It's the Sunday before the draft on Wednesday and Thursday and deals and trades are starting to reach their "rumored" finish lines. Stanley Cup champion goaltender Adin Hill is set to resign with the Golden Knights for 2 years at a 4.9AAV per Elliotte Friedman (@FredgeHNIC).
Hurricanes captain Jordan Staal is finishing his career in Carolina as he signs a 4 year deal at just under 12 million with a full NMC in the first 3 seasons. Sean Durzi, the young Kings defenseman, was traded to the Coyotes for a 2024 2nd (via Montreal). For me, this one speaks to a bigger deal at play as I feel Durzi is a tremendous young blue liner that was traded for much less than how I perceive his value.
The St. Louis Blues and Philadelphia Flyers appear to have the framework of a deal in place to trade some veteran pieces such as Kevin Hayes and Travis Sanheim to the Blues for draft capital and potentially some other pieces.
Our Chicago Blackhawks appear to be quiet however, but for good reason. Kyle Davidson appears set to be "sticking to the plan" of drafting young skaters while signing NHL "now" talent to low term higher AAV deals. So far it seems, to me, that his plan is being followed to a T with little deviation. Adding draft capital while maximizing the Blackhawks' NHL talent in trades has netted Chicago a lot of flexibility heading into draft week.
How Davidson uses all of this is currently a mystery. One thing I believe; is that the premium on skating as the #1 skill will be evident in Wednesday and Thursday's drafts (Round 1 on Wednesday, Rounds 2-7 on Thursday). I also believe that the Hawks will ultimately not draft 6 times in the first 2 rounds but potentially 4 times. I believe they will either move up from 19 or from 35 to secure a targeted player. I also beleive that one of their 2 picks in the 50s could be "pushed" if a player isn't available they want to take. They could entice a team more ready to compete by offering that pick for a future 2nd in that scenario.