NHL: Worst Trades of the Salary Cap Era

Worst Trades of the Salary Cap Era

The Salary Cap Era began with the 2005-06 season, and so much attention lately has been on some awful trades being made, particularly highlighted by the Oilers and Chiarelli in particular. There have been a lot of trades that have worked out well for both teams and some that have been very one-sided. I’ve been seeing a lot of people talking about certain trades on Twitter the last little bit, which made me want to dive into a lot of them and see exactly how they’ve worked out for both teams. I’m excluding any trades that were simply picks for picks, too many of those to sort through. These are not ranked in any specific order of which one is worse, but here we go. I found a great site listing all of the trades I’m talking about here http://www.nhltradetracker.com/user/trade_list_by_season, check it out:

June 24th, 2006 – Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins

Toronto Acquires – Andrew Raycroft – GM was John Ferguson Jr.

Boston Acquires – Rights to Tuukka Rask – GM was Peter Chiarelli

Raycroft won the Calder trophy is his first full year in the NHL in 2003-2004, with 29 wins in 57 games played. He followed that up with a lackluster 8 wins in 30 games played, which for some ridiculous reason tempted Toronto to trade for Raycroft. They had 2 goalie prospects in Justin Pogge and Tukka Rask, and clearly the Leafs valued Pogge more, keeping him and shipping out Rask. Since the trade, Raycroft played 173 games, winning only 70 of them. Pogge played in a total of 7 NHL games, winning 1 game! Rask, on the other hand, has played 395 NHL games, won a Stanley Cup in 2011, and a Vezina Trophy as the top-goaltender in 2014. This could easily be one of the more lopsided trades in Leafs history. This is one of the rare instances where Peter Chiarelli has come out on top in a trade.

Winner: Bruins fans are probably still laughing at this one, while Leafs fans are likely still crying.

Feb 25th, 2007 – Montreal Canadiens and San Jose Sharks

Montreal Acquires – Josh Gorges & 1st round pick in 2007 (Max Pacioretty) – GM was Bob Gainey

San Jose Acquires – Craig Rivet & 5th round pick in 2008 (Julien Demers) – GM was Doug Wilson

Rivet was a much more established defender at that time, but only went on to play 91 games for the Sharks in just over 1 season. The Sharks didn’t make it past the 3rd round of the playoffs that year when they made this trade, but Rivet played well for them. The flip side however is what Montreal acquired from this trade. Gorges played a whopping 457 NHL games for the Canadiens, before they then traded him to Buffalo for a 2nd round pick. The pick San Jose gave to Montreal turned into Max Pacioretty… who’s currently the captain of the team, and has 411 points in 562 games since being drafted. He’s scored over 200 goals, and been the Canadiens go-to player for offensive since 2011. This trade is looking worse and worse as the days go on.

Winner: Montreal, by a mile

June 18th, 2007 – Philadelphia Flyers & Nashville Predators

Philadelphia Acquires – Scott Hartnell & Kimmo Timonen – GM was Paul Holmgren

Nashville Acquires – 2007 1st Round pick (Jonathan Blum) – GM was David Poile

Hartnell is your ideal power-forward – big body, hits & fights, and can score. After coming off of back-to-back 20+ goal seasons, Nashville decided it was time to ship him out of town. To make matters worse, Nashville also added in Kimmo Timonen, who at the time was a top-pairing d-man in his own right. Timonen would go on to play in 8 more NHL season, before injuries derailed his career. Either one of this players would be better than what Nashville ended up with, as the pick turned into Jonathon Blum, who played in a measly 110 NHL games.

Winner: Flyers come out on top in this one

August 11th, 2007 – Phoenix Coyotes & Chicago Blackhawks

Phoenix Acquires – Radim Vrbata – GM was Don Maloney

Chicago Acquires – Kevyn Adams – GM was Dale Tallon

Adams played his final year in the NHL with the Blackhawks after this trade, scoring 2 points in 27 games. On the other side of the trade, Vrbata has played 10 more seasons, scoring 204 goals and 439 points. Vrbata is one of the rare consistent goal scoring wingers in today’s game, who has averaged 24 goals/82 games played since this trade, while Adams had a whopping 8 points in the year prior to be traded. It’s hard to imagine that Tallon couldn’t have gotten more for Vrbata.

Winner: Phoenix wins this one, easily.

June 24th, 2008 – Boston Bruins & Colorado Avalanche

Boston Acquires – Johnny Boychuk – GM was Peter Chiarelli

Colorado Acquires – Matt Hendricks – GM was Francois Giguere

This was back when Chiarelli appeared to know what he was doing, as he traded career-4th-liner Matt Hendricks for Johnny Boychuk, who played in the top-4 for Boston for 5 seasons. Hendricks has never been more than a 4th line player in his career, and has actually been outscored by Boychuk throughout his career.

Winner: Rare Chiarelli win for Boston

June 30th, 2009 – Montreal Canadiens & New York Rangers

Montreal Acquires – Tom Pyatt, Scott Gomez, Michael Busto – GM was Bob Gainey

Rangers Acquire – Ryan McDonagh, Pavel Valentenko, Doug Janik, Chris Higgins

It’s hard to imagine what Bob Gainey was thinking when you look back on this trade, as yes Gomez was coming off a 58 point campaign, but that was for a much better New York Ranger team. To say he struggled in Montreal would be a vast understatement, as after one good season, he fell off a cliff in terms of production, never scoring more than 7 goals in a season for the remainder of his career. Meanwhile, Busto never played an NHL game and Pyatt is nothing more than a bottom-6 depth forward. For New York, they received future captain and top defender Ryan McDonagh. Janik and Valentenko did not pan out as hoped, but Higgins played in 711 NHL games after being traded, and was more productive than Gomez alone. This could be one of the worst trades in this article.

Winner: There once was a website tracking how long it had been since Gomez scored a goal, which eclipsed a year. So yeah, New York is the clear-cut winner here.

July 21st, 2009 – Arizona Coyotes & Tampa Bay Lightning

Arizona Acquires – Radim Vrbata – GM was Don Maloney

Tampa Bay Acquires – Todd Fedoruk & David Hale – GM was Brian Lawton

Another trade for Vrbata heading to Arizona/Phoenix that is a solid win for that organization. I’ve already spoken about his scoring prowess over his career, and he definitely is much better that the combined two players he was traded for. Fedoruk played one last season after being traded, scoring 6 points in 50 games. Hale played in two more NHL season, only totaling 64 games over those two years, and 9 points.

Winner: Vrbata again the best part of a trade to Arizona.

June 25th, 2010 – St. Louis Blues & Ottawa Senators

St. Louis Acquires – 2010 1st rounder (16th overall – Vladimir Tarasenko)

Ottawa Acquires – David Rundblad – GM was Bryan Murray

Ottawa decided they wanted to go after a young, recently drafted player in Rundblad, after he had 13 points in 47 games in the SEL. Rundblad did not develop into an everyday NHL player, topping out at a career-high 49 NHL games in 2014-2015. The pick the Sens gave up turned into one of the most feared goal-scorers in today’s game – Vladimir Tarasenko. One goal shy of back-to-back 40 goal seasons, Tarasenko has scored 70+ points in 3 straight seasons, and looks like he has no plan to stop. At only 25 years old, Tarasenko will be a dominant force in the NHL for years to come.

