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NHL trade grades: Utah Hockey Club gets Mikhail Sergachev - ESPN

After a dearth of player-centered trades on Day 1 of the 2024 NHL draft, there was a blockbuster to begin Day 2.

One team might be able to keep its captain and possibly add another big player, while the other showed it's serious about taking big swings ahead of the first season in franchise history.

The Tampa Bay Lightning took an opportunity to potentially solve their Steven Stamkos problem by trading defenseman Mikhail Sergachev to the Utah Hockey Club for defenseman J.J. Moser, center Conor Geekie, a 2025 second-round pick (via Toronto) and a 2024 seventh-round pick.

It's a trade with quite a bit of significance for several reasons.

Which GM did better in the swap? Here are our grades for both teams.

Entering the weekend with the most cap space in the NHL made Utah a team to watch. How it used that cap space Saturday showed that the club is serious about trying to win in its first season.

Utah GM Bill Armstrong's years of financial management from his time with the Arizona Coyotes is what allowed his new team to be able to take on such a large contract in a way other teams couldn't. It also allowed Armstrong a chance to revamp the team's defense substantially.

Sergachev is coming off a season that saw him fracture his tibia and fibula in his left leg back in early February. He would miss 80 days, but returned in Game 4 of the Lightning's first-round series against the eventual Stanley Cup champion Florida Panthers to play 17:01 while recording an assist.

If Utah gets a healthy Sergachev, he's a defenseman who broke through in the 2022-23 season to score 10 goals and a career-best 64 points while averaging 23:48 in ice time. The 2023-24 season saw Sergachev score two goals and 19 points in 34 games, averaging 22:23