The roster moves made on the first day of the 2016 NHL Draft were interesting ones, as some teams found ways to move up in the draft, but pick up players that’ll never spend a day on the ice with them, cough, Arizona Coyotes. The Calgary Flames had a different approach and went all in on Brian Elliot, while Andrew Shaw and the Chicago Blackhawks have parted ways.
The Florida Panthers sent forward Rocco Grimaldi to the Colorado Avalanche for goaltender Reto Berra.
How Move Helps Both Teams: The Avalanche gets a guy who has proven to be dependable at the AHL level who can step up if injuries hit, while the Panthers get a cost-effective replacement for UFA Al Montoya to backup Roberto Luongo in net. The fact that Berra is rated an 83 in the game over Montoya’s 82 proves, at least at the virtual level, that the Panthers upgraded.
The Montreal Canadiens acquired a 2017 Second Round Pick and 2018 Second Round Pick from the Capitals for forward Lars Eller.
How Move Helps Both Teams: Montreal gets two more picks, but the Capitals get more offensive depth from the talented Eller, who looks great as the team’s third line center. He’s definitely someone who can produce more if partnered with the right players. Rated an 83 in the game, Eller can play on any of the team’s forward lines, but again, looks to be a fun depth signing that’ll make you want to use all of your lines.
The Montreal Canadiens acquired forward Andrew Shaw from the Chicago Blackhawks for two 2016 second round picks.
How Move Helps Both Teams: Chicago continues to find ways to stay within the cap and Montreal adds more grit with Shaw and a guy who now gets an opportunity to prove himself away from Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews. He moves up the depth chart in Montreal and while he’ll still be the guy you’ll love to throw chess with, he’s got much more offensive responsibility in Montreal.
The Calgary Flames obtained goaltender Brian Elliot from the St. Louis Blues for a 2016 second round pick and a 2018 conditional third round pick.
How Move Helps Both Teams: The Blues get more picks and give Jake Allen the chance to be “the guy,” while Brian Elliot goes to a team in desperate need of a star netminder. While rated an 84 in the game, the same rating as the Flames former starter Jonas Hiller, Allen brings a different type of game to the Flames.
The Arizona Coyotes obtained the contract of forward Pavel Datsyuk and a 2016 first round pick (16th overall) from the Detroit Red Wings for forward Joe Vitale, a 2016 first round pick (20th overall) and a 2016 second round pick)
How Move Helps Both Teams: Away from shedding salary and getting to the cap floor, this move does little in real-life. But in “NHL 16,” gamers using the Coyotes now have Chris Pronger and Datsyuk to play with.
Over the past ten years as a working journalist, Patrick Hickey Jr. has covered the New York Islanders, New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils, as well as the Brooklyn Aces of the former EPHL, contributing pieces and/or holding Editorial positions at NBC, New York Sports Day, NY Sportscene Magazine and the New York Times. During that time, he has interviewed NHL stars the likes of Brendan Shanahan, Bernie Nicholls, Bob Probert, Martin Brodeur and Zach Parise. He is also the first winner of the New York Islanders Blog of the Year Award, for his work on TheDriveForFive.com in 2008.