Winner: Tarasenko is arguably the second-best scoring winger in today’s NHL. Sorry Sens fans.

February 9th, 2011 – Toronto Maple Leafs & Anaheim Ducks

Toronto Acquires – Joffrey Lupul, Jake Gardiner, conditional 4th rounder – GM was Brian Burke

Anaheim Acquires – Francois Beauchemin – GM was Bob Murray

Beauchemin was a good defender for Anaheim, as he played in the better part of 4 seasons for Colorado, scoring 20 points 3 times. Lupul had two good seasons for the Leafs after being traded, but has since succumbed to injuries. The kicker in my opinion is giving up Jake Gardiner, as he has developed into a great puck-moving defenseman. He played more than any other defender for the Leafs in their playoff appearance this year, and looked great while doing so. Anaheim was a team trying to win now, and didn’t want to wait on Lupul and Gardiner, but looking back they should have been able to get more had they waited on Gardiner just a little while longer.

Winner: Leafs, as Murray was trying to win a Cup when bringing in Beauchemin, but he gave up a little too much to do so.

February 18th, 2011 – Boston Bruins & Atlanta Thrashers

Boston Acquires – Rich Peverley, Boris Valabik – GM was Peter Chiarelli

Atlanta Acquires – Mark Stuart, Blake Wheeler – GM was Kevin Cheveldayoff

Blake Wheeler has developed into one of the best wingers in the game today, and one is usually highly under-appreciated by most. He’s hit 60+ points in 4 straight seasons, including 2 at over 70 points. He’s a big-man, and uses that size to dominate possession for the now Winnipeg Jets. Stuart has been a serviceable d-man since the trade, playing parts of 7 straight seasons for Winnipeg. On the other side of the trade, Peverley had his career cut short due to a scary incident in 2014 in which he collapsed on the bench, while Valabik never played another NHL game. Even if it weren’t for the incident with Peverley, this trade would be incredibly lopsided. Wheeler is a top-10 winger in today’s NHL, and the captain of the Jets alone.

Winner: The beginning of the end for Chiarelli in Boston, as this is a brutal trade.

February 21st, 2011 – Pittsburgh Penguins & Dallas Stars

Pittsburgh Acquires – James Neal, Matt Niskanen – GM was Ray Shero

Dallas Acquires – Alex Goligoski – GM was Joe Nieuwendyk

After scoring at least 20 goals in his first 3 NHL season with Dallas, Nieuwendyk decided it was time to trade him to the Stanley Cup hopeful Penguins. He went on to score 40 goals in his first full season there, and has hit at least 20 in every season since. The other piece sent out by the Stars was Matt Niskanen, who has developed into a top-pairing defender. He himself has surpassed Goligoski in terms of value, who is actually older than Niskanen, which makes this trade even more bizarre. Goligoski is by no means a bad defenseman, he’s just not worth either of Neal or Niskanen in terms of trade value, let alone BOTH.

Winner:  Shero gets the best of Nieuwendyk and the Stars

June 23rd, 2012 – Toronto Maple Leafs & Philadelphia Flyers

Toronto Acquires – James Van Riemsdyk – GM was Brian Burke

Philadelphia Acquires – Luke Schenn – GM was Paul Holmgren

What on earth was Holmgren thinking?! Luke Schenn was rushed into the NHL, likely hurting his development, but he was NEVER an offensive d-man. He was drafted too high back in 2008, but the fact that Brian Burke was able to trade him straight-up for James Van Riemsdyk is mind-boggling. JVR is hands-down the better player in this trade, and it’s not even close. Schenn was barely a 3rd pairing player in Arizona this year, one of the worst teams in the league, meanwhile JVR is a key piece of a strong, young Toronto team.

Winner: Brian Burke pulls of magic for the Leafs.

April 3rd, 2013 – Tampa Bay Lightning & Ottawa Senators

Tampa Bay Acquires – Ben Bishop – GM was Steve Yzerman

Ottawa Acquires – Cory Conacher – GM was Bryan Murray

Conacher scored 24 points in 35 NHL games in his rookie year, prompting Bryan Murray to jump ALLLLL over him, trading out one of the best goalies in today’s NHL in a one-for-one deal. Since the trade, Conacher has fallen all the way to the AHL, over to Switzerland, and back to the AHL before suiting up in 11 NHL games this year, for the team that traded him back in 2013. Bishop, since being traded, has won 133 NHL games, with 17 shutouts. Ottawa had Craig Anderson in the fold at the time, but should have gotten much more for a goalie like Ben Bishop.

Winner: Another loss for Bryan Murray and the Sens.

April 3rd, 2013 – Washington Capitals & Nashville Predators

Washington Acquires – Michael Latta, Martin Erat – GM was George McPhee

Nashville Acquires – Filip Forsberg – GM was David Poile

This, in my opinion, could be one of the worst trades in recent history. Erat was sitting at 21 points in 36 games when he was traded for, and managed al of 2 goals, 25 points in 62 games for Washington in his 1.5 seasons there. Latta is now playing in the AHL, after putting up even smaller numbers for the Capitals. Forsberg has since developed into an elite winger for the Predators. Trading an 11th overall pick for two players who lack offense is always a risky move, but this turned out to be far worse than expected.

Winner: Poile is likely still laughing at this one, as are Preds fans.

July 4th, 2013 – Boston Bruins & Dallas Stars

Boston Acquires – Loui Eriksson, Joe Morrow, Reilly Smith, Matt Fraser – GM was Peter Chiarelli

Dallas Acquires – Tyler Seguin, Rich Peverley, Ryan Button – GM was Jim Nill

Chiarelli has had some bad trades on his resume, but this one is the worst for me. In the 4 seasons since being traded, Seguin has scored 306 points. He’s one of the best young centres in today’s NHL, and doesn’t look like he’ll slow down anytime soon. Smith played well in his two years in Boston, but was shipped out for Jimmy Hayes, who was disappointing for Boston. Eriksson had 1 good year for Boston, but still never hit the numbers Seguin did, before they lost him to free agency. Morrow hasn’t established himself as an NHL d-man, playing 65 games stretched over 3 seasons, and has since signed in Montreal. Fraser was waived after playing 28 games for Boston. All of this means, Boston traded away a true number 1 centremen, at the age of 21, and have nothing left to show for it.

Winner: Seguin is a core building block for Dallas, an exciting young team. Boston has nothing to show for it. Tough call…

July 8th, 2013 – Ottawa Senators & Anaheim Ducks

Ottawa Acquires – Bobby Ryan – GM was Bryan Murray

Anaheim Acquires – Jakob Silfverberg, Stefan Noesen, 2014 1st round pick (Nick Ritchie) – GM was Bob Murray

Bob Murray continues his streak of bad trades. Not only is this trade awful for Ottawa, but Murray then signed Ryan to a massive 7 year extension, with an AAV of $7.25 million. He managed “OK” in this first few seasons in Ottawa, in-and-around the 50 point mark, but Silfverberg himself has already established that kind of production, not to mention the remaining pieces they received in Noesen (now in New Jersey), and Ritchie (more points than Ryan this year).

Winner: Ottawa loses another.

