The Dallas Stars traded a conditional 4th round pick in 2023 to the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for goaltender Scott Wedgewood late Sunday night. The pick becomes a 3rd round pick if the Stars make the playoffs this season.
— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) March 21, 2022
Currently, the Stars are -200 to make the playoffs according to Draft Kings, so it seems pretty likely that the draft pick going to Arizona will most likely be the 3rd rounder. They’re currently one point out of the second wild card spot with three games in hand on the Vegas Golden Knights, who currently occupies that position, and five points out of the first wild card spot with one game in hand on the Nashville Predators, who currently sits in that spot.
It’s not a blow-your-socks-off kind of move, but it does give Dallas some depth at a position that once looked like a strength but has quickly become quite thin after the (unofficial) retirement of Ben Bishop late last year, the hip surgery of Anton Khudobin that will see him out of the Texas Stars lineup for the next six months, and the current injury to Braden Holtby.
The Stars have a jam-packed April schedule with 16 games in 29 days. They have four sets of back-to-backs in there, and don’t have two days off between games except once in the last week of the regular season. Expecting Jake Oettinger, who hasn’t played a full season in the NHL yet, to play that many games and shoulder the burden of starting every one of those games (assuming Holtby isn’t available for a stretch) is not a good way to play out the rest of the season.
Wedgewood has a cap hit of $875k this season, so he’s not a major burden from that sense. He has a .905 save percentage this year and is 3-1 in his last four starts. He was also the goaltender in net when the Coyotes beat Dallas 3-1 on February 20th in the desert. He’ll provide a stable backup option as well as a veteran presence for the Texas Stars once Holtby gets healthy. This also gives the organization the ability to be patient with Holtby’s return from injury as well.
All in all, a nice little piece of business for the Stars as the trade deadline happens tomorrow.