The Ottawa Senators have traded Robin Lehner and David Legwand to the Buffalo Sabres for the 21st overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft. The trade ends weeks of speculation that began when the Senators signed Andrew Hammond to a three-year one-way contract on May 20th, a move that left the Sens with three NHL goaltenders. The Senators now own two 1st round selections in today’s draft, at 18th and 21st overall.
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Returning to the playoffs is always a positive, but for the Vancouver Canucks a somewhat lackluster series against the rival Calgary Flames ended the season far too soon, leaving the franchise and its fans a palpable sense of arriving at a kind of crossroads. The double trends of a declining veteran group and a rising young group mainly composed of prospects must meet in the middle soon for another chance at a Stanley Cup. On the other hand, the Canucks’ teams of the 2000s etched a worthy place in team history, and with new management in place the future group of players looks strong enough to establish its own identity down the road. Adding another strong draft class over the weekend is of real importance.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have not experienced a great deal of success at the NHL draft in recent years. The team has frequently traded away their first and second round picks and have failed to find much in the way of talent in the later rounds. That lack of organizational depth came to a head in the 2014-15 season, as the team sputtered offensively down the stretch and did not have the talent in the middle and bottom of their lineup to do any damage in the playoffs. Read more »
Judging by the success of the St. Louis Blues both in the NHL and at the NHL Entry Draft, 2015 has very little meaning in terms of prospects. The Blues seemed to do well at the 2014 NHL Draft and have replenished the pipeline in a big way. Not only did they draft ten players last year, but they came away with some of the best potential steals of the draft, including Ivan Barbashev of the QMJHL‘s Moncton Wildcats in the second round (33rd overall).
Somewhere out there, the NHL Draft Gods are looking out for the Edmonton Oilers. After finishing 28th in the league at the conclusion of the 2014-15 season, Edmonton looked poised to pick up a top defensive prospect such as Noah Hanifin after some lucky franchises claimed generational talents Connor McDavid as the top pick and Jack Eichel as the second. But on April 18th, Bill Daly held aloft an Oilers logo on his placard indicating the team who would select first overall after winning the draft lottery. This is the fourth time in the last six seasons that the Oilers have been awarded the privilege.
Montreal Canadiens General Manager Marc Bergevin has been able to maintain a strong system in terms of prospects while continually improving the big league team. He recently re-signed Jeff Petry, who was acquired at the deadline, ensuring that the two draft picks given up in the deal (2015 2nd and 4th) won’t be for naught. Read more »