By now, you have heard that the 2015 NHL draft is going to be one for the ages. All of the talk is centered around generational talents Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel. McDavid’s teammate Dylan Strome is getting just as much attention, projected to be a Top 5 pick.
Surely, one would reasonably conclude that McDavid and Strome would be drafted by different teams since they are both projected to go in the Top 5. Well, thanks to a very unusual situation taking place in the NHL, there is a scenario that presents itself, although the odds are slim, that they could become teammates in the NHL.
McDavid & Strome Teammates?
You’re probably thinking, how is this possible? How could these teammates end up on the same NHL team when they are sure-fire top prospects? To explain how this could happen, let’s revisit a trade that happened earlier this season.
The Pittsburgh Penguins were winning games, but were also looking for a winger to put with Sidney Crosby. Rumors were swirling around David Perron. He was stuck in Edmonton in their bleak situation. The Penguins saw this as a perfect opportunity, since Perron was a former 30 goal scorer. It was a steep price to pay, but one in which the Pens thought it was worth it.
They gave Edmonton their 2015 1st round pick. Now keep this in mind, it was not lottery protected. It was the Penguins. Surely, they wouldn’t miss the playoffs, right? We better revisit the Pens to the playoffs conversation.
After their latest defeat, a 4-1 decision in Philadelphia, the Penguins now only find themselves 3 points up on Ottawa, with the Senators having a game in hand. That game is Sunday night in Toronto. If Ottawa wins that game, the deficit becomes just 1. To make matters worse for the Penguins, they play in Ottawa on Tuesday.
If things fall in a certain way, the Pittsburgh Penguins will find themselves out of the playoffs. For a team that has the likes of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang, and others, it would be an incredible shock for them to miss out. Missing out in this case brings some fallout.
Edmonton could be picking first and third in the draft, if we're talking world's craziest scenarios here.
— James Mirtle (@mirtle) April 5, 2015
Back to the Perron trade. Because the Penguins gave their 1st round pick to Edmonton, if the Penguins were to win the lottery, Edmonton would be the beneficiary of the 1st overall pick. Granted, the Penguins would 1st need to miss the playoffs. Then the ping-pong balls would have to fall in their favor (or in this case disfavor.) The odds of the Pens winning the lottery would be no more than 2%.
So you’re saying there is a chance? Yes, there is a chance. If the Penguins win the lottery, Edmonton would jump to 1st, and select Connor McDavid. They would have their own pick also. If we go by the current standings, Buffalo would pick 2nd, and take Jack Eichel. Here is where things would get interesting.Arizona would pick 3rd. They could select Noah Hanifin, Dylan Strome, Mitch Marner, or other top talents. The 4th pick in our scenario would be Edmonton’s. They already have McDavid. Dylan Strome could be sitting there if they wanted a 2nd center.
Either way, no matter who Edmonton selects, they would get 2 of the Top 4 picks in arguably one of the deepest drafts in recent memory. Imagine for a second the reaction of the hockey world if Edmonton got 2 Top 4 picks. Then, the headlines would be reading, “Penguins trade Connor McDavid for David Perron.” We would never hear the end of that one.
I am a fully credentialed writer who covers the Columbus Blue Jackets, Cleveland Monsters and Erie Otters as well as the Ontario Hockey League and NHL Draft. The 2021-22 season will mark eight seasons with the Hockey Writers. I am also the site’s Credentials Manager.