This year’s draft will be very active with numerous teams looking to move up in the draft, acquire a first round pick and/or player from an NHL roster. Edmonton and St. Louis have three first-round picks apiece while Montreal, Washington and Phoenix have a pair of first-round selections. There are six teams that don’t have a first-round pick at all. Yes! I said 6 teams!!! (Dallas, San Jose, New Jersey, NY Islanders, Buffalo, Atlanta). Can you imagine the imbalance this will create with these teams attempting to add a first round pick or having the ability to improve their current roster by trading their abundances of picks. Edmonton and St.Louis will be very active on draft day as they will not use their three 1st round picks in a weak talent pool. I also believe Washington, Phoenix and Montreal will entertain trade offers if they can improve their current NHL roster. As Brian Burke states:
“I think you’ll see a bunch of movement because it’s a strange draft,” said Burke. “We have the 16th pick, we are perfectly willing to move up and perfectly willing to move down. So we’ve already thrown some scenarios to teams.”
Kevin Lowe also told reporters at Columbus:
“I’m making a lot of calls, and if there’s a premier player we can get for a draft pick, I’d consider it,” he added. “We’re not trading a first-round draft pick for an older guy with only one year left on his contract, though.”
Bob Gainey has some financial flexibility with Samsonov gone and Sheldon Souray as good as gone. The Canadiens still have to sign Tomas Plekanec and Michael Ryder but have signed most of their prospects. Gainey was extremely busy leading up to the draft so you can expect him to either package one of his first rounders with an NHL player(s) or use the pick(s) to move up in the draft. Gainey has never been a big deal maker throughout his career as a GM so I wouldn’t be surprised if he make no moves (with the exception of moving picks for picks). Trevor Timmins will bend Gainey’s ear in the second round if he covets a prospect and sees a chance to move up the board to obtain him. All teams lay the ground work for potential trades weeks before draft day. There are offers on the table which will either die or come alive on the draft floor. This is what makes draft day such a compelling and dramatic event to watch. I hope everybody enjoys it……I know I will !!!!!!!!!!!