With two picks in the top 20 of this year’s NHL draft, Ron Hextall’s fifth draft as general manager of the Flyers could go in any number of different ways. While the prospect pool is still reasonably deep, no one group is dominant to the point where anything should be off the table with either of the Flyers’ two picks (at 14th and 19th overall). And we also can’t rule out a trade of some sort, given that the Flyers have made trades in the first round in three out of Hextall’s four drafts in charge.
There are a lot of ways it can go. Which is what makes trying to play it all out entertaining. And every year, we get a chance to do that with the SBNation NHL mock draft. With the help of the other 30 team sites in our network, we go through the entire first round, picking players, making deals, and generally having some fun.
For us, last year’s draft had about as little suspense as possible, as we took Nolan Patrick with the second pick (which the Flyers, of course, would then do themselves a few days later in real life). In 2016, we deliberated between a few guys on the board before taking Julien Gauthier at No. 18; in the actual draft, Gauthier would go at No. 21 after the Flyers traded out of the 18th pick and then took German Rubtsov at No. 22. And in 2015, we ended up drafting Ivan Provorov at No. 7 (hey, the Flyers did that too!) and Brock Boeser at No. 29 (Boeser went at No. 23 in the real thing, one pick before the Flyers moved up to snag Travis Konecny).
In none of those mock drafts did we end up making a trade in the first round. But there’s a first time for everything, and before we even have time to announce a pick, we’ve got two trades to tell you all about.
But first, a quick review of what’s happened so far:
- Buffalo selects Rasmus Dahlin, via Die By The Blade.
- Carolina selects Andrei Svechnikov, via Canes Country.
- Montreal selects Filip Zadina, via Eyes on the Prize.
- Ottawa selects Quinn Hughes, via Silver Seven.
- Arizona selects Brady Tkachuk, via Five for Howling.
- Detroit selects Adam Boqvist, via Winging It In Motown.
- Vancouver selects Noah Dobson, via Nucks Misconduct.
- Chicago selects Oliver Wahlstrom, via Second City Hockey.
- New York Rangers select Evan Bouchard, via Blueshirt Banter.
- Edmonton selects Martin Kaut, via Copper & Blue.
- Washington* selects Jesperi Kotkaniemi, via Japers’ Rink.
- New York Islanders select Ty Smith, via Lighthouse Hockey.
* NY Islanders traded the 11th pick to the Capitals in exchange for the 31st pick and Phillipp Grubauer.
Without further ado ...
Trade No. 1: Philadelphia trades the 14th pick in the 2018 draft and the restricted free agent rights of Petr Mrazek to the Dallas Stars for the 13th pick in the 2018 draft.
We were approached early on in the draft process about a possible move for Mrazek by the Dallas contingent over at Defending Big D, as they had heard that the Flyers were unlikely to retain Mrazek’s rights this summer. Ben Bishop’s first year in Dallas went reasonably well (lack of team success notwithstanding), but Dallas has no other legitimate NHL goalie under contract or in its system, and their reps in our network figured that Mrazek would make some sense in that role and wanted to get first dibs on signing him.
That said, with due respect to the folks down in Dallas that offered it to us, this was a complete no-brainer of a trade on our end. As we’ve known since three days after the season ended (when he more or less told us this himself), Petr Mrazek was not going to be returning next year to the Flyers, who were prepared to make him an unrestricted free agent on July 1. Getting anything for him at all, considering that both sides have publicly stated that they’ll be going their separate ways, is a win. Getting an extra spot in the first round of the draft is about as good as we reasonably could have expected.
Consider BSH alumnus and current Carolina Hurricanes Manager of Analytics Eric Tulsky’s draft value chart, posted on this very website five years ago. Based on his calculations (and doing some rough estimating, due to the fact that he lists out values for picks 12 and 14 but not specifically for 13), the difference in value between picks 13 and 14 is approximately 1.5 “points”. That’s roughly equal to the value of the 82nd pick in the draft. Meanwhile, the pick that the Flyers themselves gave up to get Petr Mrazek is ... the 81st pick in this draft.
Essentially, in making this trade we managed to recoup the draft capital lost by trading for Mrazek in the first place. Certainly makes the pill that is Mrazek’s thoroughly forgettable time in Philadelphia easier to swallow, doesn’t it?
It’s an interesting gamble for Dallas, particularly if they didn’t see many big differences between players that were projected to be available at this point in the draft. And Mrazek’s had success in the past, so betting on him finding that again may be worth the drop in the bucket here for them.
But the trade was certainly worth it for us. The only possible reason to turn this trade down would’ve been if we’d felt that we could’ve received even more value for Mrazek than we did, and we figured that the odds of that were pretty slim. (Plus, y’know, it’s a first-round mock draft. What’d be the fun of trading Mrazek for something like a third-round pick if it doesn’t actually change what we do in the mock draft itself?)
With that, we owned the 13th pick. Until ...
Trade No. 2: Philadelphia trades the 13th and 127th picks in the 2018 draft to Colorado for the 16th and 58th picks in the 2018 draft.
As we went on the clock with the 13th pick, the fine folks over at Mile High Hockey reached out to us to see if they could move up a few spots from their perch at the 16th pick. Clearly, there was someone they really liked at that pick, and (perhaps motivated by the potential to jump division-rival Dallas at No. 14) they were willing to pay to get there.
After some haggling, we at BSH agreed to make the swap, moving down three spots while sending out an early 5th-round pick (obtained last summer in the Nick Cousins trade with Arizona) to grab an extra pick late in the 2nd round. Colorado would then go on to take center Joe Veleno with this pick.
Unlike the first trade we made here, which was pretty open and shut, this one was more of a judgment call. There were a few players that we were interested in at this pick who were still available, including Veleno and
another player whose name we will disclose in a couple of hours (so as to not spoil the draft, because he went at No. 14 to Dallas). Joel Farabee, who went at No. 14 to Dallas.
All in all, though, while we liked the guys on the board there, we didn’t think that much more of them than we did the next couple of guys on the board. And since the Flyers are currently without a third-round pick due to the Mrazek trade, the prospect of adding another pick in the second round was an appealing one for us.
Did we come out ahead in this trade? Tough to say. Eric’s draft chart that we referred to earlier likes the deal just a very slight bit more for the Avs, but it still sees the trade as more or less even:
Draft Trade Values
|Flyers get:||Value:||Avs get:||Value:|
|Flyers get:||Value:||Avs get:||Value:|
All in all, how you see this trade probably depends on how high you were on the very top guys that were still on the board. If you really wanted someone like Joe Veleno, then an extra second-round pick probably isn’t worth it to you to get him. But if you saw everyone still in consideration as being in roughly the same draft tier, you’re probably a fan of it. We weren’t 100 percent sure about it, but ultimately we settled on the latter.
So, to summarize our moves made here before even making a pick:
- 16th pick, 2018
- 58th pick, 2018
- 14th pick, 2018
- 127th pick, 2018
- Negotiating rights to Petr Mrazek
With that, we’ll have our next announcement regarding the mock draft on Monday, when the 16th pick is up. Did we trade that one, too? Or did we make a pick? You’ll have to wait to find out. Until then, let us know what you think about our moves in the below poll, and follow along with the whole SBN NHL mock draft here.
Do you approve of the trades we made in the SBN NHL mock draft?
This poll is closed
Yes, both were good trades
Approve of the Mrazek trade, but wouldn’t have traded down from 13 to 16
Wouldn’t have made the Mrazek trade (...why not?)