By Thomas Harrington
With the top 10 picks gone, it’s time to turn our attention to the teams picking from 11th through 15th and if there are any teams that Anaheim might be interested in making a deal with. I’ll follow the same criteria as before, so you won’t see Ryan Getzlaf, Adam Henrique, Jakob Silfverberg, David Backes, Cam Fowler, Josh Manson, and John Gibson included in any deal.
With the top 10 past, I will also no longer include Rickard Rakell or Hampus Lindholm in any proposals. With no Rakell or Lindholm involved in any deals, it’s unlikely the Ducks get a third first-round pick unless they use one of their young players or prospects. A third first-round pick would be great, but I don’t think the players available after the top 10 will be worth Rakell or Lindholm unless the Ducks are getting back more than just a first-round pick. I also don’t see the Ducks trading down from the sixth position to a spot outside of the top 10, so the sixth overall pick won’t be included in any of these deals either. However, the 27th overall pick acquired from Boston will be very much in play. Players that Anaheim could target with picks in this range include Jack Quinn, Anton Lundell, Dawson Mercer, Kaiden Guhle, Noel Gunler, and Connor Zary.
11th Pick – Nashville
The Nashville Predators hold the 11th overall pick after losing in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers to the Arizona Coyotes. The Predators are a veteran team who need some young talent, so I don’t think they would trade away the 11th overall pick. It would probably take a player like Sam Steel or Max Jones and more to make this happen. For Anaheim, that’s a steep price to pay, especially since the player taken 11th overall is probably at least a year or two away from making it to the NHL. Steel and Jones still have a ways to go before they live up to their own first-round selections, but both have played well enough to establish themselves in the NHL and the Ducks will be hoping for big things from them next season. Could this type of deal happen? It could, but I think it unlikely and don’t really see a deal working out between these two teams.
12th Pick – Florida
The Florida Panthers have the 12th overall pick. The Panthers are a hard team to figure out. They’ve got a great, young core that was created by several high draft picks, including three top three picks in a four-year span from 2011 to 2014. With so much talent, they really should be better than they have been, but they lost in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers to the New York Islanders. I think the Panthers have three options. First, make no major move and hope this team can do better next season. Second, blow it up and start over. Third, trade some prospects and picks to try to supplement their current roster. I don’t know what they’ll choose, but I’m going to go with option three and see if a deal can be worked out between the Ducks and Panthers.
Florida is set in net. They also have four defensemen signed through the 2021-2022 season and three others who will be restricted free agents over the next couple of seasons. It’s at forward where Florida could be looking for help. Similar to Nashville, I don’t think that the Ducks would want to trade a Steel or Jones to move up to this spot, and I think Florida would prefer players who are a little more established in the NHL. With no Rakell coming from Anaheim, the Ducks don’t have a ton to offer, but they do have a couple of new players who could get this conversation started: Danton Heinen or Sonny Milano. Neither alone would get the 12th overall pick, so the Ducks would have to offer up more.
For Florida, they already have a ton of offensive skill, so I think that Heinen would be more attractive to them; he is a more well-rounded player than Milano is. Adding to that, I’d have Anaheim include their second-round pick, 36th overall. For Florida, it would hurt to trade out of the first round, but getting a player like Heinen would help them immediately. The 36th overall pick is still a pretty good spot to pick from. However, Heinen and a second might not be enough for Florida to trade out of the first round. They could instead ask for Anaheim’s second first-round pick, 27th overall. Heinen and the 27th overall pick is a steep price for Anaheim to pay. I do think a deal could be worked out between the two teams, but I also think at least one side would probably be giving up too much.
13th Pick – Carolina
The Carolina Hurricanes hold the 13th overall pick, acquired from Toronto when they took on Patrick Marleau’s contract. The Hurricanes have a pretty deep roster with no obvious holes at forward or defense, however, they aren’t incredibly deep in the net. While James Reimer and Petr Mrazek both played well during the playoffs, neither is viewed as a goalie who can carry a team on a deep playoff run. While Gibson won’t be traded, the Ducks do have a valuable trade chip in net, Lukas Dostal. Dostal has become Anaheim’s top goaltending prospect since being drafted in 2018. While he’s not quite ready for the NHL, I do think he would become Carolina’s top goaltending prospect. Dostal alone wouldn’t be enough to get this deal done though. It’s doubtful that Carolina would want to trade out of the first round entirely.
So the deal would be Dostal and the 27th overall pick for the 13th overall pick. If Carolina really believes that Dostal can become a bonafide starting goaltender, then this is a great deal for them. But, if they have concerns about his future, then it’s not a very good one. As with all prospects, projecting their future is a guess at best. I do think this is a deal that could work out very well for both teams and could at least get the conversation going between both sides.
14th Pick – Edmonton
The Edmonton Oilers have the 14th overall pick and do not pick again until the fifth round. As a result, I do think they are a team who would consider trading down if it meant getting extra picks in a draft they only have four picks in. At the 2019 NHL Draft, the Ducks almost traded the 39th overall pick and the 29th overall pick for the 18th overall pick. However, Vegas chose Peyton Krebs 17th overall, Anaheim’s target, so the deal fell through. With that in mind, the Oilers might be open to trading down from the 14th pick to the 27th overall pick and the 36th overall pick. The Oilers would be dropping back 13 spots, so they might ask for a little more than that. Maybe a later round pick or mid-level prospect.
So the deal would be the 27th overall pick, the 36th overall pick, and either a fourth-round pick or a prospect like Jack Badini. If Anaheim really likes someone who is available at 14th overall, this is a great deal for them. However, if they think they can get a player of relatively comparable value at 27th overall, then it doesn’t make much sense.
15th Pick – Toronto
The Pittsburgh Penguins initially held the 15th overall pick, but they traded it to Toronto towards the end of August after both teams were eliminated in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers. Toronto had given up their own first-round pick to Carolina, which ended up being 13th overall. Given that Toronto was able to trade back into the first round, I don’t see them trading away this pick unless they are absolutely blown away with what’s offered, so I don’t see a deal working out between Anaheim and Toronto.
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October 3rd, 2020