The 2022 trade period is over as clubs turn their attention to next month’s National Draft.
In the end almost every big name who was on the table found a new home, with Brownlow medallists, No.1 picks and plenty of first-rounders being swapped.
Foxfooty.com.au reviews the immediate winners and losers from the trade and free agency period.
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NEW PODCAST – Trading Day Deadline Special: Every last-day deal and every club’s moves analysed
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Premiers cap ‘exceptional’ trade period | 01:35
It’s remarkable that the reigning premiers are also potentially the biggest winners of the trade period to cap off an incredible season for the club.
Getting former first-round picks and ex-Geelong Falcons Tanner Bruhn and Ollie Henry in after two years of development under their belt at GWS and Collingwood respectively is a major coup and shores up their long-term future.
And getting Jack Bowes and Pick 7 from Gold Coast for just a future third rounder is arguably the biggest steal in trade history, while the dashing defender and former top 10 pick could yet have an impact himself in the blue and white hoops.
They gave up 18 for Bruhn and 25 for Henry, along with former first-rounder Cooper Stephens, but he was never going to push into their midfield at this rate anyway. At worst they’re fair trades; at best they’re big wins.
With an ageing list nearing the end of an era (which we’ve said countless times over the last 10 years), the Cats are setting themselves up for the future — and potentially more success.
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They got everything done, as simple as that.
Already a top-four contender heading into 2023 after storming into a preliminary final from sixth, the Lions have only bolstered their line-up, both with veteran stars and stars of the future.
Josh Dunkley, the Bulldogs’ recent best and fairest winner, is an incredible addition to a midfield that faltered in 2023 and needs his two-way running. Up forward Jack Gunston is an immediate upgrade over Daniel McStay, giving a powerful attack a boost.
But they got those recruits in without throwing away the chance to pick up No.1 prospect Will Ashcroft and first-rounder Jaspa Fletcher in this year’s draft, who they should still have enough points to match bids for.
They may need to go into a slight deficit in 2023 but that’s worth it, especially since Ashcroft is expected to break straight into the senior side, Nick Daicos-style.
The Lions have to be one of the top-tier 2023 flag contenders after this.
Yes, the Tigers gave up a stack of draft picks (12, 19, 31 and a future first-round selection), but, as Dermott Brereton said on Fox Footy’s Trading Day this week, no team has directly addressed their needs more than what Richmond has in getting Tim Taranto and Jacob Hopper.
Both will add to a midfield brigade that desperately needed bolstering and they’ll have an immediate impact so the Tigers can contend for another flag before the likes of Jack Riewoldt and Trent Cotchin retire.
Those two veterans may well have been worded up about the potential acquisitions and would be well aware of how their premiership hopes would be bolstered as a result in 2023.
While the Tigers won’t have a strong presence in the draft, they already had their bounty of high-end picks when they used five in the top 30 of the 2021 draft, taking Josh Gibcus, Tom Brown, Tyler Sonsie, Sam Banks and Judson Clarke.
The young talent is there, but for the now Richmond have made two great moves. Not having to give up Ivan Soldo as part of a trade for Hopper was a bonus, too. It’s hard to be anything but excited about next year given the Tigers’ trade period.
Big Tiger crowds a lure for Hopper | 01:03
It took a while to get done, but at the end of the day the Crows secured Izak Rankine for effectively just pick No.5. It’s not a bad result for a player who was initially drafted with pick No.3 and has had four years and 48 senior games of development since then.
Barring an early injury-riddled run, Rankine’s 2022 season for the Suns was superb, as he become one of the most impactful forward-half players in the competition.
The pressure will be on him to perform during the three-year deal, but hopefully his return home will be a boost to his performance and not a burden.
The Crows lost Billy Frampton to Collingwood, but Frampton could barely break into the senior side and the Crows have tall timber to spare at the moment.
Getting Rankine to pick the Crows when he was almost a lock to re-sign with the Suns beyond this year at one point is a fantastic effort.
The Power gave away basically all their draft capital for the next two years, but secured last year’s No. 1 Pick Jason Horne-Francis after his shock trade request in as well as Junior Rioli.
It’s both a win-now move in the sense that they’ve mortgaged their draft picks, but also gets a potentially generational star through the door for the next 10 plus years in the South Australian Horne-Francis.
