The Vegas Golden Knights have acquired forward Evgeny Dadonov from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for defenseman Nick Holden and a 2022 3rd round draft pick.
The Golden Knights have received a lot of criticism over the past few days for their handling of face-of-the-franchise Marc-Andre Fleury and this trade makes it worth it. With the cap space saved by trading Fleury, they just wasted it. Dadonov is a good scoring winger, but he has seen a dramatic collapse over the past few years as he grows older. Sure, playing in Ottawa did not help. But there is a major risk involved when trading for a veteran with two more years left at $5 million against the salary cap. The Golden Knights did unload Holden here. But, burying him like they did last year reduced his cap hit to under the league minimum. The draft pick was acquired from Vancouver for Nate Schmidt. Would you trade Nate Schmidt for Evgeny Dadonov? The answer is no.
Dadonov, 32, scored 13 goals with seven assists for 20 points in 55 games for Ottawa in 2020-21. In his NHL career for the Senators and Florida Panthers, Dadonov has scored 104 goals with 118 assists for 222 points in 335 games.
The Senators win big here. Holden is a fine third-pairing two-way defender who costs significantly less than Dadonov. He has just one year left on his contract with a $1.7 million cap hit. Plus, they get a third-round pick for a player on a decline and a bad contract. An overall win for the team.
Holden, 34, had two assists in 17 games for Vegas last year. In his NHL career for the Golden Knights, Colorado Avalanche, Boston Bruins, New York Rangers, and Columbus Blue Jackets, Holden has scored 45 goals with 98 assists for 143 points in 513 games.