As it stands the Seattle Kraken still hold the 20th-overall pick for Wednesday’s 1st-round of the NHL Draft. As we’ve seen in the past and as we’ve seen in the last 36 hours, there’s always the possibility for some wheeling-and-dealing before the picks are actually made.
The next couple of days are “Game-7” for the league’s scouting staffs, their moment in the sun, although the impact and results of all of their hard research can take years to come to fruition.
There are few guarantees in the business and that will definitely be the case for the Kraken picking at number-20.
Dubois to SoCal
Veteran forward Pierre-Luc Dubois got his wish granted. He was traded from the Winnipeg Jets and sent to the much warmer climes of the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday. In exchange the Jets received restricted free agent (RFA) forwards Gabe Vilardi and Rasmus Kupari, along with veteran forward Alex Iafallo and a 2024 second-round draft pick.
So that Dubois could get the maximum term on a new contract, the Jets agreed to sign him first to an eight-year, $68-million deal before making the trade. The “sign-and-trade” move is a loophole to get a player an extra year on his contract, as clubs that sign free agents and other newly acquired players are only allowed to sign them to seven year deals. Existing teams can ink players to eight year contracts.
Vilardi, the Kings 11th-overall pick in 2017, tallied 23 goals this past season and has RFA arbitration rights come July 1st. Iafallo has been a consistent performer and has two-years remaining on a contract that pays him $4-million per season.
“This trade has given us a lot of different depth,” general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff said in a statement. “Each of the players brings something unique and specific that is going to give us much more, much greater variety for the coaches to be able to use and make different concepts with.”
That’s one way of putting it.
The Jets have some work to do in signing their free agents and also deciding what to do with Vezina Trophy finalist goalie Connor Hellebuyck, who has also indicated he wouldn’t mind a ticket out of town.
Writer Paul Friesen at the Winnipeg Sun talks about how the club’s reputation is damaged as each star departs.
This isn’t new for Dubois. He first wanted out of Columbus — the Blue Jackets picked him 3rd-overall in the 2016 Draft — and arrived in Winnipeg in January of 2021 in a deal that included star sniper Patrik Laine going the other way. Dubois lasted a year-and-a-half.
What the Jets are really looking forward to is moving on from current forward and former captain Blake Wheeler. He’s entering the final year of his contract. The team has been racked with chemistry issues for years.
Other Must Knows:
— New Toronto Maple Leafs General Manager Brad Treliving has indicated that Sheldon Keefe will stay on as head coach.
— The Calgary Flames traded Tyler Toffoli to the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday for forward Yegor Sharangovich and a third-round pick in this Draft.
— The Philadelphia Flyers traded 31-year-old center Kevin Hayes to the St. Louis Blues for a 6th-round pick. (?!)
— 22-year-old forward Alex Newhook gets a fresh start in Montreal as he’s dealt to the Canadiens from the Colorado Avalanche for a 1st and 2nd round pick.
— The New Jersey Devils traded soon to be RFA goalie MacKenzie Blackwood to the San Jose Sharks for a 6th-round pick. The Devils went from having not enough legitimate goaltending two seasons ago to apparently having more than enough now.
— 34-year-old forward Evgenii Dadonov signed a two-year deal with the Dallas Stars worth $2.25-million per season.