Everyone and their brother is publishing mock drafts this week in advance of the NHL festivities occurring on Friday night and Saturday. I, too, would like to get in on the action. One thing I’ve noticed, though, is that almost no one is willing to guess what teams might trade up or down or into or out of the first round. Sure, lots of folks have been predicting such trades, but few combine that with a mock draft.
So, here is my mock draft complete with all the trades I think could be possible in the first round. Do I think all of these trades will happen? Of course not. But, in isolation, I can see the teams involved making each suggested move. Well, maybe not every one.
- Auston Matthews (C) – Arizona Coyotes
Trade with Maple Leafs for Dylan Strome, Christian Dvorak, 2016 #4 (from Oilers), 2016 #20, 2016 #53. Yes, really.
- Patrick Laine (LW) – Winnipeg Jets
Because if there’s a pick in the draft that has literally no chance of being traded, this one is it.
- Jesse Puljujarvi (RW) – Carolina Hurricanes
Trade with Blue Jackets for Nicolas Roy, 2016 #6, 2016 #43. ‘Canes figure they can part with their 2015 first round pick if it means getting a talent who can step right into the NHL. Pretty much all of hockey Twitter agrees.
- Matthew Tkachuk (LW) – Toronto Maple Leafs
See #1 and #7. Toronto will now have all three members of the London Knights best line in the 2016 Memorial Cup, plus Dylan Strome as their #1 centre of the future. And, Lou Lamoriello is just getting started.
- Pierre-Luc Dubois (C) – Montreal Canadiens
Trade with Canucks for Lars Eller and 2016 #9 because Jim Benning is good at drafting, but very bad at trading and should just stop doing the latter.
- Logan Brown (C) – Columbus Blue Jackets
See #3. Carolina acquires this pick from Calgary for Valentin Zykov, 2016 #13, 2016 #21 thereby demonstrating that Ron Francis might be diabolical in his ability to plan ahead. Flames still don’t have any goalies.
- Mikhail Sergachev (D) – Edmonton Oilers
Trade with Coyotes for 2016 #4. Also receive Ryan MacInnis, Kyle Wood, 2016 #68, 2017 2nd-round. Chiarelli ends up with two defense prospects, a forward prospect, an extra 3rd this year and an extra 2nd next. Arizona ends up with Matthews and an otherwise empty cupboard.
- Alex Nylander (LW) – New Jersey Devils
Trade with Sabres for Jon Merrill, 2016 #11, 2016 #73. In the first of Tim Murray’s moves, he turns this pick into the left-shot defenseman he covets, replaces the pick, and adds another.
- Olli Juolevi (D) – Colorado Avalanche
Trade with Vancouver Canucks for Tyson Barrie and 2016 #10. Also get Luca Sbisa and Alex Burrows. Joe Sakic might be worse at trading than Jim Benning.
- Clayton Keller (C) – Vancouver Canucks
See #9. Like I said, Benning is good at drafting.
- Jacob Chychrun (D) – Boston Bruins
Trade with Sabres for Alexander Khokhlachev, 2016 #14, 2017 3rd-round. Tim Murray continues his pocket picking – adds another scoring forward, replaces the pick, and adds another.
- Tyson Jost (C) – Calgary Flames
Trade with Red Wings for Tyler Wotherspoon and 2016 #13. Flames decide they can’t risk losing out on Jost. Ken Holland doesn’t bother to tell Treliving he wasn’t going to take him anyway. Flames still don’t have any goalies.
- Jake Bean (D) – Detroit Red Wings
Trade with Senators (for #12) for Teemu Pulkkinen, Ryan Sproul, rights to Pavel Datysuk, 2016 #16, 2016 #107, 2016 #167. Also receive Alex Chiasson and 2016 #163. The weirdest trade of the day lets both GMs, Dorion and Holland, say they got good value and they both might actually mean it.
