(Photo Credit: Michael Dwyer/AP Photo)

By: Tom Calautti | Follow me on Twitter @TCalauttis

What is the value of a number-one goaltender in the NHL? What kind of return should Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney expect when shopping former Vezina Winner Linus Ullmark? In an attempt to solve that very conundrum, I researched every goalie transaction over the last ten years and found eight examples that may provide some insight.

Ullmark is coming off a season in which he went 22-10-7 with a 2.57 goals-against average and a save percentage of .915. He’s one year removed from a Vezina Trophy. There’s no doubt that the Swedish netminder is a top-ten goalie in the league and would be a significant upgrade over most of his peers. Here are some comparable trades for a player of Ullmark’s caliber in the position he and his current team are in.

Cam Talbot (and a seventh-round pick)

Stats Prior to Trade: 21-9-4, 2.30 GAA, .919 Save Percentage

Return: 2015 second-round pick, 2015 third-round pick, 2015 seventh-round pick

(Photo Credit: CapFriendly)

Frederik Andersen

Stats Prior to Trade: 22-9-7, 2.30 GAA, .919 Save Percentage

Return: 2016 first-round pick, 2017 second-round pick

(Photo Credit: CapFriendly)

Philipp Grubauer (and contract of Brooks Orpik)

Stats Prior to Trade: 15-10-3, 2.35 GAA, .923 Save Percentage

Return: 2018 second-round pick

(Photo Credit: CapFriendly)

Robin Lehner (and Martin Dzierkals)

Stats Prior to Trade: 25-13-5, 2.13 GAA, .930 Save Percentage

Return: 2020 second-round pick, Malcolm Subban, Stanislav Demin

(Photo Credit: CapFriendly)

Darcy Kuemper

Stats Prior to Trade: 10-11-3, 2.56 GAA, .907 Save Percentage

Return: 2002 first-round pick, 2024 third-round pick, Connor Timmins

(Photo Credit: CapFriendly)

Alexander Georgiev

Stats Prior to Trade: 15-10-2, 2.92 GAA, .898 Save Percentage

Return: 2022 third-round pick, 2022 fifth-round pick, 2023 third-round pick

(Photo Credit: CapFriendly)

Marc-Andre Fleury

Stats Prior to Trade: 26-10, 1.98 GAA, .928 Save Percentage

Return: Conditional 2022 second-round pick

(Photo Credit: CapFriendly)

The first thing that stands out to me is the fact that Don Sweeney should begin any and all discussions with a first-round pick. Only two of the eight trades involved one, but desperate teams are willing to fork over their top draft choices when times are tough, and some goalie-needy teams are out there. The market for Ullmark may not yield a first-rounder, but it would be borderline malpractice for Sweeney not to at least ask for it in trade discussions.

Another evident thing is how pick-heavy some of these trade packages are. It’s true the Bruins may look to move Ullmark in exchange for rostered players, but if that doesn’t come to fruition, management can recoup serious draft and prospect capital in one fell swoop. Five of the eight trades involve either multiple draft picks or picks and prospects. In a year where the Bruins aren’t drafting until the fourth round, this might be an excellent opportunity to replenish a depleted prospect/pick pool with one move.

The one negative I took away from these precedent cases is the lack of NHL talent involved in them. Rumors have been swirling about Boston potentially moving Ullmark for Jakob Chychrun or Martin Necas, but history tells us that would be an outlier compared to other goaltender trades. I’m not saying it isn’t possible or that a deal involving NHL talent won’t come together, just that it isn’t likely.

Don Sweeney is under immense pressure to improve his team this offseason, and one of the biggest indicators of his performance will be how he manages a Linus Ullmark trade. He has a valuable asset in his hands, and goaltender trade history tells us that teams are willing to drop significant packages to obtain a number-one goaltender.