Steve Yzerman’s fire sale continued in the early morning hours before the NHL’s trade deadline. Forward Jakub Vrana is headed to St. Louis in exchange for a 7th round pick and forward Dylan McLaughlin:
UPDATE: The Detroit #RedWings today acquired a 7th round pick in the 2025 NHL Entry Draft and center Dylan McLaughlin from the St. Louis Blues in exchange for left wing Jakub Vrana. pic.twitter.com/7mFmPX9iaK— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) March 3, 2023
Additionally, Detroit is picking up 50% of Vrana’s salary, around $2.6 million in total. After retaining money in the Tyler Bertuzzi trade, Detroit is tapped out in terms of salary retention.
A change of scenery was widely anticipated for Vrana — who has struggled to find his scoring touch after a bout with injuries and other off-ice challenges. The return is likely less than what most fans want, but the writing was on the wall for some time.
Who is Dylan McLaughlin?
The 27-year-old New York native has yet to crack an NHL lineup, but his AHL numbers have been decent this year for a center. He has 14 goals and 42 points over 61 games this season between the Rockford Icehogs and Springfield Thunderbirds. Griffins fans will be somewhat familiar with him, since Rockford and Grand Rapids cross paths quite often during the AHL regular season. McLaughlin was once a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award in 2017-2018 — he played at Canisius College for four years before moving onto the AHL and a short sting in the ECHL.
This trade adds to the storied partnership between St. Louis and Detroit — who have exchanged draft picks and players several times since Steve Yzerman has taken the helm. I think this is a great, cheap pickup for the Blues. Vrana has shown he can be a game-changing goalscorer. Perhaps a chance of scenery will spark his offense. Wishing him the best.
[Update - J.J.]
UPDATE: The Detroit #RedWings have loaned center Dylan McLaughlin to the AHL’s Springfield Thunderbirds. pic.twitter.com/zO7ZKPKQhI— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) March 3, 2023
As a reminder, a team is not required to assign a player to the AHL squad they own. As long as the receiving AHL team is willing to take the player, the assignment is possible.
You may remember this from such past moves as “Tampa Bay acquires Brian Lashoff in a trade and then immediately assigns him to Grand Rapids.”
McLaughlin will be a UFA this summer. He’s likely not ever going to be a Griffin let alone a Red Wing.