Analysis of Notable Trades at 2018 NHL Draft

by | Jun 23, 2018 | Soapbox | 9 comments

Here’s my take on the noteworthy trades of the 2018 NHL Draft. 

Calgary Flames ship Dougie Hamilton to the Carolina Hurricanes in a multi-player trade (Photo via NHL Images)

Carolina Hurricanes trade center Elias Lindholm and defenseman Noah Hanifin to the Calgary Flames in exchange for defenseman Dougie Hamilton, forward Micheal Ferland and defense prospect Adam Fox. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Big move by two teams that failed to reach the playoffs last season. Flames coach Bill Peters is also the former bench boss of the Hurricanes and knows Lindholm and Hanifin well, so I don’t doubt he had a hand in this. Both are restricted free agents but I expect the Flames will get them re-signed quickly. Lindholm has managed two straight 40-point seasons and is a strong two-way performer. Hanifin, 21, still has considerable upside as a puck-moving rearguard. 

This is the second time in three years Hamilton’s been dealt. A skilled mobile defenseman, the 25-year-old netted a career-best 17 goals this season. He should provide an immediate offensive boost from the blueline.  Ferland, a pesky physical winger, reached career highs in goals (20) and points (41). Fox could also eventually prove to be a solid addition to the Hurricanes defense corps

Los Angeles Kings reach agreement with free-agent left wing Ilya Kovalchuk on a three-year contract. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Not a trade but this signing could affect the trade market. Several clubs that were interested in Kovalchuk could turn to the trade market. TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports it’s an annual cap hit of $6.25 million, same as Toronto’s Patrick Marleau. He cannot officially sign this until July 1 but it appears it will be a done deal. 

Kovalchuk was the KHL’s leading scorer last season. He’s returning to the NHL for the first time since 2012-13. A former 40-50 goal scorer, the 35-year-old is probably no longer capable of reaching those heights again. If he can consistently reach 25 goals and 50 points per season over the course of this deal he could be a useful addition for the Kings, who are in need of experienced scoring depth, especially on the power play. 

Washington Capitals trade goaltender Phillip Grubauer and Brooks Orpik to the Colorado Avalanche for a second-round pick (47th overall) in the 2018 NHL Draft. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pure salary dump by the Capitals. Grubauer is a restricted free agent who wants to be a starting goaltender, something he won’t be with Braden Holtby entrenched as their starter. Orpik had a year remaining on his contract at an annual average value of $5.5 million. By shedding that salary, the Caps now have over $58 million invested in 15 players, giving them much-needed room to re-sign pending UFA defenseman John Carlson to what could be an eight-year deal worth over $8 million annually.

For the Avs, Grubauer could be a potential heir apparent to current starter Semyon Varlamov. The oft-injured 30-year-old Varlamov is a year away from UFA status. If Grubauer proves himself as a starting goalie in Colorado this season, the Avs could let Varlamov walk nexst summer. This move also likely means current backup Jonathan Bernier will be heading to free agency.

As for Orpik, the Avs will reportedly attempt to trade him again. Failing that, they could buy him out by June 30. 



  1. why not just keep Orpik as the 7th D man and help their young D learn. Kinda like a player/coach… it would only be for 1 yr and provides them depth and playoff experience provided they get there. Y have a young guy be a 7th and sit all the time..better to let the youth go to the AHL and get playing time

    • The Caps need salary cap relief to sign Carlson.
      He will be bought out by the Avs, so the caps can bring them back on a lower cap Hit for one or two years if they desire.

      • Even if Colorado buys him out Wash can`t resign him. NHL won`t allow it

      • wrong Yogi. You cannot buyout your OWN player and resign. Orpick is no longer a Cap, so it is perfectly legal if that is what transpires

  2. Sharks dodged a bullet by not taking Kovi, especially for three years. And they’re still in the running for Tavares. A good day!

    • Big gamble giving him 3 years. He’s going to the Kings to win a Cup?

  3. Some gamesmanship going on with the free agents. I din’t Believe the sharks had any interest in Kovalchuk just like I don’t think the Kings have and genuine interest in Tavares. But they both hoped to force the other or other teams into overpaying or rushing.

    I also think that Blake and the Kings had an agreement with Kovalchuk before Round 1 but waited to bog down the trade market for other teams.

  4. What’s with Dougie? a second team he didn’t quite mesh with – so it seems.

  5. Wah wahh