Calgary steals the show
The Flames won the unexpected sweepstakes for Boston's Dougie Hamilton, acquiring the 22-year-old for just three picks, including the 15th overall pick. Hamilton, 6'5'', shores up a strong defensive core that already includes Mark Giordano, TJ Brodie, and Dennis Wideman. Hamilton, from Toronto, also fits the mold of a young flames core group which already features 21-year-old Johnny Gaudreau, 20-year-old Sean Monahan, and 19-year-old Sam Bennett.
Oilers add depth at each position
New Edmonton GM Peter Chiarelli added strength at every position for the Oilers, drafting centre Connor McDavid first overall as expected, trading for 2012 fourth-overall pick blue-liner Griffin Reinhart, and landing goaltender Cam Talbot from the Rangers. Edmonton also acquired defenceman Eric Gryba from the Senators. The Oilers only gave up picks in their deals including their 16th overall pick (Via Pittsburgh) and appear to be finally be on their way out of the Western Conference cellar.
Isles GM Garth Snow wheeling and dealing
New York entered the draft with no first round picks, and left with two. Snow dealt Reinhart and the 33rd pick to the Oilers for the 16th pick, where they drafted two-way centre Mathew Barzal of the Seattle Thunderbirds. The Isles also acquired the 28th overall pick from the Tampa Bay Lightning, then picked Shawinigan forward Anthony Beauvillier. Barzal and Beauvillier add to an already strong forward group which includes John Tavares, Ryan Strome, and Kyle Okposo.
Buffalo improves down the middle
The Sabres went from a team extremely weak down the middle of the ice to having an embarrassment of riches at the centre position. Not only did they draft Boston College Jack Eichel second overall as expected, they traded for two-way centre Ryan O'Reilly from the Colorado Avalanche. Buffalo also attained Jamie McGinn in the deal while sending blueline prospect Nikita Zadorov, Mikhail Grigorenko, JT Compher, and the 31st pick the other way The Sabres also acquired goaltender Robin Lehner from Ottawa to take over their starting role, while also receiving David Legwand in the trade.
Boston's unclear direction
It's hard to tell what direction new Bruins general manager Don Sweeney is taking the team after dealing a potential franchise defenceman in Hamilton. Sweeney also dealt power forward Milan Lucic to the Los Angeles Kings for their 13th overall pick and Martin Jones. Boston picked Jacub Zboril, Jake Debrusk, and Zachary Senyshyn 13th, 14th, and 15th. It is possible that Sweeney was stockpiling picks to move up in the draft, but was unable to do so. Hamilton joins Phil Kessel, Tyler Seguin, and Joe Thornton as young stars the Bruins have dealt away.