With the Carolina Hurricanes exiting the postseason this afternoon following a Game Five loss to the Boston Bruins, the conditions surrounding their acquisition of defenseman Sami Vatanen have been finalized. Initially, the ’Canes had traded for Vatanen from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for Janne Kuokkanen, Fredrik Claesson, and a conditional draft pick with the following conditions: the Devils would get a 2020 fourth-round pick if Vatanen appeared in at least five regular season games and a 2020 third round pick if Vatanen played in 12 regular season games or 70% of the team’s playoff games; if Vatanen did not appear in at least five regular season games for Carolina, then the Devils would get no pick at all. However, these conditions had to be altered due to Vatanen being unable to suit up for a regular season game with Carolina prior to the league’s pause. These new conditions locked in a fourth-round return for New Jersey as long as Vatanen played in at least two games of the Hurricanes’ qualifying round series with the New York Rangers, which he did. In order for the pick to bump up to a 2020 third-rounder, Vatanen had to play in 70% of the Hurricanes’ remaining playoff games. Four of five games against the Bruins met that benchmark, meaning Carolina will send their own 2020 third-round pick to the Devils, as outlined by CapFriendly. While Vatanen’s three points in a three-game sweep of the Rangers was a nice ’Canes debut for the defender, his zero points and -3 rating against the Bruins makes the increased cost of his acquisition somewhat of a bitter pill.
- As always, news of injuries emerges as series are completed. A quick note following tonight’s dismissal of the Arizona Coyotes comes directly from head coach Rick Tocchet. ’Yotes beat writer Craig Morgan relays that center Christian Dvorak played the entirety of the team’s first-round series against the Colorado Avalanche and the latter half of their qualifying round series versus the Nashville Predators with a separated shoulder. Dvorak was a non-factor in the first round, being held off the score sheet entirely and limited to 14 minutes of ice time or less in four of five games. This injury undoubtedly contributed to Dvorak’s struggles against the Avalanche, but his efforts would not have made much of a difference in somewhat of a one-sided series.
- Is the impact of Mike Babcock joining the staff at the University of Vermont already showing? Jeff Cox of The New England Hockey Journal reports that Jordan Kaplan, one of the top scorers at Sacred Heart this past season, will transfer to Vermont. Kaplan’s 24 points this year would have been considerably better than anyone on the Catamounts and will be a major boost to a struggling program. Additionally, the program announced their recruiting class and it includes another transfer in Miami’s Noah Jordan as well as 2020 NHL Draft prospect Raimonds Vitolins, a Latvian standout who could hear his name called in November. If he is drafted, Vitolins would be just the second player on the current Catamounts roster to have been drafted, joining Minnesota Wild pick Bryce Misley, who is entering his senior season with little to show for the past three years.