By Thomas Harrington
It’s now time to turn our attention beyond the top 10. At this point of the first round, there will still be some very good prospects available, but usually things start to get a little murkier in terms of who is the better prospect. As an example, when the Anaheim Ducks picked at 27th last year, their hope was to get a prospect who they had in the top 20, and they were able to do that when they picked Jacob Larsson. So, with that in mind, unless there’s a prospect available who the Ducks feel has been looked over by some teams and will be gone soon, they probably won’t be giving up as much in a deal. The Ducks would probably be most interested in Logan Brown, Clayton Keller, German Rubstov, Tyson Jost, Kieffer Bellows, Brett Howden, and Michael McLeod.
As with my previous two entries, the focus of what Anaheim will be giving up will be on defense and in net, so one of Frederik Andersen or John Gibson, one of Sami Vatanen or Cam Fowler, Clayton Stoner, and/or Simon Despres will form the foundation of any potential deals.
Trading New Jersey For The 11th Pick
The New Jersey Devils hold the 11th overall pick. The Devils haven’t made the playoffs since losing to Los Angeles in the Stanley Cup Final back in 2012. In net, the Devils are set with Cory Schneider signed for $6 million a season for four more seasons. Despite having little postseason success, Schneider is seen as one of the better goaltenders in the league and New Jersey won’t be interested in Gibson or Andersen. On defense, the Devils only have Andy Greene, Adam Larsson, John Moore, and Damon Severson signed for next season, so the Devils will certainly be looking to improve their defensive core this summer. However, it’s on offense where the Devils need the most help, as they scored a league low 182 goals this past season. After how well the Kyle Palmieri trade worked out for them last season, they’d probably be interested in one of Anaheim’s young wingers.
Given their needs on both offense and defense, the Devils would probably like to work out a deal that brings both to them, but that would be giving up a lot for the 11th overall pick. Depending on who is left, I think trading up to the 11th pick makes sense for Anaheim if Brown is still available, though he may end up being a top 10 pick. The Ducks won’t be trading Fowler and something or Vatanen and something for the 11th overall pick, so a deal would have to start with Despres or Stoner to make this happen, unless New Jersey was sending more back to Anaheim. Given the low amount of prospects on the left side, the Ducks probably wouldn’t include Nic Kerdiles in a deal, but maybe Stefan Noesen or Nick Sorensen would work.
The Devils desperately need right wingers in their prospect pool (they currently have one according to Hockeysfuture.com), so that might be enough. So, the deal would be Despres and Sorensen or Stoner and Noesen for the 11th overall pick. In one, the Devils get a better defender but a prospect who isn’t quite as good. In the other, the Devils get a bottom pairing defenseman who plays a physical brand of hockey and blocks shots, as well as a right winger who was a former first round pick a few years ago. In order to make the Stoner deal work, the Ducks’ third round pick might need to be thrown in as well.
Trading Ottawa For The 12th Pick
Next up is the Ottawa Senators. After acquiring Bobby Ryan from the Ducks three years ago, Ottawa has been up and down in the standings and failed to qualify for the playoffs in two of the last three seasons. Ryan hasn’t quite lived up to his billing since he was acquired, but did put up 56 points and play in 81 games last season. While the Ducks haven’t won the Cup yet, it’s fair to say that, as a team, they’ve had more success, and Jakob Silfverberg has become a key part of the lineup next to Ryan Kesler. Injuries have hurt Noesen, but he’s still a highly rated prospect, and Nick Ritchie is the best forward prospect the Ducks currently have.
In net, Ottawa is set with Craig Anderson and Andrew Hammond, though both are older than Andersen and Gibson, so a trade could be made there, but it’s not likely. On defense, the Senators have Norris Finalist Erik Karlsson leading the charge, along with Dion Phaneuf, Marc Methot, Mark Borowiecki, Chris Wideman, and restricted free agent Cody Ceci. With their top six and goaltending pretty much set for the upcoming season, there’s probably not a deal for the Ducks to move up to the 12th pick, so on we go.