July 1st, 2014 – Ottawa Senators & Dallas Stars

Ottawa Acquires – Alex Chiasson, Alexander Guptill, Nicholas Paul, 2015 2nd rounder – GM was Bryan Murray

Dallas Acquires – Jason Spezza, Ludwig Karlsson – GM was Jim Nill

It must seem like I’m picking on the Sens here, but I swear I’m not. Everyone thought the Sens would trade Spezza in this offseason, but the Sens got basically NOTHING for him. Chiasson was a dud, with 30 points totaled over 2 seasons. Guptill has yet to play an NHL game, and Paul has played all of 25 games. The pick was traded to the Devils in an exchange of picks, with no promising prospects coming from them. Spezza has continued to thrive in Dallas, scoring 30 goals in his second year there, while hitting 60+ points twice, and 50 in the other.

Winner: Surprise, surprise – Ottawa loses another trade.

January 14th, 2015 – Minnesota Wild & Arizona Coyotes

Minnesota Acquires – Devan Dubnyk – GM was Chuck Fletcher

Arizona Acquires – 2015 3rd rounder – GM was Don Maloney

I questioned putting this one in, because Dubnyk was struggling at this point in his career. He was coming off a season in which he only played 19 games, with a 9-5-2 record. After the trade however, he put up a record of 27-9-2, with a SV% of 0.936 and a GAA of 1.78. Those are remarkable numbers. He’s become one of the best goalies playing in today’s NHL, and the fact that the Wild were able to get him for a 3rd round pick is phenomenal.

Winner: The Wild win this one

June 26th, 2015 – Edmonton Oilers & New York Islanders

Edmonton Acquires – Griffin Reinhart – GM was Peter Chiarelli

New York Acquires – 2015 1st rounder (Matt Barzal), 2015 2nd rounder (Mitchell Stephens) – GM was Garth Snow

Yes, the Oilers desperately needed NHL defensemen at this point in time. The problem is, they gave up 2 great draft picks for an AHL defenseman. Griffin Reinhart was widely viewed as a bust, after failing to live up to his 4th overall selection in 2012. Whatever prompted Chiarelli to trade a 16th overall pick, plus a 2nd rounder, in what was a deep draft for Reinhart will never make sense to me. The two players who were taken with this picks are likely going to have much better NHL careers than Reinhart. To make this trade look even worse, Reinhart played a total of 37 games for Edmonton and was then claimed by Vegas in the expansion draft.

Winner: The Oilers are still looking for defenders…

June 26th, 2015 – Colorado Avalanche & Buffalo Sabres

Colorado Acquires – Mikhail Grigorenko, Nikita Zadorov, JT Compher, 2015 2nd rounder – GM was Joe Sakic

Buffalo Acquires – Ryan O’Reilly, Jamie McGinn – GM was Tim Murray

O’Reilly has been a leader on Buffalo since being acquired, and been consistently near the top of their leader board for points. McGinn had a good year for Buffalo in 2015-2016, before being traded for a 3rd round pick. Coloardo has wound up with much less in this trade, with Grigorenko scoring less than 30 points in his two seasons, and has departed for the KHL now. Compher made his NHL debut this year but struggled, while they traded away the 2nd round pick. The lone bright spot is Zadorov, and the jury is still out on him, if he truly is a top-4 defender or not. This is one Sakic would like to take back, and likely while he’s being cautious with trying to trade Duchene.

Winner: Buffalo wins this one

July 18th, 2016 – Ottawa Senators & New York Rangers

Ottawa Acquires – Derick Brassard, 2018 7th rounder – GM was Pierre Doiron

New York Acquires – Mika Zibanejad, 2018 2nd rounder – GM was Jeff Gorton

LOL Hi Sens fans! The picks have yet to be made, but let’s look at the two players’ 2016-2017 seasons. Brassard had 14 goals, 39 points in 81 games. Zibanejad had 14 goals, 37 points in 56 games. The fact that the Rangers got the better player, and upgraded a 7th rounder into a 2nd round pick is just hilarious. No clue what Ottawa was doing here, as the two had basically identically points in the previous season. Brassard is 6 years older as well, so not like they upgraded for youth.

Winner: Looks like Doiron really did learn everything he knows from Bryan Murray. Good trade by the Rangers.

July 27th, 2016 – Edmonton Oilers & New Jersey Devils

Edmonton Acquires – Adam Larsson – GM was Peter Chiarelli

New Jersey Acquires – Taylor Hall – GM was Ray Shero

Ohhhhh Chiarelli. How is this man in charge of an NHL team!! Yes, Larsson is an upgrade to what they had on defense, but you gave up Taylor Hall! For Larsson! 1 for 1!! Oilers fans could be the worst in the league, as they have been defending this trade since it happened. How you can possibly do that is beyond me. Hall is one of the best wingers in the NHL, while Larsson isn’t a true number 1 defender. This is bad, really bad.

Winner: Not even close, Devils win by a mile.

June 22nd, 2017 – Edmonton Oilers & New York Islanders

Edmonton Acquires – Ryan Strome – GM was Peter Chiarelli

New York Acquires – Jordan Eberle – GM was Garth Snow.

It might be a little early to have this one in here, but here’s another instance where Chiarelli did not get full value for the player he was trading away. You can’t keep trading away players and not getting full value back and expect it to all work out, even if your team has McDavid. Sure Eberle struggled in the playoffs this year, but he still scored 20 goals in the regular season, which was actually his lowest total since 2012-2013. Strome’s career best is 17, and then he followed that up with 8 the following season. The kicker here is that Edmonton was making this trade to free up cap space, or so they say. What did they do with this cap space? They signed Kris Russell to 4 years at $4 million per…

Winner: Edmonton will continue to hope McDavid saves them from all of these disastrous trades.

 

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Drafting Skill: Anaheim Ducks

Recent Draft History – Evaluating the first 3 rounds of the last 5 Drafts for each team. I’ve left out 2016, as it’s way too early to tell on 95% of the picks. Instead, this will be examining drafts from 2011 to 2015.

Anaheim Ducks

2011 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Rickard Rakell (C) 30th overall – Traded their own 1st rounder to Toronto for this pick, plus the 39th overall pick. HUGE win for Anaheim, as Rakell and Gibson are both stars of the team now, while Toronto ended up with the awful Tyler Biggs. Rakell has played in 236 games since being drafted, and just scored 30 goals this past season. Absolute steal at 30th overall in the draft here for the Ducks.

Round 2 – John Gibson (G) 39th overall – Gibson has progressed into the start every team hopes for, playing already in 118 games and winning 62 of them. He had another great year, with a SV% of 0.924 and a GAA of 2.22. No better pick for the Ducks here than Gibson.

Round 2 – William Karlsson (C) 53rd overall – Karlsson has played in 183 NHL games, scoring 50 points. Those are low numbers, but for a mid-2nd round pick, it’s fairly good. He was recently claimed by Vegas in the draft and will get a fresh start there. Many teams missed out on Nikita Kucherov in this round, as he was taken 6 picks later than Karlsson.

Round 3 – Joseph Cramarossa (C) 65th overall – Received this pick from the Islanders for James Wisniewski. Cramarossa was claimed by Vancouver off of waivers this year, putting an end to his brief stint in Anaheim. He’s only appeared in 59 NHL games, all coming this season, with only 10 points. Doesn’t look to be an everyday NHL player, other than for depth purposes.

