What is a second-round pick worth via trade?
Why not keep the pick and draft?
I was in conversation on Twitter this week over Calgary's acquisition of Curtis Lazar last season. At the time, it was strange to pick up another asset that they would have to protect in the expansion draft, particularly because Lazar had one point in 33 games at the time from 2016-17.
Before Trade: 36 points in 176 games for Ottawa
After Trade: 8 points in 43 games for Calgary.
There were plenty of explanations given, but the most common had to do with the questionable value of a second-round pick. As a Flames prospect follower, it's true, you don't know exactly what you are going to get from a second-round pick. As a fan, you have no idea what kind of players your team is going to draft either. Some years you grab Dillon Dube and Tyler Parsons and some years you select Mason McDonald and Hunter Smith. Lazar creates the debate of what constitutes value of an NHL player trade for the pick. If the player is a 4th liner, aren't they replaceable via waivers or the AHL?
The Calgary Flames seeming dislike picks in the second round. They've traded a conditional 2nd round in the Mike Smith trade as well as two, second-round picks in the Travis Hamonic acquisition.
Without looking specifically into the draft and how the value of a draft pick shakes out in comparison to first or other rounds (there are many other pieces that talk about draft pick value), let's take a quick look on what value a second-round pick holds in the trade market over the last four or five seasons.
First off, as best we can, let's get rid of trades that involve multiple multiple multiple pieces.
Take the deadline trade for Eric Staal for example. It cost the Rangers two second's and a prospect taken in the third round (Aleksi Saarela) to get his services for the playoff push. That doesn't necessarily tell us much about the value of a second-round pick.
Here are the three categories I found. We can look at them.
Deadline expiring vets, (usually 3rd line or 4/5th defensemen)
Summer veterans (usually unusual circumstances)
First-round reclamation projects.
*taken from ESPN
This category is pretty self-explanatory. The value shifts and changes every year but teams who are making playoff pushes will try to acquire assets without sacrificing their top picks. It seems like a team does not want to give up first-round picks unless a player has term and extended value, usually. However, other picks are thrown around like candy at a summer parade.
Want a veteran forward on an expiring contract at the deadline? Take your pick.
Daniel Winnik, Chris Stewart, Devin Setoguchi, Tyler Kennedy, Nick Spaling, Dale Weise, Tomas Fleishmann, Lee Stempniak, Patrick Eaves, Brian Boyle.
Each of these players weren't necessarily swapped straight up for a deuce pick, but it's about that value.
Dale Weise and Tomas Fleishmann were swapped for Phillip Danault and a 2nd round pick.
Anaheim getting Patrick Eaves seems to be fantastic value when he's been healthy.
If you’d like to spend a little extra you could get yourself a Curtis Glencross (2+3) or Jiri Hudler (2+4) or a Jaromir Jagr (2+3)
Want a Blueliner? There aren't as many examples, but there are some.
Roman Polak, Kimmo Timonen, Jeff Petry, Ron Hainsey.
I think usually if a Dman is moved at the deadline, it's for more value. Two examples include Andrew MacDonald was moved for a 2nd, 3rd, and a player – and then Kris Russel was sent to Dallas for a conditional 2nd, a player and a prospect.
Basically though, if you're willing to bulk up your team at the deadline, a 2nd round pick can get you a third-line scoring winger, or a third-pairing defenseman. This seems to be the standard value.
*taken from the Toronto Star
Generally, teams don't want to just trade a player with the equivalent of a second-round pick. Whether teams aren't in positions to replace those kind of value players or not, it just doesn't happen as much as you'd think.
If you do want to gather a player in the summer it's usually an older player but not always.
Jason Garrison, Brad Stewart, Josh Gorges, Trevor van Reimsdyk, Marc Methot, Linden Vey.
Seems to me that if you want to add a potential Top-four D to your team, then the summer would be the time to trade for one. If you don't feel like the market is sporting quality FA Dmen, then it appears a 2nd round pick could be pretty decent value.
Trivia: If you trade a second and a third-round pick, you can get a scoring winger who had 58 points in 2016-17. Who is it?
(It's such an awful trade) (What was Washington thinking)
First-round reclamation projects.
I could also include Brett Connolly on this list as he went for two second-round picks. He has found some depth success on Boston and Washington and could be a 20-goal scorer if he plays a full season.
The most common argument for CGY acquiring Curtis Lazar who only had one point was, "I'd rather have an NHL player than a question mark any day".
The argument was, even if the trade did not work out, the gamble would be worth it from a value perspective….
Let's look at who was drafted for these players.
Hopefully some other time we can look into this deeper as there were obviously different apparent issues from dressing room attitudes, work ethic, or just developing skillset, etc.
What do you think though? Would you take a chance on a former first-round pick if a team was willing to trade them away?
If we are keeping with this pattern of value… would you trade a second-round pick for…..
It's probably too soon but….
It might be about where the value is…. maybe a tiny bit less….
Thanks for reading. Let the debate continue.
Joel Henderson – Associate Editor – Covering the Calgary Flames @dathockeydoe