Lightning add grit in acquiring Jeannot from Predators
The slumping Tampa Bay Lightning added an element of grit into their lineup to punch up their late-season playoff push by acquiring forward Tanner Jeannot in a trade with the Nashville Predators on Sunday night.
And the Lightning paid a high price in doing so by trading away third-year defenseman Cal Foote, as well as five draft picks, including a 2025 first-round selection that is top-10 protected. Tampa Bay also traded its second-round pick in the 2024 draft, as well as its third- fourth- and fifth-round selections this year.
The trade was completed shortly after the Lightning fell to 2-2-2 in their past six following a 7-3 loss at Pittsburgh, and comes less than a week before the NHL’s trade deadline on Friday.
Listed at 6-foot-2 and 208 pounds, Jeannot is completing the third and final year of his rookie contract and eligible to become a restricted free agent this summer. After scoring 24 goals and 41 points in 81 games last season, Jeannot’s production has dropped this season. He’s been limited to five goals and 14 points in 56 games.
Signed by Nashville as an undrafted free agent, the 25-year-old is better known for his hard-hitting style and defensive play. He leads the Predators with 213 hits and the team’s forwards with 51 blocked shots this season.
Overall, he has 34 goals and 62 points with 217 penalty minutes in 152 career games.
The Lightning maintain a strong hold on third place in the Atlantic Division, and are likely to open the playoffs facing Toronto in a rematch of last year’s first-round playoff series, which Tampa Bay won in seven games. The Lightning, who have reached the Stanley Cup Final in each of the past three seasons and won in both 2020 and '21, trail Toronto by four points in the race to determine which team will have home-ice advantage to start the postseason.
The Predators continue their sell-off of talent with the trade coming a day after dealing forward Nino Niederreiter to Winnipeg in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2024 draft.
Nashville is retooling for the future while still in the fringes of the Western Conference race — sitting in 10th place, and six points out of a playoff spot. The Predators traded Jeannot after improving to 4-1 in their past five following a 6-2 win at Arizona.
The trade also comes with a looming change in management set for June, with Barry Trotz rejoining the franchise to succeed general manager David Poile, who has held the job since the team was founded in 1998.
In a separate move, Nashville gave up future considerations to acquire minor-league forward Isaac Ratcliffe in a trade with the Philadelphia Flyers. A second-round pick in the 2017 draft, Ratcliffe has a goal and three assists in 10 career games with the Flyers.
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John Wawrow, The Associated Press