Kent Hughes would be looking to move up a few ranks ahead of the draft.
The GM of the Canadian would have had discussions with the San Jose Sharks, holders of the fourth choice in total, reports Alexandre Gascon, of Radio-Canada.
Arpon Basu of theathletic.com goes even further: Hughes reportedly made a call to the Anaheim Ducks to inquire about the availability of the second overall pick.
The information obtained by our two colleagues is very interesting and very relevant, but not surprising. A general manager holding a fifth overall pick in such a top-heavy draft wouldn’t be doing his job if he didn’t at least make a courtesy call to his counterparts.
And Hughes, precisely, is a proactive manager. He’s also likely spoken with Jarmo Kekalainen, the Blue Jackets, about the availability of the third pick, and maybe even in Chicago, despite the odds of the Hawks giving up the once-in-a-lifetime chance to draft Connor Bedard.
However, the chances of success of the Canadian are very low. No club holding one of the first four picks has agreed to switch positions with a rival since the Columbus Blue Jackets in… 2004. Doug MacLean traded that pick to the Carolina Hurricanes for the eighth overall pick and a late second-round pick, ranked 59th. Carolina drafted Andrew Ladd in the fourth overall, Columbus forward Alexandre Picard in the eighth and defenseman Kyle Wharton in the second round.
Picard played 67 career NHL games and had two assists. Wharton failed to even establish himself in the American League. Ladd has played 1,001 career games, but very few with the Hurricanes, who traded him to Chicago in 2008 for Tuomo Ruutu. He played almost seven years for Carolina and came close to 60 points a few times.
In 2008, the fifth-ranked New York Islanders fell two spots to the Toronto Maple Leafs with a second-round pick in 2009 and third-round pick in 2008. Toronto drafted Luke Schenn and New York fell back up two more spots, this time with Nashville — who held on to Colin Wilson in seventh — to secure an additional second pick. They picked Josh Bailey ninth overall. Bailey was ultimately the best of the three…
The Florida Panthers were the last to trade a first place, in 2003, 20 years ago. Pittsburgh was keen on drafting Marc-Andre Fleury in the No. 1 spot ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes, and the Panthers had no doubt obtained assurances of being able to get their hands on the player they coveted at No. 3, Nathan Horton.
They got a second-round pick, 55th overall for that favor to the Penguins, but they gave up their 73rd. Second-round pick Stefan Meyer never broke through, but Penguins third-round pick Dan Carcillo played 429 NHL games, but none in Pittsburgh, as he was traded early in his career for Georges Laraque.
Many have the reflex, perhaps wrongly, to conclude that the Canadian would hope to obtain the second choice in total to get their hands on Adam Fantilli.
They’d be surprised to know that Fantilli isn’t a unanimous second overall pick despite his 65 points in 36 games at the University of Michigan in the NCAA. Great Swedish center Leo Carlsson, 25 points in 44 games in the Swedish Premier League (SEL) and five points in eight World Championship games, has more followers among NHL organizations than you might think.
Quebecer Jonathan Marchessault on Tuesday became the first player of the modern era to win the Conn-Smythe Trophy after being passed over in the draft.
Many mention Wayne Gretzky in 1988, but he was already with the Oilers in the World Hockey Association when Edmonton joined the NHL in 1979-1980.
The Oilers had Gretzky on their short four-man protection list, so as to get him out of the 1980 draft. tied with Marcel Dionne, with 137 points, including 51 goals, in 79 games…
Marchessault represents the bargain of the century for the Golden Knights. Despite a 30-goal season in 2016-17, Panthers general manager at the time, Dale Tallon, opted to make him available in order to put four defensemen on his protection roster, including two marginals, Alex Petrovic and Mark Pysyk.
To make sure Vegas picked Marchessault and not another forward left unprotected, Tallon also traded Reilly Smith to the Golden Knights for a modest fourth-round pick.
Six years later, Marchessault and Smith lifted the Cup together. Smith also did his part in the playoffs with 14 points in 22 games, after a 56-point season…