The 2022 NHL draft is right around the corner, and for a number of teams, they already know they won’t be participating with their own first-round pick in round one. The trade deadline is less than a month away, but there are already seven franchises that have sent their first-rounder packing.
A lot of these teams on this list are contending for a championship, two aren’t but the rest are. So many teams go all-in at the deadline to win and they send first-round picks out the door to make that happen.
For every one of these teams on this list, each one recognized a need early on in the offseason or this season and took a chance sending their pick out the door for an asset that has helped put them in a position to contend. The Avalanche needed a goalie, the Flames needed another addition with experience in their top six, and the Panthers needed another addition to their forward group.
Let’s go over the seven NHL teams that traded away their 2022 first-round pick already.
1. The Chicago Blackhawks*
The Chicago Blackhawks traded their first-round pick away this past offseason when they acquired Seth Jones from the Columbus Blue Jackets. The pick is lottery protected so if the Hawks do win the draft lottery then they will send next year’s first-rounder. A team on the outside looking in and playing as bad as the Hawks are definitely would like their first-round pick back right about now.
2. The Calgary Flames
The Calgary Flames traded their first-round pick away a little over a week ago when they traded for Tyler Toffoli. This deal was made by a contending team trying to win it all and buy-in on a playoff run.
The Flames are one of the top teams in the Pacific Division and adding Toffoli only made them better. Their pick is top ten protected so if somehow they lose every game from here on out and have a pick in the top ten they can choose to send next year’s first-rounder instead.
3. The Montreal Canadiens*
It is rather amazing to see two teams, the Blackhawks and Canadiens, on this list considering how bad their seasons have been. The Canadiens traded their first-round pick to the Arizona Coyotes this September when they traded for Christian Dvorak in order to make up for losing Jesperi Kotkaniemi. The Canadiens were smarter than the Hawks though as their pick is top ten protected. Because of the condition that the pick they send to Arizona be top ten protected, they will hold onto their first-rounder in 2022. They have the option to send the Carolina Hurricanes first-rounder instead, which is a good segway into the next pick.
4. The Carolina Hurricanes
The Montreal Canadiens acquired the Carolina Hurricanes‘ first-round pick in September when they chose to not match the Hurricanes offer sheet for Jesperi Kotkaniemi. The Canadiens then used a first-round pick to add Dvorak to help out wash out the move. Kotkaniemi has put up 22 points in 47 games with the Hurricanes. The young forward was drafted third overall in 2018.
5. The Colorado Avalanche
Like a few other teams on this list, the Colorado Avalanche traded their first-round pick to the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for Darcy Kuemper. The Avalanche desperately needed a starting goalie after losing Philipp Grubauer who signed with the Seattle Kraken this past offseason. Kuemper is on the final year of his deal and one would expect the Avalanche would hope to re-sign him this offseason.
6. The Vegas Golden Knights
The average NHL fan might recall this trade. The Vegas Golden Knights sent their first-round pick to the Buffalo Sabres in a massive package for Jack Eichel. Eichel just recently played his first game for the Golden Knights. The Knights were smart to put a top ten protection on their pick but similar to the Flames that probably won’t be needed.
7. The Florida Panthers
Our final team that sent their first-round pick packing is the Florida Panthers. They sent their first-round pick to Buffalo this past July in a move that added Sam Reinhart to the club, who has found a new level in Florida.
Seven NHL teams are without their first-round pick, it will be interesting to see how many other teams we can add to this list after the trade deadline has come to an end.