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Blackhawks Rebuild Report: Trading Up in the 2016 Draft

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Chicago Hockey Now has looked at who they could trade up for as well as the likelihood of actually being able to trade up into a higher pick.

But in the course of the last eight drafts going back to Connor McDavid, what has been used to move up? For the purposes of this report, we’re looking for two things:

  • Trades made days prior to or on the day of the Draft
  • The draft pick order was fully established

It should also be noted that some of the draft capital sent over was inherited from other teams in different trades. For our purposes, we’re simply interested in what was given up in order to acquire the higher draft pick.

Chicago Hockey Now already looked at the 2015 Draft. For the purposes of being concise, we’ll look more at what was similar and what looked different.

2016 NHL Draft – First Round
Number of Trades Up in 1st Round: 5

Instead of a trade by trade look, this time we look more at the trends. A recap of the 2015 Draft:

  • The 2015 Draft had seven trades and the first trade up happened at 13th overall.
  • Five (5) total players were dealt to move up
  • One (1) first-round pick was traded to move up (up five spots from 29 to 24)
  • Six (6) second-round picks were used to trade up; 33rd (twice), 34th, 45th, 52nd, and 61st)
  • Two (2) third-round picks were used to trade up

In contrast, the 2016 Draft saw its first trade at #11 when Ottawa moved up one spot to snag Logan Brown.  But the majority of the deals saw just a few spots moved up and a few contracts dumped off. The comparison:

  • Ottawa traded its 12th overall pick and 80th overall pick for New Jersey’s 11th overall pick
  • Detroit traded Pavel Datsyuk’s contract and the 16th overall pick for Arizona’s 20th overall pick and 53rd pick along with Joe Vitale
  • Winnipeg traded the 22nd and 36th overall pick to Philadelphia for the 18th overall pick and the 79th overall pick
  • St. Louis traded the 26th overall pick to Washington for the 28th overall pick and the 87th overall pick
  • Anaheim traded Frederik Andersen to Toronto for the 30th overall pick and a 2017 50th overall pick

The biggest takeaways were that the picks were far more with draft picks and less with players. Only Andersen, Vitale, and Datsyuk were involved in the deals. Datsyuk had recently announced he was going back to Russia and Vitale on the LTIR.

What Trends Should Blackhawks Fans Take Note Of?

There was less movement up and it actually didn’t cost much–so long as there wasn’t a major gap between picks.

  • The 2016 Draft had five trades and the first trade up was at #11
  • Four (4) 2016 first-round picks were used to trade up (Biggest jump was four spots)
  • Three (3) second-round picks were traded to move up; One (1) future second-round pick was used
  • Two (2) third-round picks were traded to move up; One (1) was used as a throw-in

The 2016 Draft shows that smaller between draft spots gives less up. As an example:

  • Ottawa yielded only a third round pick to move up one spot (80th)
  • Arizona took on a contract and gave up a 53rd overall pick to move up four spots
  • Winnipeg threw in the 36th overall pick  to move up four spots.
  • Washington tossed in the 87th round pick to move up two spots late in the draft

Astute Blackhawks fans will note that the smaller the gap, the less a team is giving up, which based on the 2015 results, the opposite is true. So far, it’s held as expected. The more a team wants to move up, the more they give up, likely with NHL ready players as part of the deal. Looking ahead, the Blackhawks deal with Alex DeBrincat and Kirby Dach reveal it.

A smaller move up sees throw-ins with second and third-round picks.

We’ll see if the trend continues.

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