By Thomas Harrington
Now that we’ve moved beyond the top 15 picks, it’s time to turn our attention to the teams who made the playoffs this season. These next five teams were all ousted in the first or second round and will want to go further next season. So some of them may be more willing to give up a first round pick to upgrade their current roster to make that happen. 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.
Calgary (16th pick)
The Calgary Flames were a trendy upset pick, but were swept by Anaheim in the first round of the playoffs. They hold the 16th overall pick. The Flames only have four defensemen signed for next season, but TJ Brodie, Dougie Hamilton, and Mark Giordano are all signed for three or more years. The addition of Vatanen would set their top four for at least the next three seasons. However, as division rivals, it’s unlikely the Flames would give Anaheim a first round pick and it’s unlikely the Ducks would give Calgary a top four defenseman. It could happen, but I don’t think a deal happens between these two teams.
Toronto (17th pick)
For the first time since before the 2004-2005 lockout, there is hope in Toronto. The reason? The Maple Leafs have an incredible rookie class, led by Auston Matthews. They hold the 17th overall pick, and it’s safe to say that their rebuild is ahead of schedule. However, the rebuild is still ongoing, and I’d be shocked if they traded out of the first round. They’ve got a great young team, and should only get better. However, the Maple Leafs and Ducks have a very recent trading history, as Frederik Andersen and Jonathan Bernier were exchanged last summer, and Anaheim acquired Jhonas Enroth from Toronto in January. This is another team where I could see a player for player swap happening, but I don’t think the 17th overall pick will be making its way to Anaheim.
Boston (18th pick)
The Boston Bruins lost to Ottawa in the first round and have the 18th overall pick. The Bruins missed the playoffs the previous two seasons, so a return to the postseason was a good step for them. However, the Bruins are a veteran team who expect to be competing for the Stanley Cup. They have seven defensemen signed for next season, and five of them for two or more, so there isn’t a ton of room for Vatanen. He could certainly help their team, but the Bruins might actually need more help at forward. They have nine signed for next season, though they do have several restricted free agents and that could fill out their roster. Boston does need help, but I don’t think Anaheim has what Boston wants, at least where the 18th pick is concerned.
San Jose (19th pick)
After losing to Pittsburgh in the Stanley Cup Final a year ago, the Sharks lost to Edmonton in the first round this season. They hold the 19th overall pick. With Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau’s contracts expiring on July 1st, this could be a summer of change for San Jose. However, I don’t think that change will start with the Sharks trading their first round pick to Anaheim. These two rivals rarely make a deal, and when they do, it’s usually a minor one. The last time a deal was made, Anaheim sent Travis Moen and Kent Huskins to San Jose for a pick, goalie Timo Pielmeier, and Nick Bonino. This deal ended up being a steal for Anaheim because of Bonino, but at the time, most weren’t happy with sending Moen to the rival Sharks.
St. Louis (20th pick)
The St. Louis Blues have made the playoffs every year starting in 2012. The made the Western Conference Finals a year ago, but fell in the second round to Nashville this season and hold the 20th overall pick. They also have a second first round pick because of the trade with Washington, so they may be more likely to trade one of their two picks than other teams. Of the teams who made it to the second round, they have the best pick. The Blues currently have five defensemen signed for next season. However, Colton Parayko is a restricted free agent and will likely get a long-term extension from St. Louis. If Parayko signs an offer sheet, or the Blues decide he’ll be too expensive for them, then there could be a deal between Anaheim and St. Louis. Even if Parayko stays in St. Louis, with the trade of Kevin Shattenkirk at the deadline, there is a hole in the Blues’ top four, a hole that Vatanen could definitely fill. For the Blues to get Vatanen, they’d need to offer up more than the 20th pick; they’d need to offer up a pretty good prospect or player. Tage Thompson would be nice, but I think it’s unlikely that St. Louis trades the recent first round pick. However, someone like Jordan Schmaltz or Jordan Kyrou might do it. So the deal would start with Vatanen for the 20th pick and Schmaltz or Kyrou, with more pieces possibly needed.
Next, I’ll take a look at potential deals with the teams drafting from 21st to 25th overall.
If you missed the other articles about trading into the top fifteen then check them out below.
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June 12th, 2017