Anaheim DucksArizona CoyotesBoston BruinsBuffalo SabresCalgary FlamesCarolina HurricanesChicago BlackhawksColorado AvalancheColumbus Blue JacketsDallas StarsDetroit Red WingsEdmonton OilersFlorida PanthersLos Angeles KingsMinnesota WildMontréal CanadiensNashville PredatorsNew Jersey DevilsNew York IslandersNew York RangersOttawa SenatorsPhiladelphia FlyersPittsburgh PenguinsSt Louis BluesSan Jose SharksSeattle KrakenTampa Bay LightningToronto Maple LeafsVancouver CanucksVegas Golden KnightsWashington CapitalsWinnipeg Jets

2015 NHL Draft marked by stars, trades, peculiarity

On Friday night, when the 2015 NHL Draft kicked off in Sunrise, Florida, it started with few surprises.

"We have a trade to announce," became as second nature as "we are proud to select..."

Erie Otters star Connor McDavid went first overall, followed predictably by unquestioned second overall selection Jack Eichel. Picks three-through-five saw gifted playing-making centre Dylan Strome, diminutive speedster Mitch Marner and Boston College's Noah Hanifin fall into place.

Even as the top-10 closed out, highly ranked names such as Provorov, Zacha, Werenski, Meier, Rantanen and Crouse fell into place about where they were expected to.

After hulking power forward Milan Lucic, top young (soon-to-be 23-year-old) defensemen Dougie Hamilton, and young Senators goalie Robyn Lehner were dealt earlier in the day, it appeared the thunder of the Friday's draft had already been stolen, and the night was going to just play out exactly how it was written up. 

Instead though, after the Stars surprised with an earlier than  predicted selection of Russian power forward Denis Guryanov, it was up to the Bruins - holding three consecutive picks - to restore the status quo.

They did precisely the opposite. Instead of opting for top eligible forwards such as Mathew Barzal, fresh off a dominant U18 performance, Kyle Connor or Travis Konecny, the Bruins elected to take two-way defensemen Jakub Zboril, scoring forward Jake DeBrusk and depth speedster Zachary Senyshyn, the latter of which wasn't projected as a first round pick let alone 15th overall.

In more ways than one, these three selections shook up the draft. In fact, Barzal's slip in the draft had so much of an impact that the New York Islanders traded former fourth overall pick Griffin Reinhart to the Oilers in order to move up and select him, adding second rounder in the process.

Similarly, as Konecny continued to slide due to the Bruins' unusual trio of selections, the Philadelphia Flyers saw an opportunity and pounced, moving two picks to the Toronto Maple Leafs in order to select him at 24th overall.

Konecny and Barzal weren't the only talented forwards to fall either, as the Arizona Coyotes and San Jose Sharks plucked up Nick Merkley and Jeremy Roy with the last pick of the first round and first pick of the second round respectively. 

And as the second round opened up at 10:00 a.m. ET on Saturday morning, the trades didn't show any sign of slowing up. 

Before many on the west coast had even awaken, Canucks goalie Eddie Lack had been dealt to the Carolina Hurricanes, who in turn dealt goaltender Anton Khudobin to the Anaheim Ducks for James Wizniewski -- just not until three more other trades had been made. 

Meanwhile, the New York Rangers also got busy, taking part in two package deals that saw them trade goaltender Cam Talbot and high-flying winger Carl Hagelin to the Oilers and Ducks respectively, picking up a handful of picks and young power forward Emerson Etem along the way.

The two days were so busy with trades that a deal on Friday that saw the Sabres acquire top, young, two-way centre Ryan O'Reilly and the Stars acquire Stanley Cup champion Antti Niemi were nearly forgotten, mentioned in passing. 

As the day continued to evolve, sliders like Jeremy Bracco and Oliver Kylington, both knocked for their attitude, were snatched up by the Flames (No. 60) and the Leafs (No. 61), with the Flames joining a long list of teams to move up for their guy.

With the draft winding down, there were still a few surprises in store, with the Leafs selecting the last big faller, Nikita Korostelev (ranked 34th by myself and 79th by McKeen's), 185th overall.

Still, for a class hailed for it's elite top-end and considerable depth, it was the trades that made the biggest waves.

Even after the draft had run its course, there was one more trade to steal the show and surprise the hockey world. 

The Philadelphia Flyers, remarkably, managed to trade a retired NHL player, now NHL employee and soon-to-be Hockey Hall of Fame member Chris Pronger as well as long-rumoured trade bait defensemen Nicklas Grossmann to the Arizona Coyotes for centre Sam Gagner and a conditional pick.

As a result, not only did the Flyers make history, they also shed roughly $5 million in salary to a team that needs to meet the cap floor, opening up the chance to shed more with a Gagner buyout.

Now, the day dwindles, and the discussion slows down, but it is perhaps not the prospects that we will remember about the 2015 NHL Draft and instead the news that led and followed them.