Round 3 – Andrew Welinski (D) 83rd overall – Welinski doesn’t look like he’s an NHL d-man, having yet to skate in a game. Anaheim is loaded on the blueline as well, putting him further down the list of players expected to get a call. Missed opportunity here to add a good prospect, or player, by Anaheim.

Note: Josh Manson 6th round. Manson has played in 181 NHL games to date, and his stock has grown exponentially this season. He’s part of the bright future in Anaheim, and is exactly what every NHL team wants – a right-handed, puck-moving defenseman. Absolute steal by Anaheim down in the 6th round.

2012 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Hampus Lindholm (D) 6th overall – Lindholm has developed into a top-pairing d-man, one worthy of his spot at 6th overall. I think this is a great pick by Anaheim, as he’s played over 300 games and scored over 100 points while doing so. He’s got a bright future, one that many would love to have on their team.

Round 2 – Nicolas Kerdiles (LW) 36th overall – Kerdiles hasn’t progressed as expected, playing in only 1 NHL game to date. Looking back, the Ducks had better options at this point in the draft, with a handful of better players taken closely after him in the draft.

Round 3 – Frederik Andersen (G) 87th overall – Andersen battled with Gibson over the years for the starter’s role before being traded last offseason to Toronto for a 1st round pick in 2016 and a 2nd round in 2017. What a steal by Anaheim to find him in the third round, as he’s amassed 110 wins to-date in the NHL.

2013 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Shea Theodore (D) 26th overall – Theodore was traded to Vegas this offseason, to keep them from taking someone else from Anaheim. He played in 34 NHL games this year, and looked great while doing so. I firmly believe he’s a future top-pairing d-man, and while Anaheim is packed with d-men already, I think they gave up on him far too early.

Round 2 – Nick Sorensen (RW) 45th overall – Sorensen played the majority of the year at the AHL level, appearing in only 5 NHL games. He looks to be next in line for a regular spot on the roster however, which is a good sign 4 years after being drafted.

Round 3 – Keaton Thompson (D) 87th overall – Played most of the year at the AHL level, but also made a stint in the ECHL. The two picks after him look like they have a much brighter future, in Anton Slepyshev and Oliver Bjorkstrand, therefore I would view this as a poor pick.

2014 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Nick Ritchie (LW) 10th overall – Received this pick with Jakob Silfverberg and Stefan Noesen from Ottawa for Bobby Ryan. The Ducks clearly won that trade, by a mile, especially after trading their own 1st rounder in a package deal including Nick Bonino, to Vancouver for Ryan Kesler. Ritchie has struggled to find his offensive game at the NHL level so far early in his career, but has played in 110 NHL games to date. Anaheim would perhaps want this one back, to be able to take a young scorer like David Pastrnak for example.

Round 2 – Marcus Pettersson (D) 38th overall – Received this pick from Toronto for Peter Holland essentially, plus the 7th round pick used on Ondrej Kase. Petterson played this season in Sweden, scoring 9 points in 47 games. Not great numbers for a young defender, but it’s early to discount the pick yet. The Ducks will likely want him over in North America to get used to the different game sooner than later, and with the depth they have on D, there’s no rush for him to make the jump to the NHL.

Round 2 – Brandon Montour (D) 55th overall – Montour has developed into an NHL defender quicker than most do who are chosen in the 2nd round, playing in 27 NHL games this year, and appearing in all 17 of their playoff games. He’s a lock to make the team next season out of camp, and has a bright future ahead of him. Great pick by Anaheim here in the 2nd round.

Round 3 – Pick was traded as part of the Ryan Kesler deal.

Note: Ondrej Kase drafted in the 7th round. Kase was the 6th last pick of the draft, and appeared in 53 NHL games this year, scoring 15 points. That’s amazing for a 7th round pick, and the Ducks hope he can continue to grow off of this.

2015 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Jacob Larsson (D) 27th overall – Another good defense prospect for the Ducks, as they seem keen on building a deep foundation of defenders. They already have one of the best groups in the league, and Larsson will likely add to that in the future. He played in 4 NHL games this year, while also making appearances in the AHL and the Swedish League. He’s got a bright future ahead of him in Anaheim, great pick.

Round 2 – Julius Nattinen (C) 59th overall – Nattinen didn’t have a good year in the OHL this year, with only 38 points in 51 games. Those are weak numbers for a 20 year old, especially in a high-offensive league. This is shaping up to be a poor pick by Anaheim, one of their rare misses.

Round 3 – Brent Gates (C) 80th overall – Received this pick from Columbus with James Wisniewski for Rene Bourque, William Karlsson and a 2nd round pick. Gates had a good year in the NCAA, scoring 14 goals in 37 games. He’ll likely stay there next season at the very least, before the Ducks want him to make the jump to the AHL. He looks like a prospect with a bright future, as he improved from 7 points to 21 in comparing his last 2 seasons.

Round 3 – Deven Sideroff (RW) 84th overall – Sideroff had a good final year in the WHL, with 78 points (36 goals) in 67 games. Those are great numbers, especially for a 3rd round pick. He appeared in 3 AHL games this year, and that’s where he’ll start next year. He’s got the tools to make him a great player in the future, and the size to go along with it. Good pick late by Anaheim

Overall, the Ducks have had great success in drafting impact players. They’ve built their solid foundation through the draft, and possess one of the deeper prospect pools, especially on the backend, in all of the NHL. They look like they’ll be a team to watch for many years to come.

 

Sources: Hockeydb.com; http://prosportstransactions.com/hockey/

 

Drafting Skills: LA Kings

Recent Draft History – Evaluating the first 3 rounds of the last 5 Drafts for each team. I’ve left out 2016, as it’s way too early to tell on 95% of the picks. Instead, this will be examining drafts from 2011 to 2015.

Los Angeles Kings

2011 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Pick was traded to Edmonton for Dustin Penner. The pick turned into Oscar Klefbom, who has become a great two-way defender in today’s NHL. Meanwhile, Penner retired after the 2013-2014 season.

Round 2 – Christopher Gibson (G) 49th overall – Gibson never signed in LA, and went onto to Toronto where he was traded in a big package to bring in Michael Grabner. He hasn’t grown into an NHL player, seeing action in only 4 games since being drafted 6 years ago. Big miss by LA, to not even have the player since with you, let alone not develop into an NHL player.

Round 3 – Andy Andreoff (LW) 80th overall – Andreoff has played a bottom-6 role for the Kings the past 2 seasons, taking the role of tough-guy on the team. He provides no offensive support for the team, but being picked in the third round and playing in over 100 games is a decent pick by the Kings.

Round 3 – Nick Shore (F) 82nd overall – They received this pick in dealing out a 6th rounder, plus the pick used on Jimmy Vesey. Shore has also played in over 100 games, but again provides almost no offensive upside (34 points in 172 games). Still, playing in over 100 games for a 3rd round pick isn’t the worst selection.

