Flames acquire Lazar and Kostka from Ottawa for Jokipakka, second rounder

(Marc DesRosiers / USA Today Sports)

The Calgary Flames have made a deadline day move.

Reports are that the club has sent defenseman Jyrki Jokipakka and its second round selection in 2017 to the Ottawa Senators for forward Curtis Lazar and defenseman Mike Kostka.

Coming to Calgary:

Lazar, 22, is a product of Salmon Arm, BC. He’s in the third and final season of his entry level contract, which he signed after being the 17th overall selection in the 2013 NHL Draft. He won a lot in junior, with a World Junior gold and a Memorial Cup, but that success hasn’t really translated to the pro level. He has just 36 points in 176 NHL games, some of which where he was hampered by mono, and the notion is probably that there’s still something there and he just needs a change of scenery or to be reunited with his old Ottawa coach, Dave Cameron. He’s a restricted free agent this summer.

Kostka, 31, is a right shot defenseman who’s spent this season with the Senators’ AHL affiliate in Binghamton. He’s a journeyman, playing 85 NHL games split between stops in Toronto, Chicago, Tampa Bay, the NY Rangers and Ottawa. He’s basically just an addition of some depth at the AHL level and given his age and lack of AHL production, he’s probably not somebody you want to use in the NHL. He’s an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Headed out of town:

Jokipakka, 25, came to Calgary in the Kris Russell trade at last year’s deadline. He hasn’t exactly set the world on fire, playing on the third pairing when he hasn’t been a healthy scratch. He’s a decent enough skater and passer, but really didn’t seem to fit in with the style of play that Glen Gulutzan wanted to play.

We have yet to receive confirmation on what year the second round selection involved in this trade would be; the Flames have all of their second rounders in future drafts. (Update: It’s 2017.)

Since Lazar is waiver eligible, the thought is he’ll be staying with the Flames while Kostka will be heading to the AHL’s Stockton Heat to finish out the season.

  • dontcryWOLF88

    An important thing to keep in mind if we are talking about percentages of 2nd rounders who “work out”. saying X% of 2nd rounders play 150 or more games doesnt say anything of the quality of the player. Jokipakka played more than 150 games, but that doesnt mean anybody wants him. Lazar might fit into that section of marginally useful NHL’ers also, or he might be a diamond in the rough.

    He wasnt getting time to play in Ottawa, hence why he wanted to be traded. He also has experience playing on a line with Chaisson, for whatever thats worth.

    Also important when discussing the value of 2nd round picks. Keep in mind those usually take 3-5 years to develop into an NHL caliber player (if they make it at all, which most dont). Do the Flames want to wait that long? Lazer, for all his dubious worth, is further along in his progression than a 2nd round pick, no doubt there. the optimal window the flames have for a legit cup run may be 2-4 years from this season. Having a guy come along later than that may not be a valuable asset for such a window.

    Final thought though? …im in the meh camp on this trade, thoguh I think its a better gamble than a late/middle 2nd round pick.

  • I think McRib and a couple others have hit on the key point — the Flames already have more interesting prospects they could bring up without burning a draft pick. Do I think that any of Jankowski, Klimchuk, or Shinkaruk are likely to develop into top 9 forwards? Probably not, but I’d rather see them get a shot than Lazar, who has clearly established that he’s not a quality NHL player.

    If Lazar was in Stockton now, would the Flames even be considering bringing him up? I like Treveling overall but this seems like a cross between “the grass is always greener” and “we need to do something at the trade deadline, and this is something.”

  • BlueMoonNigel

    Who was the last Flames’ reclamation project who amounted to a hill of beans? Sasha Lakovic.

    Early and accurate prediction: Lazar will not come close to reaching the dizzying heights achieved by the Masha. Lakovic as well as being as huge fan favourite during his stint as a Flame, also represented the team in the Stampede Parade.

    A 2nd round pick even in a poor draft year for a guy who won’t even achieve the success of Lakovic is terrible asset management.

  • Denscafon

    Pretty sure it has been mentioned before, but if this trade means brouwer will be exposed in the expansion draft, I’m ok with taking the risk of getting Lazar for a 2nd.

        • dontcryWOLF88

          I was thinking the same thing regarding bennett. However, the draft rules are pretty straight forward.

          A player needs to be signed into 2017-2018- AND played 40 or more games in the last year, or 70 in the last two.

          ..i think maybe weve been wrong about Bennett needing protection?

          Read what they are tlaking about here. Its another fan site, so maybe theyre wrong? Im no expert, so I cant say. Maybe capfriendly was assuming he would be re-signed?


          • supra steve

            “all first and second year professional skaters (including unsigned draft picks) will not be available for Las Vegas to select from and won’t be counted as part of the protected player’s list.”…so Tkachuk is exempt. Bennett is a 3rd year player, as is Lazar, they need to be protected.

            “They will have to have two forwards available for selection who are a) under contract in 2017-18 and b) played in 40 or more NHL games the prior season OR played in 70 or more NHL games in the prior two seasons.”

            That is the base requirement, each team must have such experienced players (who are under contract) available. That does not exclude RFAs from being selected or the need to protect them.

          • dontcryWOLF88

            under contract in 2017-18, *******AND*************
            played in 40 or more NHL games last season, OR
            played in 70 or more NHL games in the last two seasons

            Thats copy paste (minus the asterisks!). Under contract in 2017-2018 is a first step requirement. if i am interpretting this correctly, that means Stone/Bennett/Engllend etc also dont need to be protected (which would have been smart on Tre’s part). I dont think any of the UFA’s/ RFA’s after this year need protection.

            Am i missing something here? https://www.capfriendly.com/expansion-draft-faq

          • piscera.infada

            To add to what @supra steve said above, the 40/70 requirements are simply a means of ensuring a minimum baseline of experienced talent is available on each team. As such, each team, must meet that minimum for exposure.

            That said, any player not exempted (like Tkachuk, for instance) is still available to be picked, provided they are not protected by the team (as is the case with Kulak, Poirier, Jokipakka, etc.).

  • Jumping Jack Flash

    When I first heard that we got Lazar for Joki, I though that was a great trade. However, when I heard that we gave up a second rounder I was less pleased. When Lazar first broke into the league I thought he was going to be a decent player then he he slowly faded away.

    I am in the camp that he is worth the risk and more valuable than 2nd rounder in a weak draft. When teams have 80 % of its salary tied up in 20% of it players GMs have to take measured calculated risks. I like his attitude and positivity….reminds me of Conroy.