It's been a busy week for the league between the NHL Awards and the NHL draft and all the GMs trying to make a splash prior to or during the draft in preparation for free agency. While it wasn't all that exciting for the Sens, we still got to enjoy the chaos from the Flames and celebrate our King's recognition. Let's take a deeper look at the highlights of the hockey world this week.
- It isn't fair that the Chicago Blackhawks will get rewarded with a gift like Bedard but there was no avoiding the inevitable. Yesterday, as expected, Connor Bedard went 1st overall in the 2023 NHL draft.
- The big draft surprise came when it was time for the Anaheim Ducks to select their second overall pick and instead of going with the "agreed upon" second overall pick, Adam Fantilli, they picked Swedish forward Leo Carlsson. It really isn't a big reach since Carlsson was expected to go third overall and Fantilli didn't have to wait long with the Blue Jackets happily picking him up at 3rd overall. I expect a Fantilli/Carlsson comparison to last throughout their careers now.
- Erik Karlsson capped an incredible individual season with his third Norris win at the Nashville NHL Awards a couple of nights ago. There was no argument that he deserved it and now comes the hard task of the Sharks obliging his wishes to get traded. Multiple teams have shown interest including the Carolina Hurricanes and Nashville Predators are among the teams that are interested in acquiring the elite defenseman and even the Toronto Maple Leafs (never going to happen) name has been thrown around. While Karlsson stated that he wants to be on a contender; this hasn't stopped Sens fans from trying to manifest his homecoming.
- Speaking of our beloved Sens, new ownership was supposed to be the beginning of an exciting time for Ottawa but so far it's been a bit of a letdown. Besides, the process dragged on until we all just wanted everything to start over; it was confirmed this week that both Pierre Dorion and DJ Smith will be coming back next season. Add this news to the fact that Alex DeBrincat is on his way out; the excitement for next season is maybe not at the level we were hoping it would be especially as you see other teams in the East continue to immensely improve by the day.
- The Calgary Flames continued the complete teardown of their roster with the latest victim (or probably saved player) being Tyler Toffoli. The New Jersey Devils acquired Toffoli for Yegor Sharangovich and our 2023 3rd Round Draft Pick. In addition, Milan Lucic has been strongly rumoured to be rejoining the Boston Bruins when free agency opens up next week.
- In other trade news, The Tampa Bay Lightning traded forward Ross Colton to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft.
- The Vegas Golden Knights were busy this week as they traded Reilly Smith to the Pittsburgh Penguins and signed Ivan Barbashev to a 5-year extension.
- The Pierre-Luc Dubois circus may be finally coming to an end. The Winnipeg Jets have traded the ever-disgruntled forward to the LA Kings where he quickly signed an 8-year contract for $8.5M. He has secured the money and a "nice place to live" so maybe now he'll be able to settle down and purely focus on his game.
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