Photo credit:© James Guillory - USA Today
Andrei Kuzmenko and Elias Lindholm made an immediate impact for their new teams
18 days ago
Trades that benefit both teams are always the best.
On Jan. 31, the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames made their second trade of the season, as the Flames sent soon-to-be unrestricted free agent Elias Lindholm to their Pacific Division rival. In return, the Flames received two prospects, including the intriguing Hunter Brzustewicz, along with two picks and a main roster player in Andrei Kuzmenko.
Well, the two National Hockey League players are the topic of this article.
Andrei Kuzmenko already finding success with the Flames
Kuzmenko’s impact on the Flames was immediate, scoring just four minutes and 20 seconds into his first game as a Flame on a nice feed from Jonathan Huberdeau. This was his ninth goal and 22nd point of the season.
Now look, Kuzmenko may never repeat his 39 goal, 74 point performance he had with the Canucks during the 2022-23 season. Kuzmenko only shot 143 times on goal, which was tied for the 197th most. However, he had an unsustainable 27.3 shoot percentage, the highest for any player with more than 10 games in the league last season.
It is worth noting that his line alongside Huberdeau and Yegor Sharangovich found immediate success. Not just with the goal, but on numerous passing plays throughout the game, as they were a dominant force against one of the best teams in the league.
With all that being said, the Flames will have a chance to rehabilitate his trade value as the Montréal Canadiens did with Sean Monahan’s value. The Flames have already done a great job helping Sharangovich reach his potential after a similar “buy-low” trade, and Kuzmenko is seen as “Sharangovich, but better.”
It was a great debut for the 28-year-old.
Elias Lindholm scored twice in his Vancouver Canucks debut
Seeing a player who helped the Flames have success do the same for another team is tough, but it’s hard not to be happy for Lindholm after his Canucks debut on Tuesday.
The 29-year-old two-way centre scored two of the Canucks’ three goals to defeat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2. Like Sharangovich, both of Lindholm’s goals came on the power play. The first goal tied the game on a deflection from a point shot, as Lindholm was left all alone in front of the net.
There wasn’t much difference in Lindholm’s second goal, as he was in front of the net once again and tipped it past the Hurricanes’ netminder. It appears that Lindholm will be the net front presence on the Canucks’ first power play unit, and he made a great impression in his first game.
At the end of the day, the trade was a good one for both teams. The Canucks received a player who is having a down year, but is a strong two-way centre with a track record. On the other hand, the Flames received a goal-scorer who has found immediate success with the line he’s playing with. Getting additional assets helps as well!
Thanks for reading! You can follow me on Twitter @Brennan_L_D.
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