According to Luke Fox of Sportsnet, there are four teams he believes are worth keeping an eye on as trade talk swirls around the NHL marketplace over the next couple of weeks. The key reason Fox says to watch for them, is because they have extra draft picks and they may be willing to move them. In some cases, those teams also have cap space which makes them incredibly dangerous in terms of the types of moves they could potentially pull off.
Those four teams are the New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators, Anaheim Ducks and New Jersey Devils.
Rangers Likely to Move a First Round-Pick
Because the Rangers won the NHL Draft Lottery, they are more apt to trade their second first-round pick. Drafting No.1 overall means the Rangers are guaranteed to be among the designated group of “winners at the draft” on Day 1. There’s virtually no way that Alex Lafreniere won’t turn into a good NHL player. As such, the Rangers can afford to move their No. 22 selection.
That pick was obtained from Carolina in the Brady Skjei trade and if the Rangers can use it to add a roster player, they’ll move up their “rebuild” even that much faster. The team doesn’t have a lot of cap room as they have to sign a handful of free agents, but they’ll have the luxury of looking around and seeing what’s out there before committing to anyone.
According to Fox, the Rangers are looking for centre depth or help on the left side of its blueline. If they can find it, that No. 22 pick could be gone.
Ducks Are Growing Impatient
Anaheim Ducks GM Bob Murray has already noted that he didn’t like the way his team performed last season and that he kicked tires on Kasperi Kapanen seems to show he’s willing to make deals for the sake of making deals.
The Ducks have picks #6 and #27 in this year’s draft and it shouldn’t shock anyone if they trade both. It would likely be a mistake to move the #6 pick in a deep draft, but if teams come knocking with offers that are hard to refuse, Murray might be the GM most willing to contemplate a deal.
Devils Have Incredible Flexibility
The New Jersey Devils own picks #7, 18 and 20 and they’re cap flexible heading into this coming season (not a lot of teams can say that). New GM Tom Fitzgerald needs to build around his young core and find talented players to give his franchise a chance to sniff at the postseason. Could picks 18 and 20 be flipped for real players, that teams don’t want to lose but who might be making more money than an organization can afford?
Savvy teams are going to see some strong players shake loose this summer. Just look at the fact that Nick Bjugstad was traded for what could amount to no actual return on Friday. That’s a sign of things to come.
What could the Devils get for first-rounders if they’re willing to take on some money?
Senators Could Be Talk of Offseaon With 13 Total Picks
Because the Ottawa Senators have picks # 3, 5 and 28 in this year’s draft, expect them to be in a lot of conversations. In fact, expect hockey insiders to talk about the Senators near the draft more than perhaps any other team.
GM Pierre Dorion will be in a unique position to move picks for really good players and the Senators have a ton of cap space to add roster members, mostly because they have so few players actually signed for next season and beyond.
Don’t expect them to move the #3 pick, but the #5 and #28 picks could be used to get something quite useful — someone would have to wow the Senators to get #5 though.
The Sens have nine picks in the first three rounds and 13 in total so it’s very unlikely they keep them all and picks in this particular offseason could hold huge value. “We know we’re going to get two impactful players,” Dorion said. After that, it sounds like he’s open for business.
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