The draft day countdown timer is sitting in the single digits for hours until we are officially introduced to the members of the 2016 class! Over the past 24 hours we have been inundated with a ton of trade rumors involving many of the teams situated in the top 10; Does it make sense for the Canucks to explore options beyond keeping the 5th pick?
This year the draft is being considered to have some definitive tiers where hockey minds feel that there are drop offs in talent levels. Let's take a 30 second look at where the tiers exist this year:
This year's top tier is made up of Matthews, Laine, and Puljujarvi. General sentiment is that this tier is that if falls in the order mentioned in the previous statement. There are rumblings that Puljujarvi could fall as far as #4, but let's not hold our breath that the Oilers would let him slide all the way to us at five!
Second tier players is a diverse group with many different play styles: Tkachuck, Dubois, Chychryn, Sergachyov, Juolevi, and Nylander. This group represents 2 power forwards, 3 solid 2-way defensemen and a playmaking forward. Lots of choices, and some of the selections in this range will come down to team need more than the perceived 'Best Player Available'.
The third tier is very, very large! Some scouts suggest that beyond #9, there are about 35 players who could be drafted at any point in time. This is pretty similar to last year, where some of the players selected in the 2nd round were considered sure fire first round picks.
With this said, who can we consider as potential trade partners if we are so inclined?
Montreal- The Habs have been widely speculated to have great interest in moving up from the #9 spot to select the big French Canadian player Pierre-Luc Dubois. Seems to me that every time there is a Quebec born player relatively high up on the draft boards, the Canadiens are mentioned as having immense interest. I guess there's also Jordan Subban's brother who's name keeps popping up in trade rumors. I hear he's a decent defenseman. Moving down to nine is a risky endeavor because we would be getting the last player available in the second tier, but we might be able to add a 2nd round pick or two which would definitely help build our prospect pool.
Buffalo- Youth filled Buffalo is willing to move their draft pick which is #8. Does this mean that they are trying to move an a veteran forward like Tyler Ennis as part of the package to jump into the top 5? Accepting the eighth pick would likely leave one of the 'big 3' defencemen (Chychryn, Juolevi, Sergachyov) or maybe Nylander.
Columbus- It would be costly to move up to #3 and maybe Puljujarvi is considerably better than anyone available with the fifth pick, but what does CBJ want in return? Do we have enough magic in the bag to make an upward move without giving up our best young players? Maybe we can convince them to take back their 2nd round pick that we get for them taking Torts off our hands as part of the return.
Carolina and Anaheim- 2 teams who have 2 first round picks. We have a little bit of history trading with both of these teams. If you believe that quantity is better than high picks these 2 teams are serious options! Maybe throwing in potential UFA Dan Hamhuis and/or The Burr helps solidify Anaheim's interest in rebuilding the 2011 SCF Canucks team.
These aren't the only teams with whom we could be looking at trading with, but they seem to be the most likely options.
Do any of these options fit your fancy? Do you have a different plan? Are we keeping this pick? Whatcha think?