Detroit Red Wings flip Nick Leddy to St. Louis Blues for a nice return

(Tom Horak-USA TODAY Sports)
(Tom Horak-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Detroit Red Wings are getting active as the NHL trade deadline inches closer, completing another deal. They have sent defensemen Nick Leddy and forward Luke Witkowski to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for forward Oskar Sundqvist, defensemen Jake Walman and a second-round pick in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft.

After the Detroit Red Wings opted to move defensemen Troy Stecher for a seventh-round pick, it seemed another deal was imminent and likely. With Leddy being held out of games recently, it makes sense that the deal included him.

However, this deal looks like General Manager (GM) Steve Yzerman is doing his best to continue fleecing other teams on the market. Being able to do what he does best and add draft capital while taking a chance on two players seems more than worth it.

On top of that, the Red Wings brought in two players who are going to get a chance to slot into the lineup with a new squad. Sometimes that change of scenery is what does it, and Yzerman is betting on this with Sundqvist and Walman.

Detroit Red Wings trade Nick Leddy for a quality trade package from Blues.

Oskar Sundqvist is a 27-year old forward who began his career in Pittsburgh but has spent the last five seasons with the St. Louis Blues. The right-handed shooting forward is usually a center and has logged 41 games for the Blues in 2021-22, where he has four goals and 11 assists for 15 total points.

Sundqvist has come close to the 15-goal, 35-point mark before but never crossed it. Looking at his performance, he reminds me of Vladislav Namestnikov, who was also dealt at the deadline. Sundqvist is going to come in and be a forward who looks to catch on with the team’s middle-six.

He will be with the Red Wings throughout this season and the 2022-23 season, carrying a $2.75 million cap hit. For the Red Wings, it’s a good addition; hoping the change of scenery sparks some offense.

Jake Walman is a 26-year-old defenseman who has been with the St. Louis Blues his entire professional career after being selected in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. Walman is a left-handed shot who made his debut in the 2019-20 season.

Walman logged 32 games where he had three goals and three assists for the Blues while performing to a plus-six line for the team. He’s been someone who may not be the most offensive in the world, but adding him into the defensive mix, replaced Leddy and allowed him to try and get things moving in the right direction.

Plus, he’s cheap. His cap hit spans $725,000 for this season, and then he will be a restricted free agent who is arbitration-eligible. That means the Red Wings should be able to bring him back for cheap next season.

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It’s an excellent job for the Red Wings to land two players plus draft capital for two players that were not the most valuable for us.