The Detroit Red Wings acquired puck-moving defenseman Nick Leddy from the New York Islanders in a deal for Richard Panik and a second-round pick in 2021. The pick is the 52nd pick, previously acquired from Edmonton.
Detroit general manager Steve Yzerman agreed to retain half of Panik’s $2.8 million salary.
The Red Wings were expected to add two or three veteran defensemen because promising rookie Moritz Seider will need mentors. Leddy is a left-shot defenseman and Seider shoots right. That could make an ideal pairing. Leddy has the offensive instincts to be able to help Seider learn when to jump into the play and when to stay back.
The acquisition of Leddy means Yzerman will have to leave either Gustav Lindstrom or Dennis Cholowski unprotected in the expansion draft. The Red Wings presumably would protect Filip Hronek, Leddy, and either Lindstrom or Cholowski.
The Red Wings could use Leddy in the lineup and then flip him at next year’s trade deadline. Yzerman might be able to regain his second-round pick, depending upon how well Leddy plays.
If the Islanders didn’t trade Leddy, they probably would have lost him to the Seattle Kraken in the expansion draft. The Islanders will protect Adam Pelech, Scott Mayfield, and Ryan Pulock as their three defensemen. Plus, the Islanders needed cap space to create room to add scoring.
Leddy, 30, will make $5.5 million this season, which is the last season of his contract. If Yzerman plans to play Leddy this season, then he might move him at the trade deadline. Leddy has speed, and handles the puck effectively. He posted 31 points in 56 games last season. He played for the Chicago Blackhawks’ 2013 Stanley Cup championship team.
Even after dealing the No. 52 pick, the Red Wings still have four picks in the top 45. They own pick No. 6, No. 22, No. 37 and No. 47.