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NHL Draft: Trading Up Into 21st – 28th
By Thomas Harrington
With the top 20 done, it’s time to turn our attention to teams picking between 21st and 28th overall in the upcoming NHL Entry Draft and what potential deals, if any, the Ducks could make to move up in the first round. I’ll follow the same criteria as before, so you won’t see Ryan Getzlaf, Ryan Kesler, Patrick Eaves, Cam Fowler, Rickard Rakell, Josh Manson, John Gibson, Hampus Lindholm, Ondrej Kase, and Jakob Silfverberg in any of the below deals.
The players who I think Anaheim would most likely deal are Nick Ritchie, Adam Henrique, Daniel Sprong, and Devin Shore, as well as various prospects and picks. Prospects that could be available who Anaheim could be interested in include Patrik Puistola, Thomas Harley, Vasili Podkolzin, Anttoni Honka, Raphael Lavoie, Moritz Seider, Alex Vlasic, Nicholas Robertson, Robert Mastrosimone, Victor Soderstrom, Ville Heinola, Mikko Kokkonen, Jakob Pelletier, Maxim Cajkovic, and Bobby Brink.
As the pick gets closer and closer to where Anaheim is picking, what Anaheim is willing to give up will be less and less. So there won’t be any more deals of the 29th pick and Henrique to move up. Instead, it’ll either be the 29th pick and a lower pick or prospect, or Henrique and a lower pick or prospect. A big determination will be whether or not I think a team is willing to trade out of the first round.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have the 21st overall pick. They were swept by the New York Islanders and it seems like this could be a summer of change for them. With that in mind, I highly doubt they trade down from this point unless all of the players they really like are taken in the top 20. Still, I don’t really see a deal being made with Pittsburgh.
The Los Angeles Kings have the 22nd overall pick, acquired from Toronto for Jake Muzzin. It will be Los Angeles’ second pick of the first round, so they might consider trading it to upgrade their team, but it won’t be with Anaheim.
The New York Islanders have the 23rd overall pick. After beating Pittsburgh, they were swept by the Carolina Hurricanes in the second round. The Islanders had a ton of players heading to free agency this summer, but they’ve re-signed both Brock Nelson and Jordan Eberle. However, Anders Lee is still unsigned. If the Islanders don’t think they’ll sign Lee, I think that they could be interested in Henrique. Henrique alone won’t get the 23rd overall pick, but I think if the Ducks offered up Henrique, the 39th overall pick, and a 2020 3rd round pick, that could at least get the teams talking. That might even be too much from Anaheim’s perspective. The Islanders would get a solid center, plus two more picks. The Ducks would get a third first-round pick.
The Nashville Predators hold the 24th overall pick. They’re a veteran team and have been willing to trade picks in the past to try and get over the top. The Predators have a very deep offense, but goals dried up for them in the playoffs, so I think that they might be interested in a player like Sprong. Trading Sprong and the 29th pick might be a bit too much for Anaheim. So the deal I would offer is Sprong and the 39th overall pick. I’m not sure if that would be enough, so either another pick, like a 2020 3rd rounder or a prospect, like Alex Dostie, might get it done. If the Predators don’t want to trade out of the first round, then the Ducks might offer up the 29th pick along with a 2020 3rd rounder, but I’m not sure if either team would be completely satisfied with that deal.
The Washington Capitals will pick 25th. After winning the Cup in 2018, they bowed out in seven games to the Carolina Hurricanes. Having won once, I have no doubt that they’d make a move to win again. However, Washington’s offense is its strength, so I’m not sure they’d be interested in any of Anaheim’s forwards. The Capitals could consider trading down, but again, I don’t think the Ducks would want to trade the 29th pick and the 39th pick to move up just a few spots. Instead, Anaheim could offer up their 2020 second or third round pick, along with the 29th overall pick, for Washington’s 25th pick.
The Calgary Flames are picking 26th overall. The Flames need help in net, and none of Anaheim’s goaltender prospects could help them right now. Similar to Washington, if the Flames were willing to trade down a few spots, Anaheim could offer up a 2020 second or third round pick, or a lower level prospect.
After having a historically great season, the Tampa Bay Lightning were swept in the first round and have the 27th overall pick. Honestly, I have no idea what the Lightning are going to do this summer. I think the only way that Anaheim gets this pick is if the Bolts are willing to trade down a couple spots. It’s possible, but I think they keep this pick as they try and figure out what went wrong and build for the future.
Carolina will pick immediately before the Ducks. The Hurricanes made it to the Conference Finals, where they were swept by the Boston Bruins. They’ve got a very good, young team and I think they would consider trading this pick if they thought the player they get back could help them get back to the final four. Carolina is pretty deep at center, but they might be interested in Sprong or Shore. In Sprong, they add a scorer to their already potent offense. In Shore, they get a versatile player who can play up and down the lineup and kill penalties. Given how Boston’s powerplay absolutely took advantage of Carolina’s penalty kill, I think that’s something they’ll be more interested in.
So the deal would be Shore and another pick or prospect for the 28th overall pick. This is something that I think Anaheim would be interested in, as long as Carolina doesn’t ask for a high pick or prospect for the second piece of the deal. If that doesn’t work, the teams could swap first round picks, but Anaheim wouldn’t want to give up that much to move up one spot. Maybe a 2020 third round pick, or a low-level prospect might do it, but I don’t know if Carolina would really be interested in a deal like that. So if a deal is made with Carolina, I think it will center around Shore and another piece.
While it’s unlikely that the Ducks trade up at the draft or get a third first-round pick, and even more unlikely to trade into the top five, it’s still fun to take a look and see what might happen. While it’s possible that one of these presented ideas might be close to an actual deal, if the Ducks do make a trade, it’s much more likely going to be something that surprises all of us. This is written for fun and I hope you had a good time thinking about potential trades between Anaheim and the other teams drafting ahead of them.
Look for my prediction of who I think the Ducks will draft with the 9th and 29th overall picks tomorrow.
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June 19th, 2018