NHL Trade Grades: Anthony Duclair gives Lightning mid-six boost

Tampa Bay Lightning get: Forward Anthony Duclair, a seventh-round pick in the 2025 NHL Draft

The San Jose Sharks get: Defenseman Jack Thompson, third-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft

Corey Bronman: Anthony Duclair is an excellent skater with very good offensive skills. He makes a lot of plays and can do so at a fast pace. He's very talented, but he's also not big and can be inconsistent, which has led to him being moved around between different NHL organizations. He's a legitimate middle-six winger in the NHL. This isn't Tampa's primary problem, but it's a start, and the price was bearable.

Jack Thompson is a smart puck player with a good point shot who has scored at the OHL and AHL levels. However, his skating is okay, and since he's average, whether he can defend at the NHL level is a question mark. He has a chance to play in the NHL but it's not a sure thing. The third-round pick is likely the main asset San Jose got back for a player in Duclair who didn't have a lot of value given the type of player he is and his position.

Tampa Bay: B
San Jose: B-

Sean Gentile: Checking in on Anthony Duclair all this season has been an issue. That was, in large part, because of the quality of his team — because this version of the San Jose Sharks is designed to be bad, and they achieved their goal, my friend. Since they've won fewer games than the Blackhawks, perhaps we've veered into “overkill” territory.

And in a rotten team, it's hard not to feel bad for the players involved, as their goals certainly extend far beyond the bottom of the table. In Duclair's case, he was trying to rehabilitate his value in his first full season after rupturing his Achilles tendon. Unrestricted free agency was looming, and his 31-goal season with Florida in 2021-22 was getting further away. The logic was simple enough: He'd get plenty of opportunities to score a bunch of goals, and the Sharks would get a player of value at the trade deadline. Then, in the first 52 games of the season, Duclair scored 11 goals and eight assists. Sorry.

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He put it together at just the right time, scoring five goals in his last four games with the Sharks and displaying the speed and finishing ability that has been evident periodically in his first eight NHL seasons. Now, he has to chase the cup instead of playing with the string. For the Lightning, he would add skill and scoring to the six midfielders they can use. There's also something to be said for mixing new faces with an roster that has won just as much as Tampa Bay has over the past several years. He's no Noah Hanifin, but that's okay.

As for San Jose, the comeback is strong enough. Thompson is a scratch-off ticket, and third-round picks have value. There are plenty of rental suites on the market as well. Many of them seem destined to return less.

Lightning degree: B-
Grade Sharks: B-

(Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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