By Thomas Harrington
With the top 10 done, it’s time to turn our attention to teams picking between 11th and 15th in the upcoming NHL Entry Draft and what potential deals, if any, the Ducks could make to get into the first round. As a reminder, you won’t see Ryan Getzlaf, Ryan Kesler, Corey Perry, Kevin Bieksa, Antoine Vermette, Andrew Cogliano, Rickard Rakell, Jakob Silfverberg, Josh Manson, John Gibson, Cam Fowler, Simon Despres, Hampus Lindholm, Shea Theodore, and Brandon Montour in any of these proposals. The players who I think Anaheim would most likely deal are Sami Vatanen, Clayton Stoner, Ondrej Kase, and Chris Wagner, as well as any of their picks and a number of their prospects.
Los Angeles (11th pick)
After winning their second Stanley Cup in 2014, the Los Angeles Kings have won one playoff game over the last three seasons. As a result, some big changes were made this summer when they fired their coach and general manager. The Ducks and Kings rarely make trades together. In fact, the last time these two teams made a deal was in 2008, when Anaheim sent Sean O’Donnell to Los Angeles. As rivals, they don’t like helping each other out. It could happen, but I don’t think a deal for the 11th overall pick will happen between these two teams.
Carolina (12th pick)
The Carolina Hurricanes have not qualified for the playoffs since 2009 and will be picking 12th overall. Similar to other teams with long playoff droughts, the Hurricanes have a ton of young talent throughout their roster, with Noah Hanifin, Justin Faulk, Jeff Skinner, Victor Rask, and Elias Lindholm leading the way. Carolina currently has six defensemen signed for next season, but Faulk is the only one signed for longer than a year. With so much potential turnover on Carolina’s defense, it’s a safe bet that Carolina will likely be looking to bring in some new players on the backend. The Hurricanes also only have seven forwards signed for next season, though they do have a couple of restricted free agents to fill in some of those spots, so they could be interested in a forward or two as well. However, at this point, with Carolina picking outside the top 10, Anaheim may not be willing to give up as much to make the trade. Vatanen alone would almost certainly be enough, but Anaheim might want more in return. Instead, maybe the Ducks could try and make a deal centering around Kase. If the Ducks sent Kase, one of their second round picks, and a defensive prospect like Jaycob Megna or Keaton Thompson, that might get it done. Carolina would get a good young forward, a defensive prospect who isn’t too far from making it to the NHL, as well as a draft pick, while Anaheim would get a pick in the first half of the first round. Those three pieces might still not be enough, but that wouldn’t be a bad way to get the conversation started between these two teams.
Winnipeg (13th pick)
The Winnipeg Jets are a franchise desperately trying to make some headway in the playoffs. Since moving from Atlanta, the Jets have made the playoffs just once, and were swept in the first round by Anaheim. As a result, they may be more likely to trade their pick to get some playoff success, and upgrading their defense would be the place to start. They have seven defensemen signed for next season, but only two, Dustin Byfuglien and Tyler Myers, signed for more than a year. Winnipeg also has one of the best prospect pools in the NHL, giving them another reason to consider moving their first round pick. Vatanen would certainly be an upgrade to their top four, plus give their backend some more stability over the next few seasons. However, the Ducks might ask for more from Winnipeg if they give up Vatanen in a deal. The deal would be Vatanen for the 13th overall pick and a prospect like Jansen Harkins or Erik Foley. The Ducks might need to add in something else make the deal work, but it’s good place to start from.
Tampa Bay (14th pick)
Tampa Bay was one of the more disappointing teams in the NHL last season, as many picked them to go deep in the playoffs. Instead, they were never able to put it together, missed the playoffs, and have the 14th overall pick. There’s a reason so many picked Tampa to be one of the better teams in the east this season; they’ve got an incredibly deep roster. They only have four defensemen signed for next season, so it’s possible they could be interested in Vatanen, but I don’t think it will be for the 14th pick. Like Colorado, I wouldn’t be surprised to see these two teams make a deal, but I don’t think the 14th pick will be involved.
New York Islanders (15th pick)
A year ago, the New York Islanders won their first playoff series since 1993, but they weren’t able to build on that momentum and missed the playoffs this season. They will pick 15th overall. The Islanders have one of the best forwards in the game: John Tavares. He’s surrounded by a decent collection of talent, but as of right now, the Islanders do not have an elite winger to go with Tavares. Maybe there will be one available with the 15th overall pick, maybe there won’t be, or maybe they’ve already drafted one.The Ducks can’t offer an elite winger, so I don’t think a deal will happen here. Kase is a good young winger, but I don’t think he’s what the Islanders are looking for, and I would be shocked if the Ducks dealt either Silfverberg or Rakell to move into the first round.
Next up, I’ll take a look at the teams drafting from 16th to 20th overall.
If you missed the other articles about trading into the top ten then check them out below.
And for more draft and trade analysis, listen to our latest podcast below!
Want to start your sports media career? Then 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. What are you waiting for? Start your sports media career TODAY!
June 9th, 2017