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Trade: Preds acquire F Ozzy Wiesblatt

Egor Afanasyev has headed to San Jose in exchange for forward Ozzy Wiesblatt.

In his three years in the Preds’ system, Afanasyev had one goal in 19 games with the Predators, as well as 52 goals and 61 assists in 187 regular-season games with the Milwaukee Admirals. He also contributed 20 points, including ten goals, in 36 Calder Cup Playoffs games. This season, despite a lot of roster turnover, Nashville only used Afanasyev in two games.

It’s possible that Barry Trotz and Andrew Brunette didn’t see him as a good fit for Brunette’s system, and if that’s so then trading him instead of forcing him to remain in the AHL was a smart move.

Wiesblatt spent a portion of last year on loan to the Admirals, where he had one goal, five assists, and 22 PIM in 16 games. He added another two goals and seven assists (as well as 12 PIM) in the 15-game playoff run. With the San Jose Barracuda, he’s accumulated 29 points (11G/18A) and 63 PIM in 95 regular-season games, and one assist in three playoff games.

Although he was scouted as an excellent player in transition, and was taken in the first round in 2020, the 22-year-old Wiesblatt has yet to play a NHL game. Trotz and Admirals Head Coach Karl Taylor must have liked what they saw from him in Milwaukee, and he still has a lot of potential to create positive impact for the Preds.

With what we can all see right now, however, this trade looks pretty lopsided in the Sharks’ favor. Afanasyev was arguably the Admirals’ best skater last season, and it might have been nice to see a late-round draft pick or another player for Milwaukee come back with Wiesblatt. I’d love for him to prove me wrong about this, though, and I look forward to seeing what he does with the Admirals.

Statistics from eliteprospects.com.

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