Winners and Losers of Day One of the 2015 NHL Draft
It was an exciting first day of the 2015 NHL Draft, one of the most exciting in years. It saw played such as Robin Lehner, Dougie Hamilton, and Milan Lucic traded before the draft even started, and a bunch of other deals during the draft. Some deals left us scratching our heads, but others were great and out of the blue for teams. Here are our winners and losers of day one.
Winner: Philadelphia Flyers
The Flyers didn’t make any player moves, but had a very solid draft in Round 1. They got Ivan Provorov at #7, and some people consider him to be the best defenseman in the draft, even over Noah Hanifin. Provorov adds to the already impressive defensive core for the future in Philly with Hagg, Morin, Gostisbehere, and Sanheim.
The Flyers also traded up to #24 from Toronto and selected Travis Konecny. Konecny was projected to go in the 13-20 range at the draft, but slipped into Philadelphia’s hands. Konecny is an explosive forward known for his hands and skill and will fit in nicely behind Claude Giroux in the future.
Winner: New York Islanders
They came in with no first or second round picks, but Garth Snow made a splash. After seeing Mathew Barzal was there at #16, Snow decided to trade former first round pick Griffin Reinhart for that pick and #33. Reinhart never found his place with the team, looked totally lost when he was up with them, and fell behind Ryan Pulock and Scott Mayfield in the depth chart. Barzal is a solid two-way forward that many people had going in the top-10.
Snow wasn’t done there, either. He used his own pick at #72 and #33 acquired from Edmonton to move back into the first round. He sent those picks to Tampa Bay in exchange for the 28th, where he selected Anthony Beauvillier. The speedy forward is a great all around addition, with scoring, penalty killing, and everything in between. If he can bulk up, he’ll be a great addition for the Islanders.
Winner: Calgary Flames
The Flames started off draft day with a bang, trading for Dougie Hamilton, a top pairing defenseman. He was an RFA and unlikely to be signed by Boston, so instead of letting him sign an offer sheet, Hamilton was traded for a first and two seconds, a very small price for Calgary.
Beyond that, the Flames were quiet, which is okay. They gave up a lot of their picks for Hamilton which was worth it, and I don’t think they have any regrets.
Loser: Boston Bruins
The Bruins faithful was rattled after trading Dougie Hamilton for peanuts, but they should be happy about what they got in return for Milan Lucic. However, what they did with the 13th, 14th, and 15th picks were mind boggling.
The Bruins picked up Jakub Zboril, Jake DeBrusk, and Zach Senyshyn with their picks. Zboril is big, bruising defenseman with a good shot was a decent choice. DeBrusk and Senshyn are both forwards, but both nowhere near the best players available, especially Senyshyn. That’s a situation where you trade down and add some more picks. Big loss for the Bruins.
Loser: Pittsburgh Penguins
The Penguins didn’t have a first round pick this year and didn’t do anything to help their cause on top of that. Their pick belonged to the Oilers as part of the Perron trade and wound up in the hands of the rival Islanders. They failed to complete their wish of getting back into Round 1 and didn’t pick up a single forward that they were rumored to be chasing. They still seem active at the end of day two, but day one was a failure for Jim Rutherford.
Loser: Chicago Blackhawks
With all the rumors surrounding them after their Stanley Cup championship, the Chicago Blackhawks wound up as losers on Day 1. They failed to trade Patrick Sharp for a first or second round pick, and didn’t unload Bickell’s or Versteeg’s contracts either. They’ll have to hustle to get something done in the upcoming days, but it was a bad day for Stan Bowman.
More to come on the draft soon.