The Tampa Bay Lightning have made a huge splash, acquiring another inexpensive, versatile forward to try and help them reach the Stanley Cup. Nashville Predators forward Tanner Jeannot has been sent to the Lightning in exchange for a massive trade package. The Predators will receive:
- Cal Foote
- 2025 1st round pick (top-10 protected)
- 2024 2nd round pick
- 2023 3rd round pick
- 2023 4th round pick
- 2023 5th round pick
Jeannot, 25, comes to Tampa Bay as he finishes up a two-year contract that carries an $800K average annual value. That nearly league-minimum salary is exactly why the Lightning had to pay so much, and continues their trend of acquiring players with team control. Jeannot will be a restricted free agent this summer and though he has a strong case to land a hefty raise through arbitration, will help improve the Lightning for more than just the next few months.
A breakout star last season with the Predators, the physical forward scored 24 goals and 41 points as a rookie, while racking up 318 hits. The hitting remains this year but the offensive production has dried up, with just five goals so far for Jeannot in 2022-23.
It will be interesting to see if that goal-scoring touch returns in Tampa Bay, as the draft haul they gave up makes a lot more sense if they are acquiring the player from last year. The Lightning have continued to fill out their lineup with gritty, in-your-face players that can still contribute, and if Jeannot returns to his past form he may be the best among them.
Still, it is a massive price to pay for a player who has struggled this year. The Lightning now don’t have a pick in 2023 until the sixth round, and won’t select in the first round until 2026 at the earliest, assuming no other moves. “Win now” is the name of the game with this group, but it will be an impressive experiment to see just how long they can keep the window open.
The Lightning scouting and development team has been excellent at finding diamonds in the rough, but even they will be hard-pressed to refill the cupboard with just a handful of late-round picks in play.
For the Predators, a sell-off like this on the day they announced David Poile’s upcoming retirement is quite something. Jeannot was an undrafted, homegrown prospect that the program can be proud of, especially now that he’s turned into a massive return. If they can pull off a few more deals like this, new GM Barry Trotz will be set up for success.