Ottawa Senators Deadline: Grading The Ryan Dzingel Trade

OTTAWA, ON - FEBRUARY 12: Ottawa Senators Left Wing Ryan Dzingel (18) during warm-up before National Hockey League action between the Carolina Hurricanes and Ottawa Senators on February 12, 2019, at Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, ON, Canada. (Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Welcome back to the Ottawa Senators Deadline series. Where we take a look at all the moves from Ottawa’s trade deadline and analyze them. If you missed it, check out our first one in the Matt Duchene trade. Today, we will be looking at the return for Ryan Dzingel.

The Trade

Ryan Dzingel was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Therefore, he is joining his linemate, Duchene. However, while Duchene saw the return of first-round picks, Dzingel had other returns. Ottawa sent Ryan Dzingel and a 7th rounder for a 2020 2nd rounder, 2021 2nd rounder and Anthony Duclair.

Dzingel was rumoured to be on his way out of Ottawa for a while now. There had been no real contract talks and it seemed obvious they were going to move on from the 26-year-old. But, it was known the Sens wanted some good assets for him.

Analyzing The Pieces

Ryan Dzingel

Starting with what Ottawa lost, Dzingel should be a huge help to the Jackets forward depth. A group that already looked pretty deep just got even better. Dzingel is having a career year. He is on pace for 32 goals, 32 assists for 64 points. However, this should be a warning sign to the Jackets when it comes to re-signing him. At 26, it is very easy to see this being Dzingel’s “peak”. And while he may stay at this level for a few years, the Jackets can’t convince themselves that he will keep getting better.

For this year, a year they are all in, Dzingel is a huge help. He can play up and down the lineup and help you no matter what. When you look at his possession numbers they are not great, but this is because he is not a play driver. He needs to be the third-best player on a line to succeed and he can be that in Columbus. In Ottawa, at times he had to be the best player on his line. However, playing with Artemi Panarin, Pierre-Luc Dubois or Duchene full time should help.

If the Jackets play Dzingel with some speedy linemates, they should see some great success. Because he thrives when he can use his speed to create chances and has people keeping up to him. The Jackets need to use him right, but Dzingel can be very effective.

Anthony Duclair

So, now let’s take a look at the player going back to Ottawa. Duclair is 23-years-old and still a restricted free agent. Meaning, he will be cost controlled for a few more seasons, which is something Ottawa will love. As you can see below, from Bill Comeau’s SKATR charts, Duclair has been a decent player for the last three seasons.

Duclair’s biggest problem has been consistency. Despite decent underlying numbers, he has struggled to put up points. He hasn’t played more than 60 games in a season since 2015-16 where he threw up a career-high 44 points. Since then, he has played roughly 50-60 games each season never topping 23 points.

However, for the Sens, this is the exact type of player they should be looking to take over. He is younger and may still have something to give. Columbus was willing to get rid of his roster spot and now the Sens can try and revive some confidence. It’s a low-risk high reward type of situation.

Best-case scenario, Duclair develops into any kind of useful NHLer for you. Whether that be a middle six or bottom six guy. Worst case, he isn’t cut out for the NHL and you let him go in a year or two.

Draft Picks

The Sens got two second rounders for Ryan Dzingel. Quite the solid return for a guy who was leaving anyway. Ottawa has really appeared to be taking this rebuild the right way. In the Duchene trade, they got prospects and at least one first, maybe two. Now, they also got two 2nd rounders.

What is even better about these second rounders is they are not this year’s picks. Much like that conditional first, there is a very real possibility Columbus isn’t great next season. If they lose Panarin that will be a huge blow. Losing Sergei Bobrovsky to free agency would be tough too. It may not be as devastating as the Ottawa pick situation has turned out. However, there is a chance that those second rounders could be in the ’30s rather than the ’40s or ’50s.

As you can see, Ottawa is absolutely loaded for picks in the next few drafts. They will likely get even more from trading Mark Stone, maybe other names too. Obviously, they need to hit on said picks. However, rebuilding like this is absolutely the right way to go. Take a number of picks over 28-year-old roster players. This way you give yourself the best possible chance at hitting on NHL players to come out of your rebuild.

Comparing To Zuccarello

The Ryan Dzingel trade looks even better when you compare it to a trade that happened minutes later. The New York Rangers traded Mats Zuccarello to the Dallas Stars for a 2nd and 3rd round pick. Both of these have conditions that could allow them to become first rounders, however, it may not be likely. Dallas would need to win 2 rounds or re-sign Zuccarello just to turn them into a first rounder.

You could argue that Zuccarello is a better player than Dzingel, in driving play he definitely is. So, to have more guaranteed assets and an actual roster player coming back the other way is a huge win for Pierre Dorion.

Overall Thoughts and Grade

Overall, Dorion did a solid job on this one. He got two higher round picks and a young roster player for a middle six winger. Ryan Dzingel will be missed in Ottawa. His explosiveness made him so much fun to watch. However, if Ottawa is truly wanting to rebuild, this move was a really good way to help it.

The money reasons players like Dzingel are being traded away is an issue of itself. But, just judging the trade, it seems safe to say that Dorion did a solid job on this.

Overall Grade: A

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