2012 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Tanner Pearson (LW) 30th overall – Pearson has developed into a good player for the Kings, taken with the last pick of the first round in 2012. In 80 games this year, he broke out for 24 goals and 44 points. He’s already played in over 200 games, and the 5 players taken immediately after him have played in zero. Great pick here by the Kings after winning the Cup.

Round 2 – Pick was traded to Philadelphia with Wayne Simmonds for Mike Richards. The trade looked OK at the time, but looking back now it was brutal. Richards is no longer in the NHL, and Simmonds has scored 120 goals in the last 4 seasons for the Flyers.

Round 3 – Pick was traded to Edmonton, along with their 2011 first round pick for Dustin Penner. Baaaaad trade again by the Kings, as Penner was awful when coming over to LA.

2013 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Pick was traded to Columbus with Jack Johnson for Jeff Carter. I’d consider this a good trade for both sides, as Carter wanted out of Columbus, and they managed to get Jack Johnson out of it plus the pick. Carter has scored 137 goals in 361 games since coming over, and has hit 50 points in each season.

Round 2 – Valentin Zykov (LW) 37th overall – I, like many others, expected big things out of Zykov. He dominated in junior, and flopped hard after being drafted. He made his NHL debut this year, for Carolina, playing in 2 (!!) games. In 66 AHL games, he scored only 34 points. Safe to say the Kings were disappointed with this selection, as he never played a game for them.

Round 3 – Pick was traded with their original 2nd round pick to move up and take Zykov. I’ll consider this a bad trade, as Zykov did not pan out, and the Oilers took Anton Slepyshev with this pick and he looks to be better than Zykov at this point.

2014 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Adrian Kempe (LW) 29th overall – Kempe made his NHL debut this year, playing in 25 games and scoring 6 points. He’s never put up big offensive numbers, and looks as though he will not make an impact at the NHL level. Another miss by the Kings, who have traded away more picks than any other team in recent years.

Round 2 – Roland McKeown (D) 50th overall – Traded Lined Vey to Vancouver to get this pick. McKeown has yet to play an NHL game, and is likely a year or more away from a shot to play one. Vey has played in 138 NHL games meanwhile, and the Kings then traded McKeown plus a 1st round pick in 2016 (Julien Gauthier) to Carolina for Andrej Sekera. Sekera played in a whopping 16 games for LA before leaving as a free agent. Two bad trades by LA involved with this pick.

Round 2 – Alex Lintuniemi (D) 60th overall – Another player who has yet to play a game for the Kings, therefore I’ll say another miss. He’s still young, but played most of this year in the ECHL. That’s not a good sign.

Round 3 – Mike Amadio (C) 90th overall – Amadio had a great rookie year in the AHL, scoring 41 points in 68 games. He’s grown his offensive game since being drafted, and could challenge for a spot in the next couple of years with LA likely to go through some changes. Good find at the end of the 3rd round by the Kings.

2015 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Pick was traded along with Martin Jones, and Colin Miller to Boston for Milan Lucic. The pick was used on Jakub Zboril, who hasn’t made the jump to pro hockey yet, but man did they ever give up a lot to get Lucic, who played one year before leaving for Edmonton in free agency. Meanwhile, Jones is the starter in San Jose and Miller played his second season for Boston this year. Bad, bad trade by the Kings.

Round 2 – Erik Cernak (D) 43rd overall – Cernak finished his junior career this year, with 21 points in 50 games. Not great numbers, but he projects as a defense-first player. He’ll need some seasoning, and will likely go through some bumps playing against men, however is a big kid at 6’3” and over 220 pounds.

Round 3 – Alexander Dergachyov (C) 74th overall – Another miss by the Kings. He played in 31 KHL games, adding only 3 assists and no goals. We’ll likely never see him over in North America.

The Kings have traded away more picks than anyone in these 5 years, and with winning 2 Cups they’ve picked near the bottom. That being said, their choices have been poor to say the least. The trades they’ve made have turned out bad almost in every case, and have found only 1 true impact player out of these 5 drafts in Tanner Pearson. That is awful.

Sources: www.hockeydb.com ; http://www.prosportstransactions.com/hockey/DraftTrades/Years/index.htm

Drafting Skill: Toronto Maple Leafs

Recent Draft History – Evaluating the first 3 rounds of the last 5 Drafts for each team. I’ve left out 2016, as it’s way too early to tell on 95% of the picks. Instead, this will be examining drafts from 2011 to 2015.

Toronto Maple Leafs

 

2011 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Tyler Biggs (RW) 22nd overall – Well, starting off with one of the worst picks in Leafs history. This one is entirely on Brian Burke. His ‘tenacity, grit, trucluence’ era. Biggs has never played an NHL game, and likely never will. He’s now playing in the ECHL, after being traded in the Phil Kessel trade. The worst part of this pick, is that the Leafs gave up 2 picks to MOVE UP and draft Biggs. Those two picks? Rickard Rakell and John Gibson. Biggs is one of two players to have never played an NHL game from the 1st round of the 2011 draft. Awul, awful pick.

Round 1 – Stuart Percy (D) 25th overall – Another swing and miss by the Leafs in this draft. Percy has played all of 12 NHL games since being drafted. He was let go by the Leafs after the 2015-2016 season, and signed by the Penguins. He’s played all of this year in the AHL, and doesn’t look like he’ll crack the Penguins roster. This was another miss for the Leafs, in a year where there were plenty of NHLers drafted after them.

Round 2 – This pick was traded to Anaheim, who used it to take current starting goaltender John Gibson. These types of trades are why the Leafs are just finally turning the corner.

Round 3 – Josh Leivo (LW)  86th overall – This pick is still up in the air for Leafs fans. Leivo has played a handful of games this year, and looked like a real NHLer when he’s cracked the lineup. The problem? He hasn’t played enough. He has a big league shot, and has played well enough defensively, but the Leafs boasts plenty of forward prospects, which make it hard to tell if he’ll ever find full time work in Toronto.

2012 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Morgan Rielly (D) 5th overall – Hard to argue with the Leafs pick here. The team was in desperate need for help defensively (still is), and Rielly was the best option available. He’s become the team’s #1 defender, and while some question if he truly is a #1 defender in the NHL, he has improved in each season. There were plenty of defensemen taken in the 1st round in 2012, and Rielly ranks 1st in games played, 4th in goals, and 1st in points. This pick has panned out great for the Leafs, and not many would change it for any other player.

Round 2 – Matt Finn (D) – 35th overall – Another Leafs draft pick who looks like a bust. He’s currently playing in the ECHL, after being dealt in 2015 as a package that brought in Michael Grabner. It’s tough to predict 2nd rounders as having success at the NHL level, but it doesn’t even appear that Finn can make an impact at the AHL level. With plenty of picks after Finn having played over 100 games in the NHL, it’s hard not to be frustrated with this pick.

Round 3 – Pick was traded to LA for Sondre Olden (originally picked in 2010). This pick was used to select Jimmy Vesey, who was a free agent that the Leafs took a big run at this past summer. Plenty of missed opportunities for the Leafs in recent drafts.

2013 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Frederik Gauthier (C) 21st overall – It would seem as though the Leafs again went after size here, rather than skill. Most believe Gauthier is still too slow to play in the NHL. He made an appearance in 21 games for the Leafs this year, and while he was a large upgrade over Ben Smith on the 4th line, the Leafs still felt they needed to upgrade him to Brian Boyle. If Gauthier couldn’t crack the lineup this year, will he ever? The Leafs are poised to only get better, so unless Gauthier makes strides in the offseason, he may miss his chance in Leaf-land.

