DETROIT -- There was plenty of uncertainty surrounding Monday's NHL trade deadline. As the clock was approaching 3 p.m. Eastern Time, the Detroit Red Wings made a late acquisition that quickly became the talk of the League.
Executive Vice President & General Manager Steve Yzerman announced in an afternoon press conference that the Red Wings acquired left wing Jakub Vrana, right wing Richard Panik, a first-round pick in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft and a second-round selection in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft from the Washington Capitals in exchange for right wing Anthony Mantha.
While moving Mantha was clearly the most visible move the Red Wings made during the trade deadline period, it also completed four transactions the club made since last Friday. Detroit added five more draft picks over the next two seasons for a total of 22 selections between the 2021 and 2022 NHL Entry Drafts.
"We're trying to improve our team; we're trying to become more competitive, but also add assets to assist in the rebuild," Yzerman said.
"Our core of our team is still relatively young, with Dylan Larkin, with Filip Hronek, and now you see the Zadina's and Rasmussen's and other players coming along. We want to surround them with players that help them grow and develop as well. We thought it was a good fit. We got a player that goes into our lineup that can play a similar role and still accomplish what we're trying to do. And that's add to the pipeline, so to speak."
For this summer's 2021 NHL Entry Draft, Detroit has its own pick in the first six rounds, in addition to two additional second-round choices (Edmonton and NY Rangers) and one extra pick in the first (Washington), third (Vegas), fourth (Tampa Bay) and fifth (Ottawa) rounds.
As for the players the Red Wings received in the trade, Vrana has 25 points on 11 goals and 14 assists this season. The 25-year-old has spent his entire NHL career in Washington, helping the Capitals win the 2018 Stanley Cup championship. Vrana was the Caps' 13th overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. He is in the final year of a two-year deal, and will be a restricted free agent following the 2020-21 season.
Video: Red Wings EVP and GM Steve Yzerman on Trade Deadline
Panik has skated in 36 games for the Caps this season and played his 500th career NHL game on March 20. The 30-year-old winger has twice eclipsed 30 points in a season.
Mantha has spent his entire NHL career in Detroit, debuting during the 2015-16 campaign. The Red Wings' first-round selection in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft (20th overall) skated in a career-high 80 games during the 2017-18 season, and heads to Washington with 194 career points among 95 goals and 99 assists. Mantha's 21 points (11 goals, 10 assists) this season was tied for second on the Red Wings' roster alongside captain Dylan Larkin. He signed a four-year contract with the Red Wings on Nov. 3, 2020.
"I think Anthony Mantha is a very talented hockey player, and I hope he does well, and I expect him to do well in Washington," Yzerman said. "Ultimately, we thought this trade made sense for us in the near term and moving forward."
Yzerman said he expects Panik and Vrana to arrive in Detroit in time for Wednesday's practice. The newest Red Wings could be available to skate in Thursday's series opener against the Chicago Blackhawks at Little Caesars Arena.
Trade Deadline Roundup
• On April 9, the Red Wings acquired a fourth-round pick in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft from the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for defenseman Patrik Nemeth. Nemeth appeared in 39 games for the Red Wings this season and totaled eight points (2-6-8) after recording nine points (1-8-9) in 64 games in 2019-20 during his first season with the club.
• One day later, Detroit acquired defenseman David Savard from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for defenseman Brian Lashoff and subsequently traded Savard to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for a fourth-round pick in 2021.
• On Sunday, April 11, the Red Wings acquired center Hayden Verbeek and Ottawa's fifth-round pick in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for defenseman Jon Merrill.