With Horne-Francis, Port could have the next Patrick Dangerfield on its hands in an exciting addition to the club’s list both for the now the future, so even just getting him alone is a win.
Although it’s a big risk in the sense that the club is now going chips in with this list and its current young crop, it’s an exciting time to be a Port Adelaide fan.
You can slice it any way you want, but David King perhaps said it best on Fox Footy’s Trading Day – trading out last year’s number one pick and this year’s number one pick in exchange for picks two and three doesn’t seem like a great deal.
Granted, there is more to it – they really need Port Adelaide to struggle next year, owning their future first – but with Jason Horne-Francis forcing the club’s hand with a trade request, seeing him go out the door after just one year is a nasty blow in a year full of an extraordinary number of them.
List boss Brady Rawlings has said the Kangaroos had all the information they needed when they made the decision to offload Horne-Francis and accept the offer for their number one pick and ultimately this will be a hard one to judge without the benefit of hindsight.
The Roos could snare two draft stars from a pool of top-five prospects Elijah Tsatas, Harry Sheezel and George Wardlaw and in their eyes they couldn’t split the top three selections, so getting two for the price of one is a win.
Ultimately, however, losing Horne-Francis given the faith they showed in him when drafting him (and knocking back a host of offers for the number one pick) means the Roos couldn’t really hope to have come out of this trade period as winners. They were just making the most of a losing hand.
Hunter joins Dees on deadline day | 01:22
The Suns are working to firm up their player payments and make sure they’re able to attract rival talent down the track and retain existing talent, but it still looks bizarre when reading the trade ‘Jack Bowes and pick No.7 to Geelong in exchange for a future third-round selection’.
Granted, the Suns have form in the salary dump area and they didn’t see Bowes as part of their long-term future, but it’s still a ludicrous deal to read on paper.
The player they genuinely didn’t want to lose was Izak Rankine, so for him to ask for a trade to Adelaide was a blow for the Suns given he was a former No.3 pick and was just now starting to blossom into the player many hoped he could become.
The Suns got pick No.5 as a result, but that is far outweighed by Rankine’s current impact and what he can bring in the future.
Josh Corbett found a new home at Fremantle and the Suns would be hoping he doesn’t burst into the AFL limelight like Will Brodie did for the Dockers this year following a trade from the Suns.
There’s still plenty of talent on the Suns list and it’s a plan Craig Cameron is hoping pays off in the long run, but at the end of the 2022 trade period it’s far from a win.
Although some of it may have been on their own accord, the Hawks have come away from this trade period with a significantly less experienced — and talented — list after the departures of Jack Gunston, Tom Mitchell and Jaeger O’Meara.
It comes after the retirements of Ben McEvoy and Liam Shiels and delisting of Kyle Hartigan, totaling 1181 games of experience out the door.
The bigger problem is the Hawks dumped Mitchell and O’Meara right on the deadline without getting any true draft capital back. Mitchell got them two third-rounders and an ex-first round pick in Cooper Stephens from Geelong, who has promise; O’Meara got them Lloyd Meek and a future second.
Meek is quality and Stephens may be as well, but failing to get even a top-40 selection for two of their biggest stars hurts their rebuild as they need more top-end talent. You can’t rely on getting incredible late picks like Mitch Lewis forever.
Although not entirely comparable, it’s reminiscent of the Kangaroos’ bold list management strategy at the end of 2016 when veterans Brent Harvey, Drew Petrie, Michael Firrito and Nick Dal Santo were all let go, a period the club arguably hasn’t recovered from.
The Hawks have gotten something back for their veterans, although the cull has probably come a couple of years too late. And it means they’re a clear wooden spoon contender in 2023.
The Saints basically stood still this trade period outside of adding Zaine Cordy as a free agent from the Western Bulldogs. But could they really afford to?
This is a club that’s fallen short of expectations over the last two seasons including missing the finals this year despite sitting in the top four after Round 11.
They were among the Victorian clubs linked to Karl Amon before he instead chose Hawthorn, and they went hard at Jordan De Goey until he recommitted to Collingwood.
St Kilda was also urged to explore moves for its current players with currency, such as Brad Hill and Hunter Clark, to bring in some draft capital. For Clark they rejected North Melbourne’s offer of second-round and third-round picks.
It means the Saints will go into next year with essentially the same line-up and will again be hoping to make finals, but they’re in a peculiar position where they’re not quite contending nor building for the future.