Round 2 – Pick was traded to Chicago with a couple others to bring in Dave Bolland. He only played 23 games before being injured, and then signed with Florida the following offseason. Hard to accept this trade, knowing how little impact he had on the team, and giving up 3 picks to get him.

Round 3 – Carter Verhaeghe (C) 82nd overall – Verhaeghe was traded to the Islanders in 2015 after only playing 2 games for the Marlies. He was part of the package for Grabner, and since he’s still currently bouncing between the AHL and ECHL, it appears the trade was good for the Leafs. The draft selection? Not so much.

2014 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – William Nylander (C) 8th overall – I don’t know many Leafs fans who aren’t ecstatic about this pick. Nylander is part of the big 3 rookies changing the entire Leafs landscape. He’s been on fire since early 2017, and is one of the driving forces of the future in Toronto. His defensive game has come a long way, and he’s got a very high potential. For the Leafs to have gotten him at 8th, it’s a steal.

Round 2 – Traded to Anaheim in the Peter Holland package. Holland would play the better parts of 2 seasons for the Leafs, in a limited role most times. He was traded to Arizona this season, after being a healthy scratch for most of the year. The Leafs needed a player like Holland when the trade was made, so in my opinion it was a worthy trade.

Round 3 – Rinat Valiev (D) 68th overall – Valiev is a player many people are unsure of. He’s shown flashes that he could develop into an NHL defensemen, but also has shown signs that he won’t. I’m on the team that he won’t. He’s still young, but I don’t believe we’ll see him in a Maple Leafs uniform.

2015 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Mitch Marner (RW) 4th overall – Another pick by the Leafs that fans LOVE. Marner reminds many of Patrick Kane, with his high-end skill set and smaller frame. Marner dominated in junior, and has had many jaw-dropping moments in his first NHL season. He’s definitely the real deal. He’s part of that big movement in Toronto, along with Nylander and Auston Matthews, that will be driving the Leafs forward. He’s on the verge of breaking a Leafs rookie record for assists, and appears to not have a ceiling on his potential.

Round 2 – Travis Dermott (D) 34th overall – Dermott is one of the few bright spots the Leafs currently have in terms of defensive prospects. Dermott is playing his first full year pro in the AHL, and has been great. He’s currently at 23 points in 50 games, and plays a well-rounded game. Depending what happens this off-season, we could see Dermott as early as next season as far as some NHL games go. He’s a smooth skater, which will transition well into the NHL. (This pick was acquired in the Jonathan Bernier trade from LA)

Round 2 – Jeremy Bracco (RW) 61st overall – Bracco is a small framed forward, with high end playmaking ability. He’s torching the OHL, with 147 points (101 assists) in 106 games. He’s likely to play a year in the AHL before making the jump to the NHL, especially with the depth the Leafs have at forward prospects. He impressed this year at the World Juniors, playing for team USA. He’s got the skillset to be a dominant NHL forward, but he may need to add size before making the jump. (Pick was acquired from Philadelphia in a combination of picks trade).

Round 3 – Andrew Nielsen (D) 65th overall – Nielsen is another bright spot on the back-end. He’s currently at 36 points in 63 games in his first full year as a pro. He’s a big body at 6’3”, 207 pounds but still possesses a great skating ability. He projects as a future NHL player, making the jump in the next couple of seasons. The Leafs need help on the back-end, and they’re hoping Nielsen can help fill a void in the next few years.

Round 3 – Martins Dzierkals (RW) 68th overall – Dzierkals is currently in his second year in the QMJHL, where he finished with 49 points in 47 games. These aren’t great numbers for a young player in junior, but it’s still early for Dzierkals. He’s likely a long-shot to make the jump to the NHL, and will likely play junior again next season before trying to crack the AHL roster. That being said, it doesn’t hurt your organization to have players like Dzierkals waiting in the wings.

 

All-in-all, the Leafs are a hard team to really grade as far as recent draft performance. They’ve had some AWFUL picks and trades, but it appears they’ve turned a corner back in 2014 starting with Nylander. Rielly was a great pick as well, but they followed that up with Gauthier the year after. Since 2014, they’ve made plenty of great picks, enough to stock the cupboard – which was once completely bare – for the future. They seem to finally have figured out how to hire a smart front-office.

 

Info: hockeydb.com; http://www.prosportstransactions.com/hockey/DraftTrades/Years

Drafting Skills: Vancouver Canucks

Recent Draft History – Evaluating the first 3 rounds of the last 5 Drafts for each team. I’ve left out 2016, as it’s way too early to tell on 95% of the picks. Instead, this will be examining drafts from 2011 to 2015.

Vancouver Canucks

 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Nicklas Jensen (RW) 29th overall – It’s been 6 season since Jensen was drafted, and he as suited up for a grand total of 31 NHL games. That’s not exactly great. He posted ‘OK’ numbers in the OHL before making the jump the AHL, however he has never found his scoring touch. He was traded from Vancouver in 2016 as part of the trade that brought in Emerson Etem.

Round 2 – Pick was traded to Minnesota for a 3rd and 4th round pick in this draft.

Round 3 – David Honzik (G) 71st overall – This looks like another miss for Vancouver. After finishing up his QMJHL career, Honzik is now playing in the Czech league. How are his numbers this year you may ask? 26 GP 6-20-0, GAA 3.01, SV% 0.899. Yikes. Big miss here.

Round 3 – Alexandre Grenier (RW) 90th overall – Grenier looks to be their best selection out of the first few rounds. He’s currently taking the long road, playing in his 4th full season in the AHL, but has put up 40 points in 54 games so far this year. Time is running out for him to make the jump, the 25 year old needs to impress next season or that could be it for him. He’s not getting any younger, especially in a league that is trending younger.

2012 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Brendan Gaunce (LW) 26th overall – Gaunce has yet to solidify himself as an everyday NHLer. He’s seeing time this season, but mostly due to injuries the Canucks have suffered. He managed quite a bit of offense while in junior, and continued that early in his AHL career. The Canucks are hoping he can translate that into the NHL, as they’re a team that will be changing quite a bit over the next few years. There are hopes he can be part of the new group of players that they will need to emerge over the next couple of seasons.

Round 2 – Alexandre Mallet (C) 57th overall – Another pick by the Canucks that is no longer playing in North America. Mallet is over in the Czech league, and is disappointing on all accounts. He had one good year in junior as a 20 year old, before being mediocre in the ECHL. I can’t imagine Mallet every making the jump to the NHL. Tough for the Canucks, as there were many players taken after him that have made an impact in the NHL today.

Round 3 – Pick was traded to Anaheim in the trade that brought in Maxim Lapierre. The pick that Anaheim got from this trade resulted in goalie Frederik Andersen. The Canucks would be much better off today having kept that pick and taking Mr. Andersen.

