Chiarot to the Panthers, Vatrano to the Rangers, Jarnkrok to the Flames
The Montreal Canadiens trade defenseman Ben Chiarot to the Florida Panthers in exchange for prospect forward Ty Smilanic, a conditional first-round pick in 2023 or 2024 and a conditional fourth-round pick in 2022. The Canadiens also retain 50 percent of Chiarot’s $3.5 million cap hit.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chiarot, 30, was one of the notable names floating around the rumor mill for months because of his unrestricted free agent status this summer and the Canadiens’ low placement in the standings. He was among the defensemen on the Panthers’ rumored list of trade targets back in January. Chiarot should provide experienced depth on the left side of their blueline in a second-pairing role behind MacKenzie Weegar.
The Panthers gave up a fair bit for a rental player but that was likely the price to be paid to entice the Canadiens to retain half of Chiarot’s cap hit. Cap Friendly indicates the Panthers have $3.7 million in projected trade deadline cap space, leaving a bit of wiggle room for another move if necessary. Speculation suggests Panthers general manager Bill Zito might not be done dealing.
Canadiens general manager set a high price for Chiarot with a first-rounder and he got it plus more. Smilanic is in his second season with Quinnipiac University in the NCAA. Elite Prospects calls the 20-year-old center “a complete talent who can be relied on in all situations.” Overall, not a bad haul for the rebuilding Canadiens.
Before acquiring Chiarot, the Panthers traded forward Frank Vatrano to the New York Rangers in exchange for the later selection of either the Rangers’ own fourth-rounder in the 2022 draft or the fourth-rounder the Rangers acquired from the Winnipeg Jets.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Shipping out Vatrano was a cost-cutting move for the Panthers to clear sufficient space for Chiarot. Slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, he carries a $2.53 million cap hit for this season. He’d seen fourth-line duty and was a healthy scratch at times this season.
Vatrano is expected to help boost the Rangers’ bottom-six forward lines. This move doesn’t put a big dent in the Rangers’ projected trade deadline cap space ($31 million) and didn’t cost them any of their promising young players. GM Chris Drury has plenty of cap room and trade assets to make a more substantial move before Monday’s trade deadline.
The Calgary Flames acquire forward Calle Jarnkrok from the Seattle Kraken in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2022 draft, a third-rounder in 2023 and a seventh-rounder in 2024. The Kraken also retained 50 percent of Jarnkrok’s $2 million cap hit.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: After making a big splash last month by acquiring Tyler Toffoli, the Flames make a depth addition to their checking lines with the 30-year-old Jarnkrok. He’s a versatile two-way forward who can play all three forward positions. Like Chiarot and Vatrano, Jarnkrok is slated to become a UFA this summer.
It’s a decent return for the first-year Kraken. GM Ron Francis is aiming at loading up on picks to stock up his prospect pipeline.