Thursday, February 22, 2018
NHL trade review: Panthers acquire Vatrano
The Florida Panthers have acquired F Frank Vatrano from the Boston Bruins in exchange for the third round draft pick.
The Panthers, one of the many teams in the playoff hunt, get a young (Vatrano will turn 24 in 20 days) top 9 forward for a small price. Vatrano isn't the biggest player on the ice (5 foot 9 inches, 201 pounds), but he can still put up some goals for them. Plus, he's and RFA at the end of the year, making him more expendable.
Vatrano, 23, has scored two points, both goals in 25 games for the Bruins this year. In his NHL career, all in Boston, Vatrano has scored 20 goals and 11 assists for 31 points in 108 games.
For the Bruins, Vatrano wasn't starting, and since he's young, they got him at a better price than a 34 year old with the same stat-line. Acquiring a third round pick essentially erases the third they gave up for defenseman Nick Holden, making that a one-for-one deal (they dealt Rob O'Gara in that trade as well).
I think the Panthers win this deal. They get a forward who hasn't had much time to prove himself, for a small price, it's a big point for Vatrano in his career, and a make-or-break opportunity for him.