By Thomas Harrington
With the top 15 done, it’s time to turn our attention to teams picking between 16th and 20th overall in the upcoming NHL Entry Draft. At this point, we’ve now entered the territory of teams who made the playoffs but did not advance past the first or second round. Depending on how their postseason went, some teams might be willing to make a move if they think it will help put them over the top. Others might realize how far they have to go and decide to keep their pick.
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, Rickard Rakell, Hampus Lindholm, and John Gibson included in any deal. The sixth overall pick will not be involved in any deal, but the 27th overall pick will be in many of these. Players that Anaheim could be interested in with these picks include Seth Jarvis, Dylan Holloway, Braden Schneider, Rodion Amirov, and Jacob Perreault.
16th Pick – Montreal
The Montreal Canadiens defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Qualifying Round and then lost to the Philadelphia Flyers in the first round. They have the 16th pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. The Canadiens are a young team with a couple of stud veterans. Their roster looks pretty set for next season and they already have three second-round picks this year. They also have a number of young players who took some big steps during their short playoff run. With all that in mind, I don’t think they’d be very interested in making a deal with Anaheim for the 16th pick.
17th Pick – Chicago
The Chicago Blackhawks are picking 17th in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. Chicago is not the team it once was when they were among the NHL’s elite. However, they have a strong core and some young, up-and-coming players to be excited about. They are pretty well set at forward and defense, but aren’t particularly deep in the net. Corey Crawford will be a free agent, and even if he re-signs, they don’t have someone else ready to step in and be his backup. Their top goaltending prospect is probably Dominic Basse, but he was in the USHL this past season and is probably at least a few years away from the NHL.
So if a deal is to be made between Anaheim and Chicago, I think it will center around Lukas Dostal. He could be good enough to be a backup in the NHL this coming season, but if not then, he likely will be in the 2021-2022 season. Dostal alone won’t get Anaheim the 17th overall pick. Chicago would probably ask for the 27th overall pick, while Anaheim would counter with the 36th overall pick. I do think there could be a deal here, but I’m not sure which team’s proposal would work in the end.
18th Pick & 20th Picks- New Jersey
The New Jersey Devils have the 18th and 20th overall picks in the draft. Since they have two picks so close together, I’m going to combine them into one proposal. The difference in value between 18th and 20th likely won’t be huge, so it would probably take a similar deal to get either one from the Devils. Since the Devils have three picks in the first round, I could see them possibly trading one of these two picks and not taking back the 27th overall pick from Anaheim–if the rest of the deal is good enough, that is.
However, since the Devils don’t have a second-round pick, the deal that I’d offer is a simple one: the 27th overall pick and the 36th overall pick for the 18th or 20th overall pick. It would be a similar deal to the one that Anaheim almost made last year to climb up to 18th overall. The Ducks would only do this if there was a very specific player that they had in mind, and the Devils would only do this if there were multiple players who they thought were about the same and would still be available around the 27th pick.
19th Pick – Calgary
The Calgary Flames are picking 19th at the draft. Similar to the potential New Jersey deals, the 27th and 36th picks might be enough for Anaheim to get a second top 20 draft pick. However, Calgary is in more of a win-now mode than New Jersey is, and would probably be more interested in players than picks. The Flames currently only have three defensemen signed for next season, so if a deal is to be made, it would likely center around one of Anaheim’s young defenders. What Anaheim gives up would really depend on if Calgary was willing to trade out of the first round entirely. If they insist on taking back the 27th overall pick and staying in the first round, then Anaheim would want to give up a lower level defensive prospect, like Simon Benoit or Hunter Drew.
However, if Calgary would be willing to trade out of the first round entirely, then they could probably get more value out of the player they get from the Ducks. Right now, Anaheim’s top defensive prospect is probably Josh Mahura. If the Flames want him, they’d probably have to also forego the 36th overall pick and accept a third-round pick instead. If Calgary wants a high second-round pick, Anaheim would probably offer up Jacob Larsson. The Ducks currently have a large number of left-handed shooting defensemen and can afford to trade away one of Larsson or Mahura if it means getting a third first-round pick. I think the deal I like the best for Anaheim would be Larsson and the 36th overall pick for the 19th overall pick, but I think either of these proposals could get the ball rolling between these two teams.
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October 4th, 2020