- Keiffer Bellows (C) – Pittsburgh Penguins
Trade with Sabres for Marc-Andre Fleury, 2016 #55, 2016 #61. Also receive Robin Lehner. Murray flips his enigmatic starter for a solid, established one while Pittsburgh buys cap flexibility without asking Matt Murray to play next season without a safety net. Treliving is heard swearing loudly from elsewhere on the draft floor.
- Michael McLeod (C) – Anaheim Ducks
Trade with Wild for 2016 #24 and 2016 #30. Anaheim use their two first rounders to move up, just because they can.
- Dante Fabbro (D) – Nashville Predators
Trade with Ottawa for 2016 #17 and 2016 #78. The Predators love their defensemen and decide they can’t risk Ottawa taking Fabbro from them. Pierre Dorion doesn’t bother to tell Nashville’s David Poile he wasn’t going to anyway.
- Julien Gauthier (RW) – Ottawa Senators
See #12 and #16. We in the Senators fanbase hope that a new day is dawning in Ottawa’s front office. Turns out, though, that the brain trust still isn’t able to resist a hulking forward with “intangibles”.
- Max Jones (LW) – Philadelphia Flyers
This situation works out too perfectly as the almost quintessential Flyers forward falls into the teams lap, so the Flyers stay put at #18. Somewhere, Ed Snider smiles.
- Logan Stanley (D) – Montreal Canadiens
Trade with Islanders for Greg Pateryn, 2016 #35, 2016 #45. Someone suggested that Garth Snow won’t be able to just make his pick and then sit on his hands until Round 4. Meanwhile, Montreal looks to get value for a defenseman they could otherwise lose in the expansion draft. Marc Bergevin is once again considered a god in the Montreal media.
- Charlie McAvoy (D) – Toronto Maple Leafs
See #1 and #7. The Leafs really need a right-shot defenseman and they get one here. Plus, you didn’t think that Toronto would be happy with just one pick in the first round, did you? Just wait. Trader Lou isn’t done.
- Luke Kunin (C) – Minnesota Wild
See #15. Trade with Flames for Gustav Olofsson and 2016 #24. Wild get the strong centre they covet with a minimal sacrifice from their depth of young defensemen. Flames still don’t have any goalies.
- Pascal Laberge (C) – Tampa Bay Lightning
Trade with Winnipeg for Dominik Masin and 2016 #27. Lightning trade up to get a centre prospect to replace Stamkos. Sort of. They hope. Maybe one day.
- German Rubtsov (C) – Florida Panthers
Florida has no reason to trade up or down, so they use their new analytical model to take a flyer on the biggest question mark in the draft.
- Boris Katchouk (LW) – Calgary Flames
See #21. Flames get a “meat and potatoes” winger to complement their strong two-way centre. They also still don’t have any goalies.
- Kale Clague (D) – Winnipeg Jets
Trade with Stars for 2016 #27 and 2016 #36. Winnipeg continues to collect prospects like pogs.
- Filip Gustafsson (G) – Toronto Maple Leafs
Trade with Capitals for 2016 #31, 2016 #57, 2016 #72. Toronto completes the draft day hat trick by getting the top goalie on the board. Treliving is heard swearing loudly from elsewhere on the draft floor.
- Riley Tufte (LW) – Minnesota Wild
Trade with Stars for Jared Spurgeon and 2016 #30. Why on Earth would Dallas want Jared Spurgeon?
- Tage Thompson (RW) – Philadelphia Flyers
Trade with Blues for Philippe Myers, 2016 #48 and 2016 #52. Blues hope Myers becomes the second coming of Barrett Jackman in a few years. Philadelphia continues to draft big tough forwards. Somewhere, Ed Snider smiles.
- Alex DeBrincat (RW) – Dallas Stars
Trade with Bruins for Jared Spurgeon and 2016 #30. Also get 2016 #49. And, now you know why.
- Rasmus Asplund (C) – Boston Bruins
There you have it. In my mock draft, 27 of the 30 first round picks change hands, the best player the Senators get is 39 and plays in the KHL, and the Flames still don’t have any goalies.