TRADE: Florida Panthers acquire Thomas Vanek

The Florida Panthers made a splash late Wednesday morning in a deal with the Detroit Red Wings.

Florida_Panthers_logo_2016Florida acquired 33-year-old forward Thomas Vanek in exchange for defenseman Dylan McIlrath and a conditional 2017 3rd round pick. The Red Wings retained 50% of Vanek’s salary as part of the deal.

If the Panthers make the playoffs, Detroit receives Arizona’s 3rd round pick in the 2017 draft. Florida owns both their own 3rd round pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft and the Coyotes’s 3rd round pick in the draft.

Vanek has 331-356-687 totals in 865 career NHL games played with the Buffalo Sabres, New York Islanders, Montreal Canadiens, Minnesota Wild and Red Wings. In 48 games this season with Detroit, Vanek had 15 goals and 23 assists.

The left winger was the fifth overall selection at the 2003 NHL Entry Draft by Buffalo and is a pending unrestricted free agent in July.

UnknownMcIlrath appeared in six games this season between the New York Rangers and Panthers. In 43 career NHL games, the 24-year-old defenseman has 3-2-5 totals and 94 PIM.

He played in a career high 34 games for the Rangers in 2015-2016 and was traded in November to Florida for D Steven Kampfer and a conditional 7th round pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.

The New York Rangers originally selected McIlrath 10th overall at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. He is a pending restricted free agent this July and carries a cap hit of $800,000.