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Grading the Coyotes trade deadline

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Grading the Arizona Coyotes activity leading up to and at the Trade deadline

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Here is a rundown of each of the trades the Coyotes made since Saturday's 4-1 loss to the Boston Bruins.

The Trades

Arizona gets: D Klas Dahlbeck, 2015 1st round pick
Chicago gets: C Antoine Vermette

This is a trade that had to happen. The Coyotes had Vermette on the market for a long time, and it was certainly becoming a drag on his game and the team. Before Janurary 1st, Vermette was averaging .676 points per game.

In the 25 games since the calendar turned to 2015, Vermette's production plummeted to .400 points per game. And since his name had begun to really be thrown around as trade bait it got worse. From February 1st to Satuday before the trade, Vermette scored only four points (2G, 2A) in 13 games. That's a putrid .308 points per game. He was visibly struggling on the ice as well as in the stat sheet.

Going to Chicago should be great for #50, and Arizona needed to move him. It was a good move for the player and for the franchise. With the rumors now quieted, and going to a situation where he doesn't have to be his team's number one center, Vermette should return to his normal form.

As for what the Coyotes got in return for Vermette, give a huge amount of credit to General Manager Don Maloney. He stuck to his guns on what he thought he could get for Vermette and held firm on waiting for it. Even through Vermette's February struggles, Maloney didn't panic flip him. If Patrick Kane doesn't break his collarbone, does GMDM get a first rounder and a prospect for Antoine? Maybe, maybe not. But he did and deserves a ton of credit.

Klas Dahlbeck is a young blueline prospect that we have already profiled here. At 23 years old, he adds to the Coyotes depth on the blueline and maybe acquiring him helped GMDM push through on the Yandle deal. The big get in this deal now is the 1st rounder in a deep draft, but Dahlbeck could evolve into a solid top 4 defender rather quickly. He will report to the Coyotes right away instead of going to Portland.

Overall, Maloney got exactly what he needed in a Vermette trade. While most fans might have preferred a forward prospect, the Coyotes coffers are filling fast with young talent up front. Adding to the back end is smart and the 1st round pick from Chicago could end up being a better prospect than what we could have gotten from them up front in this deal.

Final Grade: It's not an A+, but it's a very solid A.

Arizona gets: D John Moore, F Anthony Duclar, 2015 2nd round pick. 2016 conditional 1st round pick

New York gets: D Keith Yandle (1/2 salary retained by ARZ), D Chris Summers, 2015 4th round pick

This trade really came together very quietly. After the Kane injury, all the chatter was about Vermette going to Chicago and whether or not Boston would trump the Hawks' offer. The Coyotes moved Vermette and so the attention turned to Zbynek Michalek since he is an unrestricted free agent. There has been talk surrounding a Yandle deal for years, so the fact that this happened so suddenly was surprising.

Don Maloney said he would have liked to keep Yandle and have him as part of the rebuild, but the Rangers willingness to add Anthony Duclair forced his hand. And for good reason:

You don't find this type of ability on this young a player very often. This is an organization that needed to introduce that type of talent - and now.

Duclair will rejoin World Juniors Tournament linemate Max Domi in the Arizona prospect pipeline. The thought of Duclair with Domi and possibly Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel is very very tantalizing and one that could be a reality as early as next season.

John Moore is a big body the Coyotes have lacked on the back end for the past few years. He could provide a poor man's impression of Michal Roszival or Rositslav Klesla for a year or two. Any offense Moore provides is a bonus.

Arizona also gets a second round pick this year and lottery protected first round pick in 2016. For whatever reason, should the Rangers miss the playoffs next year, the 1st round pick would slide to 2017.

Losing Yandle is a major blow to the team's already meager offense. But a future first round pick is worth its weight in gold and the final judgement on this deal comes from what Anthony Duclair becomes.

Maloney got value in this deal. The Coyotes are much worse in 2015, but much better for the future.

Final Grade: An A for now, Duclair's emergence in the next year or two could make it an A+.

Arizona gets: F Maxim Letunov

St. Louis gets: D Zbynek Michalek (1/2 salary retained by ARZ), 2015 conditional 3rd round pick

Zbynek Michalek is another unrestricted free agent who was going to be traded. Then he suffered an apparent concussion sometime during the Valentine's Day game against the Rangers. That made any deal with Michalek very iffy and almost assuredly one the hinged upon playing time conditions. That made the idea of getting real value for the man affectionately known as "Z" almost improbable.

Lo and behold, GMDM got a young forward prospect named Maxim Letunov from the Blues in exchange for the Czech d-man. Letunov is young, but talented. Maxim is currently 3rd in scoring in the USHL for Youngstown and will attend Boston University next season. He's probably two to three years away from challenging for an NHL roster spot, but that isn't a bad thing.

Considering the uncertainty surrounding Michalek's health status, getting an established prospect is a great move from Don Maloney. Yes, losing a draft pick is hard and that lowers the grade a little, but GMDM found a potential diamond in the rough for another player that does the Coyotes no good being on the roster the rest of the season. And if Michalek resigns in Arizona in the offseason (unlikely, but possible), it's an amazing trade.

Final Grade: B. If Michalek re-signs, an obvious huge A++.

Arizona gets: G David Leggio

New York Islanders get: F/D Mark Louis

Mark Louis is a big, heavy 27 year old forward that has served as organizational depth for the Coyotes. David Leggio is a 30 year old career minor league goalie. Nothing to see here.

Wait, that Leggio name sound familiar. Let me do a quick check...

Oh yeah, I knew that name sounded familiar. Not a trade that should have any impact on either team's NHL roster.

Final Grade: Well, given that video, Leggio clearly is used to playing without any defense in front of him. So he should feel very comfortable playing on this Coyote team. An A. Okay, really it's a wash, so a C.

Overall Conclusion

Give plenty of credit to Don Maloney. He turned Keith Yandle, Antoine Vermette and Zbynek Michalek into Anthony Duclair, Klas Dahlbeck, Maxim Letunov, two 1st rounders and a second round pick. The Coyotes as currently constructed were an awful team as evidenced by being in 28th place in the league. They should be even worse now.

But a future that was promising with Max Domi, Brendan Perlini, Christian Dvorak, Laurent Dauphin, Henrik Samuelsson and Lucas Lessio is all the more brighter with the returns GMDM got in the past 72 hours. The Coyotes may be really bad this season. And there is a possibility that they are next year as well. But the 2017 Coyotes could very well be dark horse Cup Contenders. And a lot of that will be due to the work GMDM did in the last three days.

A trade deadline grade of A.