There has been a great many writers that have analyzed the Evander Kane trade from the Winnipeg Jets to the Buffalo Sabres. Many believe that the Sabres received the best player in the deal, Evander Kane, and therefore won the trade. However things are not quite so simple once you start to look into things a little deeper. This week we introduced a new statistic called Scoring Chance Contribution which is a combination of the players percentage of scoring chances that they contributed to the overall while they were on the ice and their scoring chance percentage for relative to their teammates.
So how does the trade of Evander Kane, Zach Bogosian and Jason Kasdorf to Buffalo with Tyler Myers, Drew Stafford, Joel Armia, Brenden Lemieux and a first round pick stack up?
When it comes down to purely looking at Scoring Chance Contribution the Buffalo Sabres won this trade by a mile. In the trade the Winnipeg Jets received -7.1 Scoring Chance Contributions while the Buffalo Sabres received -1.8. Granted it can be difficult to compare team to team because the Sabres have been a historically terrible team this season. However, it is clear that based on creating offense alone the Sabres received the better end of the deal.
But what about in the long run? Sure the Sabres got an NHL defender and a top-six winger, however the goaltending prospect they received is not likely to amount to much. Jason Kasdorf was a sixth round pick of the Winnipeg Jets in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft so any contributions from him should be a pleasant surprise if they come. While the Jets astutely extracted a top nine winger, an NHL defender and essentially two first round and one second round pick. The Sabres took Joel Armia 16th overall in 2011 and they also took Lemieux with the 31st overall pick last year.
Based on some recent work done by Travis Yost for TSN.ca the Jets are likely to come out of the trade with a 95% chance that either Joel Armia or the future first round pick acquired will play a minimum of 50 NHL games. While Lemieux gives them a nearly 50/50 chance that they will get another NHL player out of the deal. While it may sting to give up a player of Evander Kane’s offensive skill, the Jets are coming out of this deal with more depth overall.
When people say both teams won this trade I would have to agree with them. Whether it’s scoring or overall team improvement you need both aspects were included in this deal. The Jets and Sabres traded need for need in one of the best trades since the salary cap was instituted in the NHL.