In a pre expansion and entry draft move, the Detroit Red Wings and New York Islanders hooked up for a deal. The Red Wings received defenseman Nick Leddy in exchange for Richard Panik and the 52nd pick in the draft.
For the Red Wings, Leddy immediately steps in as a top-four defenseman, possibly even playing on the top pair. Detroit has been thin on the blue line for a few years now, and even if Leddy plays at an average level he will be an upgrade over what they have been running out there the past few years.
The Islanders were not likely to protect Leddy in the Seattle Kraken expansion draft, so they decided to get something in return, rather than potentially lose him for nothing. A second round pick is pretty good compensation for a player that was likely gone anyway.
Panik was basically a throw-in in this deal. The Red Wings are eating half of his $2.75 million salary for the next two years, making him somewhat expendable for the Islanders, should he not have a place in their future plans.
Leddy is on the last year of his contract with a cap hit of $5.5 million this season. Should the Red Wings not choose to extend him, he could be a potential trade chip for Steve Yzerman and co. at the in season trade deadline.