I don't really understand these "we'll give you a 1st round pick to not take our 9th best player" type deals. Take the Islanders, for example. Seems that Brock Nelson, Ryan Strome, and Calvin de Haan are the 3 unprotected players that the Islanders want to protect. I don't follow them closely, so if there's something I'm missing from them, please fill me in. But, here are there numbers:
Nelson: 81GP, 20G, 25A, -6
Strome: 69GP, 13G, 17A, -8
deHaan: 82GP, 5G, 20A, +15
Decent role players, but which one is worth a 1st round pick in a trade? They're essentially trading a 1st round pick plus a lower unprotected player in exchanged for 1 of those 3. I don't get the value here.
They were talking about that exact situation this morning on NHL Network radio. Statistically, weak draft or no, you're "probably" getting a regular NHL player in the first round. You're forfeiting that to the Golden Knights for...? A stack of third line players you're not sure on?
Personally I'm with you. In today's NHL those first round picks are immensely valuable and you only trade those when you REALLY think you got a shot to bring home a cup or solve an extremely pressing problem.
Only thing I can figure is Tavares re-signing. They have to make progress next year and show J.T. they're moving in the right direction or he might take a look at what king's ransom he can get on the free market. Even then though use the first rounder to get a quality player, not to protect the mediocrity that didn't carry you to at least the playoffs last season. idonno.