June 24, 2011

Don't Expect Trade of 5th Overall for Big Name

As we get down to the final hours before the 2011 NHL Entry Draft takes place, I'm seeing more and more people saying that Garth Snow should trade the 5th overall pick for NHL talent.

The calls for this seem to grow with the news of the blockbuster trades made by the Philadelphia Flyers as they sent Mike Richards to the Los Angeles Kings and Jeff Carter to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Don't get me wrong - this line of thinking is a great one. Sean even brought this up during our podcast last weekend, saying that he expects them to trade the pick - but was more hinting at trading down to pick up other assets and then parlaying some of those into NHL talent.

In all honesty, while the second scenario seems like it could be a fantastic approach to Friday night, I think that if the Isles are moving down for a player they like then it's with the idea of drafting one or two of those players high on their draft board rather than to move the picks.

When Sean mentioned that he wanted to see that pick moved, I pressed him on who had in his head that could be had in exchange for the 5th overall pick. The only (realistic?) idea he could come up with is Paul Stastny of the Colorado Avalanche. Other names he came up with? Zach Parise and Drew Doughty.

As nice as Paul Stastny is, he's not a player I'm giving up a 5th overall pick for. In reality, there is no one out there that could be had for a top five pick.

When people talk about making trades for "proven talent," you have to keep in mind what they were traded for. The last time a top five pick was traded for proven talent? Our very own New York Islanders did in 2001, in a package for Alexei Yashin (2nd overall).

There are only extenuating circumstances where a player like that becomes available, and as usual that is not the case this year. But what about the trading back scenario? Well, that would be more plausible.


- The Avalanche traded Alex Tanguay to the Calgary Flames for Jordan Leopold, a 2nd round pick (59th) and a conditional pick.

- The Kings trade Pavol Demitra to the Minnesota Wild for Patrick O'Sullivan and the 17th overall pick.


- The Flames trade Tanguay and a 5th round pick to the Montreal Canadiens for a 1st (25th overall) and 2nd round pick (48th).
- The Kings trade Mike Cammalleri to the Flames for a 1st round pick (17th).
- The Flyers trade R.J. Umberger and a 4th (118th) to the Blue Jackets for a 1st (19th overall) and a 3rd (67th).


- The Anaheim Ducks trade Chris Pronger and Ryan Dingle to the Flyers for Joffrey Lupul, Luca Sbisa, a 2009 1st round pick (21st) and a 2010 1st round pick (29th).


- The Florida Panthers trade Keith Ballard and Victor Oreskovich to the Vancouver Canucks for Steve Bernier, Michael Grabner and a 1st round pick (25th).

At the end of the day, if the Islanders are bringing in that proven vet at the draft then it would most likely come after trading down once or twice to gather up assets they can use to move for talent. Those of you hoping for it to play out this way can keep that in mind with thoughts of Brent Burns, Ryan Malone, Scott Hartnell and whoever else you may have dancing in your head.

What do I think? I think the Islanders are going to stay right where they are at five and make their pick. After the dust settles, the Islanders will have drafted Ryan Strome.

Sean and I will both be at the draft today and are planning to make our way around the parking lot. We'll both have cameras, and I plan to take some candid shots of fan activity for a photo gallery of some kind. So if you see us roaming around, please do come up and introduce yourself. We'd love to meet some of you.

There are couple of things going on that you may have noticed I haven't written about yet (Doug Weight's award, Radek Martinek update, analysis of the Flyers' trades) but that will be coming at some point later. We're trying to focus solely on the draft items for now and go from there.



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