NHL Draft Day: Picks, Trades, Steals


The 2015 NHL Draft day is finally upon its. Reporters, NHL teams’ management, and draftees and their families have all flocked to Sunrise, Fla. in utter anticipation for this weekend’s events. It is the day that Connor McDavid, Jack Eichel, and the rest of today’s high picks have dreamed about since they laced up their skates and took the ice for the first time. Today is when their dreams finally come true.

While we will all look on and watch that happen tonight, we have a full day of chaos headed our way. That’s right. Today is the Black Friday and Christmas Eve of the NHL offseason. It is when last-minute deals and trades are made, and bargains are found.

What should we expect? Well, the unexpected of course.

Anything or nothing we fancy can happen. But there is a lot of chatter and the day has just begun. I am certain we will see teams make some big splashes. So, while tonight we will focus on the 18- and 19-year-olds, right now we will look at the NHL talent that may find themselves a new home for next season.

Cam Talbot:

This almost seems like a certainty. New York Rangers backup goaltender Cam Talbot will be dealt. It was reported that the Rangers have given five teams permission to speak with the goaltender. The teams trying to woo him are the Edmonton Oilers, San Jose Sharks, Calgary Flames, Dallas Stars, and Buffalo Sabres. That’s a lot of suitors showing interest in the 27-year-old and it is likely that one of these teams will offer the Rangers something they want. It is only a matter of time before he gets moved.

Phil Kessel

Toronto Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan said that the team will take its time when dealing Phil Kessel (if they do it at all). I get that. But I still expect the Leafs to make a big splash today. They do want a lot for Kessel, which I have explained makes sense. And I think they will get a lot for him. Everyone in the League knows what he is capable of and other teams will have to put up the goods if they want to capture the right winger. 

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Today might be the day some Leafs’ fans rejoice while others breakdown as they see Kessel leave Toronto and take his talents elsewhere. Why? Well I would think Toronto is looking for a first-round pick (along with talent) in exchange for Kessel.

Even if Kessel stays today, the Leafs are still likely to be active. They are rebuilding and that takes a lot of change and effort to pull off. Today is a perfect day to start the process!

Patrick Sharp

Still celebrating his recent Stanley Cup win, Patrick Sharp’s elation may be cut short tonight. The Chicago Blackhawks’ salary cap woes are front and center and one way to alleviate them is to trade the veteran. Sharp has garnered interest from the Washington Capitals, Florida Panthers, Arizona Coyotes and Pittsburgh Penguins to name a few.

He is not the only cap casualty, but he is one of the hottest commodities. Sharp’s teammate Brian Bickell may also leave the team today.

Talbot, Kessel and Sharp are probably the three most coveted players to be moved either today, this weekend or in the near future. Other veteran players that can find new homes (based on rumors and speculation) are Ryan O’Reilly, who has failed to reach a contract with the Colorado Avalanche, Vancouver Canucks goaltender Eddie Lack, St. Louis Blues T.J. Oshie, and New York Islanders Kyle Okposo.

Aside from talent moving around, I expect to see the Arizona Coyotes give up the third overall pick. It will help the team, which is in dire need of rebuilding. The Boston Bruins and Columbus Blue Jackets are two teams that can (or have) made enticing offers. Look, the Coyotes need help and this seems like a no-brainer. Getting more out of the pick than just one player, while still being able to get a first-rounder, will set the Yotes up better than just adding Noah Hanifin or whomever they were thinking of picking third. It just seems like the most logical choice: trade the pick.

But what would draft day be without fans being blindsided by major moves, crazy deals, and all those sneaky steals? We have only heard whispers of what may happen, but what will actually happen? Well, we’ll have to periodically refresh our browsers and conduct Google searches, or stayed glued to the sports radio stations, trade center websites or our television sets to find out.

So, everyone get ready because it’s draft day—a day when anything and everything we want, fear and loath happens and takes us on a rollercoaster ride of emotions.

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