Trading Carolina For The 13th Pick
The Carolina Hurricanes hold the 13th overall pick. Carolina is a team that has struggled for several seasons and failed to make the playoffs since losing in the Eastern Conference Final way back in 2009. Gone is Eric Staal, and Cam Ward will almost assuredly leave this summer as a free agent, the last remnants of their Stanley Cup Championship from 2006. With Ward most likely gone, the Hurricanes will definitely be looking for help in net, though they may be interested only in a backup if they decide to give Eddie Lack the starter’s job this season. On defense, the Hurricanes have James Wisniewski, Justin Faulk, Ron Hainsey, Noah Hanifin, Jaccob Slavin, Brett Pesce, and restricted free agents Ryan Murphy and Michal Jordan. However, both Wisniewski and Hainsey will be free agents in a year’s time, so Carolina could be looking for defensemen signed beyond this season. Hanifin will be a future top pairing player, if not a true number one, and he and Faulk should give Carolina two pieces to build around for years to come.
So the Hurricanes will probably be more interested in complementary defensemen signed for a number of years. Despres fits both of those points, and is still quite young. Despres alone might be enough to move up to the 13th overall pick, but only if there’s someone there who the Ducks really like. Given Carolina’s future needs on the backend and a second goaltender, a deal could be made here, but I think it unlikely.
Trading Boston For The 14th Pick
Checking in with the 14th overall pick is the Boston Bruins. Boston is an interesting team. In net, they should be set with Tuukka Rask manning the pipes. However, they did acquire Martin Jones from Los Angeles last year, before flipping him to San Jose, so trading a goaltender to the Bruins isn’t out of the question, though unlikely. They also made a number of trades leading up to and at the draft last year, and it saw Boston make three first round picks in a row. The Bruins’ defensive core is aging, led by the giant Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg. After them, the Bruins have Adam McQuaid and Kevan Miller signed for next season, while Torey Krug, Joe Morrow, and Colin Miller are all restricted free agents.
So what does all this mean? With Boston, I honestly have no idea. Given the aging Chara and Seidenberg, they definitely need some young talent on the backend, especially after trading away Dougie Hamilton a year ago. So the Bruins would be happy with either of Fowler or Vatanen, but would have to give up more than the 14th pick for that deal to work. The Bruins do have a second round pick, but if the Ducks do trade Fowler or Vatanen at this point in the draft, I do think they’ll want to get more than just picks back in any deal they make. However, since Anaheim doesn’t have a second round pick this year, maybe the two picks would be enough. I think it more likely the Ducks would be asking for a forward prospect back, and my pick of Boston’s prospects would probably be Jake DeBrusk, a first round pick from a year ago. So the deal would be Fowler or Vatanen for the 14th overall pick and DeBrusk. I doubt Boston would go for it, but given their crazy trades from a year ago, it’s possible.
Trading Minnesota For The 15th Pick
The Minnesota Wild hold the 15th overall pick in this year’s draft. The Wild hold very few picks in this year’s draft: a first, a fourth, and two sevenths, meaning it will be hard to pry that round pick a way, although if Anaheim’s first round pick goes back in the deal, then maybe Minnesota would be more open to a potential deal. In net, the Wild have Devan Dubnyk signed for the next several years and Darcy Kuemper is a restricted free agent. So Minnesota won’t be too interested in Andersen or Gibson right now. On defense, the Wild have Ryan Suter, Jared Spurgeon, Jonas Brodin, Marco Scandella, and restricted free agent Mathew Dumba. Besides having so many players signed on defense, the Wild already have over $22 million tied up in their defense, and that’s without Dumba’s new contract. So the most likely way the Ducks could grab this pick, is with picks of their own. Since Anaheim has no second round pick, the deal would have to be the 24th overall pick and a third round pick for the 15th overall pick. I doubt that’s enough and I don’t think the Ducks will be trading up for the 15th overall pick.
There just aren’t a lot of deals for the Ducks to make for the 11th through 15th picks in the draft this year. Minnesota and Ottawa appear set in net and on defense, while Carolina appears set for this season, but could make a deal with an eye towards the future. After going crazy at the draft last year, who knows what Boston will do, leaving New Jersey as the most likely trade candidate with the 11th overall pick. Again, given how well the Palmieri trade worked out for them a year ago, maybe they’d be interested in another trade with Anaheim.
Next up, I’ll take a look at teams picking from 16th to 20th and see if there are any deals for the Ducks to make there.
Randy Carlyle To Return To Anaheim
According to ESPN’s John Buccigross and TSN’s Darren Dreger, the Anaheim Ducks are expected to announce the return of Randy Carlyle as early as tomorrow. We’ll have a detailed report when the new coach is officially announced.
Want to be an Editor or Writer? Join The Puck Network!
DucksNPucks is part of The Puck Network, which covers the entire NHL. There are openings to cover your favorite team(s) and earn school credits! If you are interested, then apply by filling out the form here: Join Our Team