With an hour until the first round of the draft kicks off, here’s a recap of the trades—two of which were of the blockbuster variety, the other commanded a valuable first round pick.
If this is a prelude to what we can expect over the next week, we are in for a treat tonight, tomorrow and into the free agency period.
Lehner and Legwand to Buffalo
2015 1st Round Pick (21st overall)
G Robin Lehner
F David Legwand
An Atlantic Division shakeup, the first trade of the day was Uncle Bryan Murray skinning nephew—and Buffalo Sabres GM—Tim Murray. Murray grabbed a first rounder in a deep draft for a center that didn’t really work out and is on the back nine of his career in David Legwand, along with a young goalie Robin Lehner who has shown promise but his ultimate ceiling as a goalie is probably closer to what you see right now; he has never been able to fully take the reins in Ottawa as the starter.
Dougie Hamilton to Calgary
D Dougie Hamilton
2015 1st Round Pick (15th overall)
2015 2nd Round Pick (45th overall)
2015 2nd Round Pick (52nd overall)
In the most interesting trade of the day, Brian Burke (and Brad Treliving) was up to his old tricks and took the over-the-barrel Boston Bruins and their rookie GM to the cleaners by snagging an impossible-to-find, 6’5 right-shot defenceman who can skate well, move the puck, has soft hands, a hard shot and is coming of a 10 goal, 43 pts season — in exchange for a 15th overall pick and two second round picks.
Calgary is putting together a dream lineup (on paper) for next season with young studs placed where exactly you’d like them: down the middle—and with depth—and a deep backend that is challenging Nashville for the best in the league. For the next three seasons, this is going to be a great group to watch grow together.
Milan Lucic to Los Angeles
LOS ANGELES KINGS
F Milan Lucic
2015 1st Round Pick (13th overall)
G Martin Jones
D Colin Miller
Huge trade #2 of the day goes to (again) Boston, and this time with LA as the trading partner. Debatably the league’s best power forward but coming off a down year, Milan Lucic was shipped out of town for a very high-end backup in Martin Jones, who could be a starting goalie in short order (much like the Jonathan Bernier situation when he was moved to Toronto), a 13th overall pick (around the area where Travis Konency is slated to be picked), and AHL standout Colin Miller. Boston is clearly trying to make some moves to free up salary and just parted with two huge pieces of their team—for now and in the future—in order to keep 38 year old Zdeno Chara and his big contract. Curious days in Boston; we’ll see if they package up their now-three first round picks so that they may get into the top 5-8 picks in the draft, should there be a prospect there that they are in love with. Boston retained 2.75 mill of Lucic’s one remaining year on his contract worth $6 million per.
LA is likely going to lose Justin Williams, who is a UFA and will test the market, and this is the first line left wing replacement.