Steve Yzerman once again proves prowess as GM with Nick Leddy acquisition

Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman has swung another deal, acquiring veteran defenseman Nick Leddy from the New York Islanders in exchange for Richard Panik and 52nd overall pick in this month’s draft.

As you may remember, Panik was acquired from the Capitals in the Anthony Mantha trade alongside Jakub Vrana, and wasn’t going to be in Detroit for the long haul.

And given the fact that Leddy has one year remaining on his current seven-year, $38.5M deal he signed with New York in 2015, he could be dangled as trade bait to acquire future draft capital at next season’s trade deadline. The move, like many moves that Yzerman has made since his return to the Motor City in 2019, isn’t likely a long-term solution, but a low-risk maneuver that benefits the team for the immediate future and could pay dividends down the road.

But until then, the puck moving defenseman will help to shore up the left side of the ice and could help serve as a mentor for the likes of young Moritz Seider. Like Seider, Leddy isn’t shy about throwing his weight around, and has become known for his key work in the defensive zone.

Leddy, who is a previous Stanley Cup winner with the Chicago Blackhawks, has logged 21 minutes of ice time the past six seasons, and averaged 23:06 with the Islanders over 19 games in this year’s playoffs as they came within a game of the Stanley Cup Final. He tallied two goals and 29 assists with a minus-3 rating last season with New York; he was drafted 16th overall in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft by the Minnesota Wild.

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