If not for the Colorado Avalanche making a trade early in the day, it would have been a real dud of a draft day for the NHL in terms of player movement. We expected a decent amount of moves. Instead, there was not a single trade at the draft for the first time since 2007.
Speaking of that Avalanche trade, they went out and acquired Ross Colton, filling their 3C spot for next season.
At the NHL Draft, the Avalanche ended up using both of their first round picks, but there were some surprises in the top-10.
All that and more in this Thursday edition of Evan’s Daily.
Colorado Hockey Now
The day got off to a hot start, as the Avalanche picked up Ross Colton in exchange for the 37th pick in this years draft.
The Colton acquisition likely end J.T. Compher‘s time in Colorado, as he’s expected to test free agency.
By picking up both Colton and Ryan Johansen, Chris MacFarland is putting his stamp on the team. Analysis of the trade can be found here.
I expected the Avalanche to pick once in round one, but I was a little surprised they picked twice. Either way, they took Calum Ritchie at 27th overall, and Mikhail Gulyayev at 31st, as the prospect pool starts to get restocked a little bit.
On Thursday, Day 2 of the NHL Draft takes place, and Colorado has three (late) picks. Also, it doesn’t appear Denis Malgin is getting a qualifying offer. We’ll dig into why. In addition, I expect a lot of news around the league after a quiet draft. About that…
There were zero trades at the draft. None. Zilch. After the chaos of the previous 36 hours with movement around the league, that was a bit of a surprise.
The Blackhawks, of course, took Connor Bedard first, and now get to kick-start their rebuild with a superstar.
At 4th overall, the San Jose Sharks took US Center Will Smith, who walked to the podium to the music of…Will Smith.
Some people thought Montreal would be the landing spot for Matvei Michkov, but nope. They played it a little safe, going with defenseman David Reinbacher.
The big winner of the night might be Philadelphia, who snagged Matvei Michkov at 7th. After speaking with him, they knew they couldn’t pass up on his talent.
At 8, The Capitals took Ryan Leonard, who isn’t a big guy but plays much bigger than he is.
And at 9, the Red Wings went off the board just a little bit, taking big center Nate Danielson. They selected later in the first, taking the talented Swedish defender Sandin-Pellikka.
Nashville hosted the draft, and apparently tried desperately to move into the top five, but left with two picks in round one. They took Tanner Molendyk late in the first, a player I know the Avalanche liked.
Buffalo ended up with Zach Benson, stealing him right from Pittsburgh.
National Hockey Now
I guess there was one other trade around the league, as the ruthless Golden Knights traded one of their original members, Reilly Smith, to the Penguins. Vegas doesn’t care about feelings, they just do what they have to do to put the best team on the ice. That’s probably how it should be.
The Devils and newly acquired Tyler Toffoli have mutual interest in a contract extension.