How the Best Trade Acquisition Is... A Defenseman

The Vegas Golden Knights made a flurry of moves at the trade deadline. But one trade stands out above the rest... and on the blue line.
Detroit Red Wings v Vegas Golden Knights
Detroit Red Wings v Vegas Golden Knights / Candice Ward/GettyImages

If you're the defending champions and in a rut, immediate change is needed. Whether it's inserting new pieces into the lineup or getting injured players back, something must be plugged in to change the team's fortunes. For the Vegas Golden Knights, they did exactly that at the trade deadline.

By acquiring Anthony Mantha, Tomas Hertl, and Noah Hanifin, the Golden Knights added offensive bite. The fans were tired of the AHL players in the starting lineups, so Kelly McCrimmon answered the call.

But let's look at which acquisitions are helping the Vegas Golden Knights the most. Of course, Hertl's yet to touch the ice for Vegas, so he's out of the question. That leaves us with Hanifin and Mantha. Who's been the better pickup for the Golden Knights?

Noah Hanifin's Helped the Vegas Golden Knights More

It's no secret the Golden Knights were in the market for a big name. Whether it was Jake Guentzel or Noah Hanifin, the Golden Knights wanted to make a splash. They did that by acquiring the latter, picking up a defenseman with offensive acumen.

Look at Hanifin's past five games as an example. The Boston native has four points in five games played with the Vegas Golden Knights. Hanifin has a feel for the Golden Knights offensively, knowing how to set up his teammates and play in transition.

Yes, the defenseman isn't the best at... well, playing defense. However, the Golden Knights have solid depth at that position, making the trade easier. All Bruce Cassidy needs is for Noah Hanifin to effectively move the puck. The rest will work out.

But What About Anthony Mantha?

It's not to say that the Quebec native has been awful for the Vegas Golden Knights; Anthony Mantha does have a goal with the Golden Knights. However, there have been times where the former Detroit Red Wing has hurt the team.

For example, Mantha already has six penalty minutes with the Vegas Golden Knights. His first two came at a bad time against the Vancouver Canucks. On March 7 against Vancouver, the forward was called for a double-minor for high-sticking on Nils Hoglander. What happened next? Quinn Hughes scores a power play goal, followed less than a minute later by Phillip Di Guiseppe scoring.

Such mistakes have put games out of reach for the Golden Knights. As a result, the team becomes tired and frustrated, giving up and making mental errors across the board. While Anthony Mantha's taking longer to gel in the lineup, Noah Hanifin looks like he's been there since "Day F'in One." It feels good to be on the same team as your best buddy, huh?