The Vegas Golden Knights got in on the trade deadline action at the very last minute, dealing forward Evgenii Dadonov and a second-round pick to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for defenseman John Moore and Ryan Kesler’s contract.
The move is primarily cap-focused, with Vegas clearing Dadonov's $5 million salary off the books for both this season and next, helping their tight financial situation immensely as they prepare to welcome a few high-paid players back to the lineup off of long-term injured reserve.
Kesler is on LTIR with a career-ending injury.
Just because Dadonov is shipped out of town doesn't mean he has no value. Dadonov is still an effective middle-six scorer at the NHL level, having racked up a decent 15 goals and 27 points in 62 games this season. That production, however, is not worth his hefty price tag, and for a team like the Golden Knights who are about as close to the cap as humanly possible, their ability to house players not pulling their weight is next to none.
On the Ducks, Dadonov will have the chance to adopt a larger role than he did in Vegas. Prior to today's trade, Dadonov had been average around 15 minutes in ice time per night, beginning the vast majority of his shifts in the offensive zone. With the Ducks having less forward depth than the Golden Knights when fully healthy, Dadonov can likely jump up into the team's top-six and keep receiving sheltered usage while supporting Anaheim's dynamic young forwards.