2013 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Bo Horvat (C) 9th overall – Horvat took an extra year to develop than some of the others that were drafted around him, however this season he is coming into his own. He’s hit the 20 goal mark for the first time in his career, and should end up with close to 60 points. He’s the future for the Canucks, and one they need to embrace desperately. His speed and playmaking ability set him apart from others at his position. Horvat should continue getting better over the next couple of seasons. Keep in mind though, the Canucks traded Cory Schneider away for this pick… puts a slight cloud over Horvat.

Round 1 – Hunter Shinkaruk (LW) 24th overall – Shinkaruk was traded in 2016 to Calgary for Markus Granlund. This appears to be a steal (so far) for Vancouver. Shinkaruk is still in the AHL, and Grandlund has 17 goals and 29 points in 66 games this season so far for the Canucks. Shinkaruk is a year younger, but it appears this one will go in the Canucks favour for the foreseeable future.

Round 2 – Pick was traded for Derek Roy. He played decent enough for the Canucks, with 6 points in 12 games to finish the season.

Round 3 – Cole Cassels (C) 85th overall –  This selection was part of the trade that brought in David Booth and Steve Reinprecht, for Mikael Samuelsson and Marco Sturm. He’s currently playing for Vancouver’s AHL affiliate in Utica, and has less than impressive numbers. 10 points through 52 games, with 29 PIM and a +2 rating. Can’t imagine Cassels making an impact in any shape at the NHL level, which is unfortunate as Sven Andrighetto was taken with the next pick and has already suited up in 87 NHL games.

2014 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Jake Virtanen (RW) 6th overall – There are many who believe Virtanen was rushed into the NHL and that hurt his current development, as this year he has been anything but impressive at the AHL level. He played in 10 games with Vancouver before being shipped to Utica, where he currently has 14 points in 50 games. Not. Great. At. All. Now, he’s only 20 years old. There is PLENTY of time for him to find his game. The tough part for Canucks fans to swallow, is 2 picks after him the Leafs took William Nylander (48 points in 66 games this year), followed by the Jets taking Nikolaj Ehlers (54 points in 69 games this year). Either of those picks would be a massive upgrade for the Canucks.

Round  1 – Jared McCann (C) 24th overall – Another 24th overall selection for the Canucks, another swing and a miss. The pick was acquired in the Ryan Kesler trade, and McCann played 69 career games for the Canucks putting up only 18 points. McCann has show promise that he will be a full-time NHL player someday, however this past summer was traded to Florida in the exchange that brought in Erik Gudbranson (which is another story altogether).

Round 2 – Thatcher Demko (G) 36th overall – Demko is viewed as an elite goalie prospect, and the goalie of the future for the Canucks. He may get his chance sooner than later, with Ryan Miller on the final year of his deal. He’s currently playing in the AHL for the first time, and has OK numbers for a rookie (GAA of 2.57, SV% 0.909 in 33 games). He’s a big guy, and plays the game well. This is a great selection for the Canucks in the 2nd round.

Round 3 – Nikita Tryamkin (D) 66th overall – Tryamkin played in 13 games in the season after being drafted, and has played in the majority of Canucks games this year. He hasn’t looked out of place, especially on a weak Canucks team. He controls play decently well, and while he doesn’t put up big numbers, he also doesn’t allow the most chances against from the Canucks back-end. He has a bright future ahead.

2015 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Brock Boeser (RW) 23rd overall – Boeser is the real deal. He will be a future, everyday player in the NHL. The Canucks can expect Boeser to make an impact on a daily basis as early as next year, as he’s currently finishing up his second season at the University of North Dakota (33 pts in 31 games). He’s a big kid for 20 years old, and will help boost the offence for the Canucks that has dipped in the past couple of seasons. They’ll need all the help they can to turn the franchise around after the Sedins make their exit in the next couple of years.

Round 2 – Pick was traded to Calgary for Sven Baertschi. This trade has panned out decently for the Canucks, as Baertschi has turned into an effective player this year. He’s producing an over 0.5 pts per game for Vancouver. Meanwhile, the player the Flames drafted (Rasmus Andersson) is producing at a 0.44 point per game pace in the AHL.

Round 3 – Guillaume Brisebois (D) 66th overall – Brisebois has looked great this year in the QMJHL for Charlottetown. He’s put up 10 goals in back to back years now, along with 37 assists to finish the year with 47 points. He’s improved his defensive game as well, going from a -13 rating in 2015-2016 to +35 this year. He likely is a couple years away from the big leagues, but he’ll get his first taste of pro hockey next season when he debuts in the AHL.

 

All-in-all, the Canucks have not done great in recent drafts. They’ve traded a lot of picks away, being a contender for a few years. However, even when they were picking early in the first round, they’ve missed repeatedly. Their goaltending prospects are amongst the tops in the NHL, so we’ll give them that, but other than that, and a few rare finds, they’ve lacked what so many others teams have in recent years.

 

Info: hockeydb.com; http://www.prosportstransactions.com/hockey/DraftTrades/Years

Monday Pickups – March 13th

Let’s recap on the players I suggested for pickups 2 weeks ago, didn’t have time to post a new article last week so I’ll play this like I had the same pickups for 2 weeks in a row:

  1. Travis Zajac (NJD) – 6 GP – 1 Goal/ 1 Assist/ -2/ 5 SOG
  2. Frank Vatrano – 6 GP – 0 Goals/ 1 Assist / +1/ 9 SOG
  3. Sebastian Aho (CAR) – 7 GP – 3 Goals/ 2 Assists/ +1/ 21 SOG
  4. Nick Schmaltz (CHI) – 4 GP – 0 Goals/ 2 Assists/ EVEN/ 7 SOG
  5. Mathieu Perreault (WPG) – 6 GP – 1 Goal/ 4 Assists/ +2/ 9 SOG

The bye-week is over for this year, with quite a few teams have 4 games this week. Carolina is playing 5 games in 7 nights.

Waiver-Wire Pickups (Percentages owned are via Fantrax.com)

1) Sebastian Aho (Forward – 71%) – Aho has been playing quite well lately for the Canes, and with 5 games in 7 nights he’ll be seeing plenty of action. He’s near the top of owned-percentage but if he’s available in your league, pick him up. He could be the difference late in your fantasy season.

Matchups this week: NY Islanders (x2), Minnesota, Nashville, Philadelphia

2) James Reimer (Goalie – 55%) – Reimer has been the man in Florida for a couple weeks now, with Luongo on the shelf with an injury. Reimer has been known in his career as a streaky goalie, and coming off 3 losses he should be due for an upswing. With Florida still hanging on to playoff hopes, they’ll need big games out of Reimer.

Matchups this week: Toronto, Columbus, NY Rangers, Pittsburgh

3) Antti Raanta (Goalie – 61%) – King Hank was just diagnosed with an injury that will keep him out of the lineup for the next 2-3 weeks. During that time, Raanta will be the man in New York. He’s played very well all season, and has taken on heavy workloads in the past. Snatch him up if he’s out there.

Matchups this week: Tampa Bay, Florida, Minnesota

4) Gustav Nyquist (Forward – 61%) – Since coming back from his suspension (which was FAR too little), he’s been playing better hockey. In those 5 games, he has 6 points. Not outstanding numbers, but he’s been having a terrible year. The Red Wings in general have been having an awful year, but with Vanek traded out at the deadline, Nyquist is seeing increased time. He’s worth a gamble in most leagues. The Wings have an outstanding schedule this week as well.

