Logan Brown’s desire for a fresh start is well-known and he has gotten his wish. The Senators have sent the center along with a conditional fourth-round pick in 2022 to St. Louis in exchange for winger Zach Sanford. The draft pick will not transfer if Brown plays in 30 regular season games with the Blues this season. Both teams have confirmed the deal.
Brown was a first-round pick of Ottawa (11th overall) in 2016 but despite showing flashes of upside in the minors, he has yet to establish himself in the NHL. He had nine points in 13 AHL contests with Belleville last season but only got into one game with the Senators in 2020-21 and has just 30 career NHL appearances over his three professional campaigns. The 23-year-old recently re-signed a one-year, two-way contract worth the league minimum of $750K and will be a restricted free agent against next summer.
As for Sanford, he has been a capable depth scorer for the Blues over the last few seasons, notching at least eight goals in each of his three full seasons in St. Louis. Injuries to other forwards allowed him to play a bigger role in 2020-21 as he logged nearly 15 minutes per game in ice time (a career high) while collecting ten goals and six assists in 52 contests. The 26-year-old is in the final year of his contract that carries a $2MM AAV and Sanford will be an unrestricted free agent next summer.
The key to the trade from St. Louis’ perspective is the cap space. The move allows them to get back into salary cap compliance as they were projected to be over the $81.5MM Upper Limit before the swap. If Brown pans out, he will be a cheap roster piece for the Blues and if he can’t crack the roster, they’ll get the fourth-rounder for Sanford’s services. As for the Sens, Sanford should be a nice addition to their bottom six forward group. As they look to get back into the playoff picture this season, he’ll be a useful veteran on a young team and if they’re out of the mix by the trade deadline, Sanford is someone that could be flipped to a playoff contender.
Postmedia’s Bruce Garrioch was the first to report that the two teams were finalizing a trade for Brown.