Pre-draft trade activity has topped the actual trade deadline in recent years, and that could ramp up this summer.
Darren Dreger had a Friday morning radio hit on Buffalo’s WGR 550.
Following a discussion on the possibility of offer sheets this summer given the impressive crop of high-end restricted free agents that could be available, Dreger was asked about the possibility of lower-tier offer sheets - there are six tiers of them.
“Yeah, you could. Why not,” indicated Dreger. “Again, when you identify who the top cap teams are and the players that they have and what they have to do, I mean it’s not that difficult. You look at Tampa Bay, you look at Toronto. We’ve talked about Winnipeg, of course, has got a ton of issues moving forward. And the Calgary Flames are right there as well.
“What I think is going to happen - and this is just my gut instinct here - those teams are also the teams that are most hungry to win. So I’m not suggesting that you’re going to see big, young pieces trades between now and February 25, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we start seeing some really significant trades on an annual basis at the draft.
“I think this year’s draft and that weekend could be substantial in terms of some of the pieces that are getting moved. I just don’t see how these teams have a choice.”
The trade deadline is February 25, and the draft will be held in Vancouver June 21-22.
Contract-related info via CapFriendly