Photo: Canadian Press Via AP/Jonathan Hayward
The 2019 NHL Draft is now in the history books, and all 31 NHL clubs are now going to shift their focus to the free agency period. While Day 1 of the Draft was a bit of a dud in terms of activity, Day 2 saw some shocking moves that have altered the NHL universe.
Which teams did the best in the Draft? Which teams did not do so well? These are the questions that may not be answered for a few years, but every club right now thinks that they improved in some way.
Let’s dive in to the winners and losers of the 2019 NHL Draft.
NEW JERSEY DEVILS
In a blockbuster deal, the Devils landed defenseman P.K. Subban from the Nashville Predators. In the deal, the Predators got back Steven Santini, Jeremy Davies, and two 2nd round draft selections. Subban will immediately help the Devils on a blueline that lacks some depth and he will also instantly contribute on their powerplay. This Subban deal all came after the Devils landed Jack Hughes with the #1 overall pick in the Draft. Devils fans have something to look forward to over the next number of years as they landed two star players over the weekend.
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS
The Maple Leafs were tight against the salary cap, and needed to shed cap space over the weekend. The Maple Leafs finally found a trading partner with the Carolina Hurricanes for Patrick Marleau. The deal includes a conditional first round pick for the Hurricanes. The Maple Leafs needed to shed Marleau’s contract because they have several key restricted free-agents to re-sign. This Marleau trade will help the Leafs keep some of their quality younger talent under contract for the long-term future.
The United States was well-represented, especially on day one. The United States pumped out ten first round selections. Three of those selections were selected in the top 10. In total, 59 Americans were drafted in Vancouver.
The Canucks walked into the draft with the #10 pick. They selected Russian star Vasily Podkolzin with that pick and it brought plenty of excitement for Canucks fans in day one. On day two, the Canucks traded for J.T. Miller from the Tampa Bay Lightning in a deal that included a conditional first-round pick, a third-round pick, and goaltender Marek Mazanec. Many fans thought the deal was steep for J.T. Miller, as the Canucks are continually looking for a top-six scoring player. The Canucks finished the Draft with nine picks, and did not select a single defenseman with any of their picks.
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS
Entering the Draft, the Blue Jackets only had two draft choices. They did not have a first or second-round pick. The Jackets were able to increase their draft capital by one and finished with three picks in the Draft. It was kind of surprising the Jackets did not move any of their current roster players to try and add more picks over the weekend.
By: George Foussekis