It's been a boring day up until now. Kris Russell has been traded to the Dallas Stars for Jyrki Jokipakka, Brett Pollock, and a conditional second round pick.
If you don't know who these people are, that's okay, they aren't superstars. They're both young guys with a lot of potential. Here's some quick profiles on these two players:
The 6'3", 216 lbs Finnish defender was Dallas' 7th round pick, 195th overall in 2011. He quickly rose up through the Dallas prospect ranks to the NHL within three seasons, playing meaningful hockey this season and the previous one. Jokipakka has mainly been used as a third pairing, shutdown defender with the Stars this season.
Jokipakka isn't known much for his offensive acumen, though his play in the AHL suggests otherwise. He's still young, so he can be coached to be an offensive defenceman (considering Bob Hartley's system of involving the defence, this could work).
The best part is that Jokipakka is so bad that the loss of Russell shouldn't even hurt the tank. pic.twitter.com/oWLvpb71CJ— Now Trade Okposo (@HockeyGoalieEh) February 29, 2016
His underlying stats aren't pretty, but once again, he's 24. He's not going to be leaned on like Russell was, so the damage will be minimal. At this point in the season, it's time to take inventory and see what could work for next year. His contract is cheap this year and next, and he can be buried if needed. If Jokipakka looks like a functional bottom four guy, then it's a good move.
Pros: Young, big, room to grow, defensive depth, his name is fun to say.
Cons: Ceiling doesn't look higher than maybe the second pairing.
The Sherwood Park native was the Stars' second round pick, #54 overall in 2014. He's currently with the Edmonton Oil Kings (he's actually playing in a game right now). He's a center/left wing with a
right left handed shot, which the Flames don't have a lot of right now. He's also scoring a lot, so that bodes well.
Pollock was a Memorial Cup winner with the Edmonton Oil Kings in 2014, and has stepped up to become a key contributor for the team. He's the top scorer on his team, and 20th in WHL scoring. The Stars signed him to an ELC this past December, so Pollock is a good looking player.
He'll most likely start off in the AHL next year (or perhaps join them for the playoffs if the Oil Kings don't clinch a spot) with a lot of other promising Flames prospects. Imagine him and Andrew Mangiapane on the same line. That's nuts
Right Left handed, high scoring, good depth prospect
Cons: Nothing extremely concerning. He's not going to be a first liner anytime soon, but he's still going to be good.
Hopefully this will be sufficiently informative until we actually get a good look at both of these guys. There's nothing to feel but optimism. Brad Treliving is getting younger and getting better. The Flames are in good hands.
EDIT: He's left handed - our bad.