With today being one of, if not, the most exciting day in the NHL year, we make three bold predictions for 2015 NHL Draft Day.
Beyond the hype of the extremely talented prospects available, tons of rumours are swirling on Twitter of possible blockbuster trades. It’s hard to know which rumours are realistic, and which are completely farfetched though. With the help of these bold predictions, the 2015 NHL Draft picture may become a little more clear.
Phil Kessel –
For quite some time, Phil Kessel has had his name thrown around in possible trade scenarios. With the Leafs rebuilding and Kessel’s style not fitting anywhere in their team structure, he seems sure to be gone before October. It’s his contract that is holding back multiple possible trades however. Toronto will need to retain a large chunk of his salary for any trade to happen.
Ryan O’Reilly –
With just one year remaining on his contract, the Avalanche want to either sign him to an extension, or trade him as soon as possible. O’Reilly reportedly asked for an 8-year contract worth $60 million, far out of Colorado’s league. As such, it seems a trade is imminent. But, they will want a large return, and that may be tough to warrant for someone who is only signed for one more year.
Patrick Sharp –
Chicago is in deep cap trouble and needs to make a significant move in order to provide space for a potential Brandon Saad contract. Sharp is a consistent 30-goal and 60-70 point player, aside from a down year in 2014-15. The Blackhawks have high hopes, looking for a player, prospect and a draft pick in return. The price will need to come down for a trade to be done.
Eddie Lack –
The Vancouver Canucks have come out saying that either Lack or Markstrom will be traded, but have leaned heavily towards Lack of late. The news is that they will make a trade between tomorrow morning and the ned of the draft. The Canucks will likely want a player and a prospect in return for the very talented 27-year-old goaltender, who had a .921 save percentage in 41 games last year.
Robin Lehner –
Lerner seems to be out of Ottawa, no doubt. The question is, when will the Senators pull the trigger on a deal? The 23-year-old has yet to meet expectations, and is the odd man out in a crowded Ottawa crease. They will likely want an NHL player and a decent prospect in return. Lehner’s save percentage has dropped in each of the past three seasons, down to .905 last year.
Cam Talbot –
With Talbot once again proving his ability to be an NHL stater this year, he is almost certain to be traded at some point. At nearly 28 years old, the Rangers are looking for a first round pick plus a player in return. Holding a deal back is the fact it is a significant price to pay for someone who hasn’t played an entire NHL season yet.
3 Bold Predictions:
Of all the possible trade scenarios for tomorrow, these are the three most likely, yet very bold, trades we think are going to come true.
1: Arizona trades the 3rd overall pick to Columbus for the 8th overall pick, Kerby Rychel and Artem Anisimov.
The Arizona Coyotes have reportedly received upwards of six possible trade options for the third overall pick. Another offer included the 17th and 25th overall pick as well as a roster player from the Winnipeg Jets. I think the Coyotes would rather speed up their rebuild with the Columbus offer however. This deal would likely see the Blue Jackets select Noah Hanifin at third, while Arizona would possibly select Zach Werenski. Rachel adds another piece to the future of their forward core, including Max Domi, Anthony Duclair and Brendan Perlini.
2: Vancouver trades Eddie Lack to the Buffalo Sabres for Jake McCabe and the 51st overall pick.
The Buffalo Sabres are definitely in the market for an NHL goaltender. They’ve been in talks for all three of Lack, Lehner, and Talbot. Lack will warrant less than Talbot, but comes with a very similar resume, ad also played half of the 2014-15 seasons for the Canucks. Vancouver gets Jake McCabe, the 44th pick in 2012 who played in the AHL last year, scoring 29 points in 50 games and establishing an NHL style of play. He would likely spend another year in the AHL before making the jump in 2016-17. The 51st selection is also very valuable in what is one of the deepest draft in recent history.
3: Colorado trades Ryan O’Reilly to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Jake Gardiner, Frederik Gauthier and the 65th overall pick.
Ryan O’Reilly is almost a certainty to be traded after he asked the Avalanche for an 8 year, $60 million contract. There will be many suitors for the 24-year-old, but Jake Gardiner has apparently been high on Colorado’s wishlist for quite some time. Gauthier will be a nice secondary piece, as he brings a physical presence to Colorado, as well as a possible scoring threat. He was selected 21st overall in 2013. The 65th overall pick also has the potential to be a steal of a selection. As for the Leafs, O’Reilly becomes a building bock for their future, alongside James van Riemsdyk up front, they could combine to be a dynamic duo.
With tons of possibilities for the 2015 NHL Draft, it will be like Christmas in June for hockey fans. There is certain to be some trades made, and hopefully some turn out to be blockbusters. With so much superstar talent available, it’s hard not to imagine your favourite team acquiring a key component for the future. Here’s to a fantastic 2015 NHL Draft Day!
Who do you think will be traded on 2015 NHL Draft Day? Let us know in the comments below!
Contributor for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Prospects. Scout with the Oakville Blades of the OJHL. For questions, concerns, or comments, contact me at email@example.com or on twitter @SlawsonTHW.