Matchups this week:  Colorado (x2), Arizona

5) Andrew Ladd (Forward – 49%) – Ladd is having a terrible year, especially after signing the big deal this summer with the Islanders. He’s been a different player lately though, with points in 3 straight games. He’s been playing his best hockey at a time of year when the Islanders need it the most. If they’re going to make the playoffs they’ll need even more out of him.

Matchups this week: Carolina (x2), Winnipeg, Columbus

*Percentages per Fantrax.com*

Drafting Skills: Washington Capitals

Recent Draft History – Evaluating the first 3 rounds of the last 5 Drafts for each team. I’ve left out 2016, as it’s way too early to tell on 95% of the picks. Instead, this will be examining drafts from 2011 to 2015.

Washington Capitals

 2011 NHL Entry Draft

No picks in the first 3 rounds.

Round 1 – Their first round pick was traded to Chicago in the Troy Brouwer deal. Brouwer would play 4 full seasons for the Capitals, however never surpassed 43 points per season. This deal is questionable, as there were players picked after this pick that have had more impact than Brouwer.

Round 2 – Their second round pick was traded to Carolina (onto Calgary eventually) in the deal for Joe Corvo. Corvo was traded in hopes of shaping up the Capitals playoff run. This didn’t go as well as they would have hoped. They gave up quite a bit to get Corvo, mind you nothing that has turned into anything magical.

Round 3 – Their third round pick was traded to Florida in the Dennis Wideman trade. He was also traded to Washington for that playoff run, but played a full season in Washington before moving on. This deal turned out well for Washington, as he put up 46 points the following season.

 2012 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Filip Forsberg (C) 11th overall – Forsberg was a great pick by the Capitals in 2011 at 11th overall. He’s quickly becoming a dangerous offensive threat in today’s NHL, however not for the Washington Capitals. He was traded before every playing a game for Washington for Michael Latta and Martin Erat. This trade would prove to be horrendous for the Capitals, as Forsberg is the second highest scoring player from the 2012 draft.

Round 1 – Tom Wilson (RW) 16th overall – Wilson plays a gritty game, and isn’t viewed as a liability when on the ice like a lot of players in his category. He’s put up over 500 PIMs in his first 275 games, while remaining a plus player. His play is questionable at times, and for someone with his skill set, being selected in the 1st round seems like a stretch. There were plenty of better options on the table for the Capitals at this point in the draft, including Tomas Hertl who was taken with the next pick.  Wilson is a player you hope to get in later rounds, not take a gamble on in round 1.

Round 2 – Pick was traded for Jason Arnott. Washington was shaping up for a playoff run and felt Arnott would help. They didn’t end up past the second round this year, but Arnott chipped in with 6 points in 9 playoff games.

Round 3 – Chandler Stephenson (C) 77th overall – Stephenson is currently in his 3rd full season in the AHL, and is performing decently for a 3rd round pick. He’s not scoring at a high enough rate to be considered an NHL player at this point, especially with the powerhouse offense currently on the Caps roster. He may never develop into an everyday NHL player at this point. Next year’s training camp will be big for Stephenson if he ever hopes to crack the NHL roster.

2013 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Andre Burakovsky (LW) 23rd overall – Burakovsky possesses the skillset to be a very effective NHL player. He has grown every season into what the Caps hoped he would be when they drafted him 23rd overall back in 2013. He has yet to unlock the full potential he has shown in flashes offensively, but the hope is that he will sooner rather than later. After being drafted, he put up 41 goals in 57 games in the OHL, but has yet to hit the 20 goal mark (or more than 38 points) in an NHL season. He’s got the talent, he just needs to unlock it.

Round 2 – Madison Bowey (D) 53rd overall – Bowey has shown great improvement in his second full season in the AHL. He has missed time with injuries this year, but hasn’t looked out of a place for a young defenseman in his second professional season. The Caps are taking a slow approach with Bowey, but he should be ready for full-time NHL duty as early as next season. He plays a very solid two-way game, and big, right-shot defensemen are hard to come by. Bowey could develop into a top two pairing defender in the near future.

Round 2 – Zach Sanford (LW) 61st overall – The Caps just traded Sanford in the deal that brought Kevin Shattenkirk to town.

Round 3 – Pick was traded to the Jets along with their 4th and 5th round picks from 2013 to move up  and draft Sanford in the 2nd round.

2014 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Jakub Vrana (C) 13th overall – Vrana made his NHL debut this season after nearly a point per game pace in the AHL in 2015-2016 (34 points in 36 games). As he continues to get acclimated the North American game, his offense should continue to pick up. The problem he’ll face is having two key centres ahead of him on the depth chart for the Caps. He can transition and play the wing in hopes of moving up the lineup, however right now he’s seeing most of his minutes on the Caps third line. It’s still early, and Vrana should see a larger role with the Caps in the future.

Round 2 – Vitek Vanecek (G) 39th overall – Goalies are the hardest to predict, and Vanecek is no different. He had a good year in the ECHL in 2015-2016 posting 18 wins in 32 games, with a GAA of 2.03 and a SV% of 0.917. He’s playing in the AHL this season, which is always a great sign for a young goalie only 2 short years after being drafted. He’ll need some seasoning, and with Braden Holtby in the big leagues, there’s no rush for Vanecek.

Round 3 – Nathan Walker (LW) 89th overall – Walker is a smaller player who was drafted originally by the Rangers, was traded to the Capitals for a couple picks – one which turned out to be goalie Igor Shesterkin, who is currently tearing up the KHL as a 21 year old. This looks bad for the Capitals, even though they have great depth at the goalie position, it never hurts to have an extra top prospect in that category.

2015 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Ilya Samsonov (G) 22nd overall – Samsonov is widely regarded as a top 5 goalie prospect playing outside of the NHL. He’s currently playing in the KHL, where his save percentage seems to only be increasing year over year. In 2015-2016, he posted a SV% of 0.925 in 19 games. In this season, he posted a 0.936 SV% in 27 games. In his first two playoff games he posted a 0.949 SV%. He’s the real deal. The Caps don’t need to rush Samsonov, as he’s still only 20 years old, and they have Holtby in the crease for them now, but he is most definitely the goalie of the future – if not for Washington, for another NHL team.

Round 2 – Jonas Siegenthaler (D) 57th overall – A rock-solid, stay at home defensemen, Jonas is currently playing in his home country of Switzerland. Eventually, the Caps will want him in North America at the AHL level, but for the 19 year old, he’s not expected to make an impact for a few more years. The hope is that he will continue to round out his game, and work on his inefficiencies. He’s still only 19, so it’s early to tell how this pick will play out for the Caps. They aren’t in need of any further offensive talent, so picking up a defender was a smart play.

Round 3 – Pick was traded to the Calgary Flames for Curtis Glencross, who managed 7 points in 18 regular season games, before a disappointing playoff run of 1 point in 10 games.

 

All-in-all, the Capitals have done decently well for themselves, despite trading a lot of picks to load up for playoff runs – and coming up empty on that end. They boast a couple good young goaltending prospects, as well as some future offensive help. It’s tough to look back on the trades as successes, as they didn’t manage to win a Cup, however they were necessary to at least attempt to push themselves above others.