Kraken Should Use 2nd-Round Picks to Acquire an Additional First

The Seattle Kraken enter the 2022 NHL Draft with one first-rounder pick and four second-rounders. While having five picks in the top 60 will prove valuable to the organization, it would be beneficial for the Kraken to bundle a few second-rounders in order to get an additional first-round pick this year. Here is what a trade up may look like and the logistics behind the trade.

History of Trading Up

Over the past few years, there have been a few trades where teams bundle picks together to get an additional first-round pick. Before diving into some of the trades, something called a draft pick value chart needs to be explained. Each pick is given a number, usually from one to 100. The idea is in order to acquire a certain pick, the sum of the other picks being sent needs to equal the sum of the pick coming back. For example, if pick No. 20 has a value of 20, teams must find a way for the two picks being sent to equal a pick value sum of 20.

Ron Francis Seattle NHL
Ron Francis, NHL Seattle’s first general manager (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

Instead of confusing people more, here are some examples from the past few seasons:

  • 2021- Carolina acquires two 2021 second-round picks (40th, 51st) from Nashville for a first-round pick (27th)
  • 2015- Toronto Maple Leafs acquire 2015 second- and third-round picks (34th, 68th) from Columbus for a first-round pick (29th)
  • 2015- Tampa Bay Lightning acquire 2015 second- and third-round picks (33rd, 72nd) from New York Islanders for a first-round pick (28th)

Pick trades to get back into the first round are uncommon when no players are involved but are still possible. For reference, the Kraken have picks 35, 49, 58 and 60 during the second round. Using historical data and the draft pick value chart, here are some trades the Kraken could make to get back into the first round.

Possible Trade Partners

Anaheim Ducks- 22nd overall

The Anaheim Ducks hold the 22nd-overall pick thanks to their trade with the Boston Bruins. The Ducks also have the 10th-overall pick in the draft, which is their own. The Kraken should be interested in the 22nd pick as there are quite a few prospects available that could make a significant impact in the future for Seattle. Trading up to the 22nd pick will be difficult and require quite a few assets. Here is what the trade could look like.

In order for the Kraken to trade up to 22nd, they will need to include the 35th-overall pick, the 49th pick, one of the 58th or 60th picks, and potentially the 67th-overall pick. The pro to this trade is Seattle gets an impact player, with the con being they lose value in the second round, having to give up three or more picks to move up. If the Kraken really love a player at 22, then a big trade may be worth it; otherwise, keeping as many picks may be the best option.

Buffalo Sabres- 28th overall

The Buffalo Sabres currently hold the 28th-overall selection that they acquired from the Florida Panthers for Sam Reinhart along with the ninth and 16th-overall selections. If the Kraken were interested in acquiring the 28th selection, there are two options they could use. The first is using their early second-round pick (35th overall) and bundling it with their third-round pick (67th overall). This trade only makes sense if the Kraken know the player they want will not be available at 35th overall. It also leaves the Kraken with no third-round pick. This trade is similar to the 2015 trades mentioned above.

Related: 2022 NHL Draft Guide

The second option is bundling the two second-round picks in order to make a deal. This would mean the Kraken would have to trade the 49th and 58th picks, plus an additional pick, most likely in the fourth or fifth round, to get this deal done. The reason an additional late pick would need to be added is that the two second-rounders are later in the round and may not get the deal done. The pro to this deal is the Kraken get to keep the 35th-overall pick, but the con is they will lose an additional selection in the process. Also, it is more likely Buffalo will covet the 35th pick over receiving two later second-rounders. While this second deal is possible, the first option would be the more likely option.

Difficult to Trade Up

There is a reason trading up using just picks is so uncommon in the NHL. Every team has a different draft pick value chart, or they love a player to the point where acquiring multiple additional picks won’t move the needle for them. The Kraken are in a great position to trade back into the first round, it just depends on what sort of value it will cost.

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