The Dallas Stars have added another goaltender to help in their playoff race. They have acquired Scott Wedgewood from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for a conditional 2023 fourth-round pick. The pick becomes a 2023 third-rounder if the Stars make the playoffs this season. Both teams have announced the trade. This is now the second time in his career that Scott Wedgewood has been traded by the Coyotes. In 2018, he was part of the team’s trade for Darcy Kuemper, and now he finds himself likely experiencing a bit of deja vu.
This seems to come as a bit of a disappointment for Wedgewood, as according to Craig Morgan of PHNX Sports he “desperately wanted to stay in one place” after having moved so much over the course of his career so far. But what can’t be disappointing for Wedgewood is the fact that a team in the middle of a playoff race values him highly enough to trade as much as a third-round pick to acquire him. The Stars clearly believe he can help them, and it’s easy to see why. Wedgewood has a .911 save percentage in 26 starts this season, backstopping one of the league’s worst teams. He has received little help from the defense in front of him far too often this season and has come out of those difficult games with highly respectable numbers. Wedgewood is 29 years old and has an expiring $825k cap hit, meaning he is unlikely to be a long-term fixture in Dallas, but he certainly will help them right now. Their need for Wedgewood is exacerbated by the recent injury trouble that has hit Jake Oettinger’s usual partner in net, Braden Holtby. Holtby is battling a lower-body injury, and Jeff Marek of Sportsnet speculates that Holtby could be headed for long-term injured reserve. So if Holtby’s injury does prove to be more significant than one may have previously anticipated, this move for Wedgewood is an important one to help protect Oettinger as he backstops the Stars in his first real season as a number-one goaltender.
For the Coyotes, getting a fourth-rounder that can potentially become a third-rounder is solid value for Wedgewood, a pending UFA. The Coyotes’ crease seems to belong to Karel Vejmelka for the near and potentially long-term future, so for a team that is in the NHL’s basement adding a decent draft pick to their already impressive stockpile is a shrewd move. Perhaps they could have been more accommodating to the journeyman Wedgewood’s wish to have more stability in his career, but this trade is one more reminder of the businesslike nature of NHL roster-building, and how valuable draft picks have become to rebuilding clubs. Overall, the Coyotes get good value for a player they likely didn’t have as part of their long-term plans, and the Stars get a goaltender in the middle of the best season of his career to help as they desperately try to make the playoffs in what is a win-now season for the club.