After all the fun over the last few days with buyouts and trade rumors, we've got another few hours of that before the actual NHL draft starts off. The fun will officially start at 3pm on NBCSN, where the coverage will run until 7pm (so... four rounds maybe?). After 7, it'll cut over to NHL Network.
That's just the official draft fun though. There's nothing saying that a lot of fun trades can't happen before then. Here's a few storylines the league has been tracking.
- The Avs have made it painfully clear that they don't want to take Seth Jones with the #1 overall pick and are more interested in taking Nathan MacKinnon. In fact, they've made it almost TOO clear that this is their plan. It could be that they're just really excited for this kid, but it could also mean that they're desperately trying to get the Florida Panthers to panic and give up some assets to make sure they don't miss out on MacKinnon.
- Vinny Lecavalier has been chatting with a number of teams looking to add his services when the free agency period opens up on July 5th. Obviously, he can't sign with anybody today, but that doesn't mean they can't come to a verbal agreement to do so later this week. If a team knows they're going to get Vinny, that could change their strategy for the day.
- Without a new contract in place and without expectations that one will happen, the Wings could look to offload the negotiating rights to Valtteri Filppula. Since all it guarantees is a team has the chance to sign him prior to Friday, deals like this often end up in mid-to-late round picks and will sometimes involve signing conditions which will affect subsequent years' drafts. Of course, it could also be part of a bigger package or it could not happen altogether. No clue.
- The same could happen with both Nathan Horton, David Clarkson, and Pierre-Marc Bouchard. All three are pending UFAs who have said they're going to try out free agency.
- The biggest draft day trade story may center around Kris Letang, who the Pittsburgh Media has been talking about as a potential trade target all week. He's got one more year until UFA, but talks with the Penguins haven't gone well and he may be moved.
We ran a mock draft recently (which didn't allow trading any picks). If today's draft goes like that, the Wings would end up with Anthony Mantha, who went off the board at #12 in two of three of NHL.com's mocks.
The Production Line's Michael Petrella posted an updated mock draft post yesterday. He covers the idea pretty well that the Wings might not mind sliding back to pick up an extra pick in a later round. Right now he's got Alexander Wennberg heading the Wings' way.
We'll be here all day, folks.