In terms of underrated additions, Namestnikov joining the Stars might rank among the best of the day. The veteran forward appears to be a perfect fit for the Dallas roster, adding some good defensive impact along with a bit of offensive production. In 60 games this season he’s scored 13 goals and 25 points, a total that would actually put him seventh among forwards for the Stars, right about where he’ll likely fit into the lineup. More effective than say, Alexander Radulov, who has been a frustratingly inconsistent part of the Dallas roster all season, Namestnikov also has the ability to play both center and wing, meaning he could end up moving around quite a bit.
The fact that he cost just a fourth-round pick makes it a low-risk move for the Stars, who are focused on making the playoffs. The team decided not to move some of their own high profile players–including John Klingberg–bringing in Nametnikov and depth goaltender Scott Wedgewood in separate deals instead. While that may not move the needle very much, it also doesn’t sacrifice a huge number of future assets in a year where even qualifying for the postseason is no sure thing.
On Detroit’s end, getting a draft pick out of Namestnikov is likely exactly the outcome that was discussed when they signed him to a two-year, $4MM deal in October 2020. Now 29, there was always little chance that the veteran forward would be around when the Red Wings were really competitive, and this move just adds another pick to the pile.