Fantasy Hockey 2022-23: The NHL offseason moves that will impact drafters the most

·7-min read

By Jon Litterine, RotoWire

Special to Yahoo Sports

The 2022-23 fantasy hockey season is still a ways away, but now's the time to start getting familiar with every team's roster, and what better way to do that than to look at their offseason moves? Below, you'll find a rundown of all the most fantasy relevant trades and signings that could impact drafters this season.

The Trades

Matthew Tkachuk to Florida, Jonathan Huberdeau & Mackenzie Weegar to Calgary

This was easily the biggest move of the summer. A player in Tkachuk who finished ninth in the league in scoring a season ago (104 points) for a guy in Huberdeau who finished tied for second in scoring (115 points) and one of the most underrated two-way defenders in the game in Weegar. Tkachuk and Huberdeau have already inked new long-term deals with their new clubs, while Weegar is currently scheduled for unrestricted free agency next summer.

Brent Burns & Max Pacioretty to Carolina

Credit the Hurricanes for having the cap space to acquire two All-Star-level players in what were essentially straight salary dumps by San Jose and Vegas, respectively. Burns will slot in as Carolina's No. 1 power-play quarterback, replacing Tony DeAngelo, while Pacioretty will, unfortunately, be sidelined most or all the season after suffering an Achilles injury during the offseason. On paper, though, this was great business by the Hurricanes.

Kevin Fiala to Los Angeles

Fiala was a pending restricted free agent but the Wild didn't like the number that was being tossed around, so they ended up dealing him to the Kings. Moving a 26-year-old who just posted 33 goals and 85 points a season ago is a roll of the dice, but the seven-year, $55.125 million contract Los Angeles handed Fiala following the trade is equally risky.

Alex DeBrincat to Ottawa

A 24-year-old who just posted his second 41-goal season should be a long-term building block for any NHL club, but things are different in Chicago these days, which is why the Senators were able to steal DeBrincat from the Blackhawks in early July. He should be a key cog in a much-improved Ottawa attack.

Kirby Dach to Montreal

Trading DeBrincat wasn't enough, so Chicago doubled down and traded Dach, the No. 3 overall pick in 2019. He's struggled with consistency at the NHL level, but his talent level isn't in doubt. Wise move by the Habs.

Oliver Bjorkstrand to Seattle

The signing of Johnny Gaudreau, discussed below, forced Columbus to shed some salary and the Kraken were the beneficiary. Bjorkstrand has potted no fewer than 18 goals each of the past four seasons and scored a career-high 28 a year ago. He's a significant, underrated addition.

The Free Agents

Johnny Gaudreau to Columbus

It had been assumed for a while that Gaudreau would be leaving Calgary and heading back east. Most assumed the Flyers would land him — if not them, maybe the Devils or Islanders. Nobody saw Columbus entering the fray until the seven-year, $68.25 million deal was done. "Johnny Hockey" had 40 goals and 115 points a season ago and was the one franchise-altering player available in free agency this past summer.

Johnny Gaudreau #13 of the Calgary Flames has fantasy value
Johnny Hockey will be a member of the Blue Jackets for this fantasy season. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)

Vincent Trocheck to the Rangers

Trocheck left Carolina to sign a seven-year deal with the Rangers worth a shade under $40 million. He will slot in as New York's No. 2 center alongside Artemi Panarin, replacing Ryan Strome, who left for Anaheim in free agency. Trocheck will provide secondary scoring while also helping in the face-off circle.

John Klingberg to Anaheim

Klingberg was looking for a lucrative long-term deal and didn't find it. He ultimately bolted Dallas to sign a one-year, $7 million deal with the Ducks. He'll take over as the club's No. 1 power-play quarterback and give free agency a chance again next summer.

Nazem Kadri to Calgary

Kadri was unsigned late into free agency following his career year (28 goals, 87 points in 71 games) in helping the Avalanche win the Stanley Cup. Many suspected he was a target for the Islanders considering they made no notable offseason moves, but he ended up back in Canada, inking a seven-year deal with the Flames worth $7 million per year. Calgary has done a decent job of immediately retooling after losing both Gaudreau and Tkachuk.

Claude Giroux to Ottawa

The Hearst, Ontario native and former Flyers captain will be returning home after inking a three-year, $19.5 million deal with the Senators. Giroux posted 65 points in 75 games last season between Philadelphia and the Panthers, so there's gas left in the tank.

Ondrej Palat to New Jersey

Palat was never the top offensive option in his excellent run with the Lightning, but he proved to be a legitimate top-six forward and those guys get paid — in this case, to the tune of five years and $30 million from the Devils. Palat is downgrading in terms of the talent around him, but he should be in line for a significantly larger role.

The Import — Andrei Kuzmenko to Vancouver

The top undrafted free agent in this year's cycle, Kuzmenko crossed the pond following a KHL campaign in which he posted 20 goals and 53 points in 45 games for SKA St. Petersburg. He signed a one-year, $950,000 deal with the Canucks and will again be eligible for unrestricted free agency next summer, so the pressure is on.

The Goalie Carousel

Alexandar Georgiev to Colorado

Darcy Kuemper to Washington

Jack Campbell to Edmonton

Cam Talbot to Ottawa

Matt Murray & Ilya Samsonov to Toronto

Ville Husso to Detroit

Vitek Vanecek to New Jersey

The first two names above are connected. Kuemper helped Colorado win the Stanley Cup a season ago, but his price in free agency got a bit too high, so the Avalanche opted to trade a couple of draft picks to the Rangers for Georgiev instead. He should be the favorite for starts over Pavel Francouz. Kuemper will be the unquestioned No. 1 man in Washington.

Campbell left Toronto to sign a five-year, $25 million deal in Edmonton. He should be a significant upgrade on the Mike Smith/Mikko Koskinen duo, even if his play is only average.

Talbot wasn't happy when the Wild re-signed Marc-Andre Fleury, so Minnesota dealt him to Ottawa. It's a much better situation for the University of Alabama-Huntsville product, who should be at least the primary option in goal over Anton Forsberg.

The Leafs completely remade their goaltending room, acquiring Murray from Ottawa and Samsonov from Washington. Murray's contract (two years left at $4.68 million) should give him a leg up, but neither man has been good in recent years.

Husso and Vanecek will be the unquestioned favorites for playing time with their new clubs, but Alex Nedeljkovic (Detroit) and Mackenzie Blackwood (New Jersey) both should see the net on a semi-regular basis with their respective teams.

The Improved

Ottawa Senators

I touched on Ottawa's big moves earlier. The additions of DeBrincat, Talbot and Giroux along with young stars Thomas Chabot, Brady Tkachuk, Josh Norris and Tim Stutzle has the future looking bright in Canada's capital.

Detroit Red Wings

To lengthen their lineup, Detroit added Husso, forwards David Perron, Andrew Copp and Dominik Kubalik, along with defenseman Ben Chiarot. That's a starting goalie, three top-nine forwards and a low-end top-four rearguard. Not a bad offseason.

Anaheim Ducks

In addition to Klingberg, the Ducks snagged 33 percent of the Rangers' top-six forward group in the club's run to the Eastern Conference Finals, signing both Ryan Strome and Frank Vatrano. It might not be enough for the team to earn a playoff spot, but Anaheim should have more forward talent than it did last year.