San Jose Sharks acquire Vitek Vanacek from the New Jersey Devils for Kahkonen and pick

Dec 1, 2023; Newark, New Jersey, USA; San Jose Sharks goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen (36) makes a save
Dec 1, 2023; Newark, New Jersey, USA; San Jose Sharks goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen (36) makes a save / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The trades on deadline day did not stop there as netminder Kaapo Kahkonen was traded to the New Jersey Devils. The rumors circulated around the Finn for months, but now he is no longer in the Sharks organization. For the Finnish shot stopper, the Sharks acquire Czech netminder Vitek Vanacek and a 2025 7th from the New Jersey Devils. There are a few layers to this deal, so let's go through them.

Vanacek is hurt and probably will not play again this season. When he has played for the Devils, he's struggled this year. His inconsistencies have headlined the issues in New Jersey as they were desperate to revamp their crease at this deadline. While he won't play again this season, he'll likely be back next year to partner Mackenzie Blackwood in the crease to allow the two former Devils teammates to backstop the Sharks for the season that lies ahead.

Making $3.4 million until the end of next year, Vanacek is a buylow candidate. If the Sharks can get him performing like he was last year, they will be able to flip him for more picks. They won't be able to retain on him due to having all three retention slots tied up, but they will be able to get something. They need to get him playing well when he gets back though, but as it is unlikely he returns this season, that's a problem for the summer.

Kahkonen will be missed. He's an exceptionally streaky netminder and in New Jersey, he may find success again. We know that the Sharks are able to get the best out of their netminders because they are tested so frequently. If he's able to get a return to the upside he flashed last year when the Devils made a return to the playoffs, there might be a player that could get a substantial return for the Sharks.