The Vegas Golden Knights opened up their trade season by moving Nick DeSimone, and the 2022 4th round pick they acquired from Winnipeg for New York Rangers center Brett Howden.
It was the second trade for a center in about five minutes, as GM Kelly McCrimmon also spun fading prospect Cody Glass to Nashville as part of a three-team trade for struggling Philadelphia Flyers center Nolan Patrick, who as the 2017 second-overall pick.
Howden, a 6-foot-3 center from Alberta, Canada, was originally drafted in the 1st round (27th overall) by the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2016. Still young at 23 years old, Howden has played three seasons with the Rangers, tallying 49 points in 178 games. His best season was in 2018-19, when he scored 23 points in 66 games.
Howden signed a one-year, $885,000 contract with the Rangers on July 9th.
Going to the Rangers in the trade is 6-foot-2 defensive prospect Nick DeSimone. DeSimone went undrafted and was signed to a two-year contract by the San Jose Sharks in 2019. San Jose traded DeSimone to Vegas (via Chicago) in a three-team trade, April 12, 2021, but he has not played a single game at the NHL level.
DeSimone played three years at Union College before signing with the Sharks as a free agent in 2017. DeSimone is currently an unrestricted free agent.
About Brett Howden:
Howden was a fourth-line center in the tough Metro Division. He could be impressive at times and disappear for others. He was disappointing with only seven points, including just one goal, last season.
But Howden is another big center who will compete for Golden Knights ice time as McCrimmon appears to be stocking up on pivots.