Linus Karlsson.

12:33 p.m. PT: Marcus Johansson is headed to the Boston Bruins, NBC Sports Boston's Joe Haggerty reported. 

The Pittsburgh Penguins and Vancouver Canucks reportedly swapped spare parts, with Erik Gudbranson and Tanner Pearson trading places. 

12:19 p.m. PT: Trades are trickling in, and another big name reportedly is on the move: Wayne Simmonds will reunite with former Philadelphia Flyers coach Peter Laviolette in Nashville, according to multiple reports.

12:00 p.m. PT: The deadline has officially passed! There still might be trades that get announced, but no deals can be submitted after this time.

Mark Stone, the newest Golden Knights winger, just confirmed multiple reports and told TSN that he has agreed to a contract extension with Vegas. 

11:48 a.m. PT: Top Golden Knights prospect Erik Brannstrom reportedly will head to Ottawa in exchange for Stone. 

Brannstrom, a Swedish puck-moving defenseman who has drawn comparisons to Erik Karlsson, was one of Vegas' three first-round picks in their first draft in 2017.

11:40 a.m. PT: The Flames have made a move, but not for a forward. Los Angeles Kings defenseman Oscar Fantenberg is headed to Calgary.

The Predators also reportedly made a trade within their division. Minnesota Wild forward Mikael Granlund will head to Nashville, with Kevin Fiala heading back the other way. 

McKenzie also reported on TSN's "TradeCentre" that "all signs point to" the Golden Knights acquiring winger Mark Stone from the Ottawa Senators. A counter-move in Vegas? 

11:17 a.m. PT: Despite the uncertainty surrounding goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky and winger Artemi Panarin, the Columbus Blue Jackets are going for it. They added blue liner Adam McQuaid as they push to gain ground in the wide-open Metropolitan Division.


The Colorado Avalanche are also in the thick of a playoff race, and reportedly added center Derick Brassard. It's the second time Brassard has been traded in a month, after he was shipped to Florida from the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Will Brassard's 10-game Panthers tenure warrant a tribute video? 

9:39 a.m. PT: The Mark Stone Derby reportedly is going to require a photo finish.

Two of those five reported contenders play in the Sharks' division, and likely would be their first two playoff opponents (assuming they get that far). Vegas, in particular, is shopping around for forward help.

8:57 a.m. PT: Are the surprising Montreal Canadiens the Weal Deal? They seem to think so.


The Desert Dogs are only three points back of the final Wild Card spot in the West, and have a game in hand. Is some tinkering what they need to get in?

8:40 a.m. PT: The Sharks might not be done dealing. San Jose reportedly is taking calls on defenseman Joakim Ryan.

Ryan has not played since Jan. 22, and seems to be firmly entrenched as the team's No. 8 defenseman.

Speaking of Swedish defenders, LeBrun also offered this nugget on All-Star Erik Karlsson.

7:43 a.m. PT: Winnipeg, the top team in the Central Division, is reportedly close to acquiring center Kevin Hayes from the New York Rangers.

7:37 a.m. PT: In their push to make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference, the Columbus Blue Jackets acquired goalie Keith Kinkaid from the New Jersey Devils.