Wednesday, we started with 14 picks already in the books, eight and six picks in the first couple days, so it was going to have to take a pretty good day to even make it through the first day... and that's exactly what we had! We were able to make it through the 1st round and even open up the 2nd round with one pick there. I would say that was a pretty fine day!
Grant opened up the day on Wednesday with a defenseman swap, taking out the underachieving Frederik Claesson in Ottawa and adding the European import in the Chicago lineup, Jan Rutta, who has been off to a great start this season. Major upgrade, for sure.
Before getting too drunk at a bowling outing, newcomer Chris was able to agree to a forward swap, taking out the injured Kyle Palmieri, who is out of the Devils lineup until the New Year, picking up Kings rookie Adrian Kempe to take his spot.
I know Derek B. was humming and hawing over his goalie swap for a couple of days, juggling two or three ideas of who he would replace Antti Niemi with and he finally decided on Penguins backup, but new number one for now, Tristan Jarry. He'll try to capitalize on the Matt Murray injury for however long he is out for.
Dale C. needed to dispatch of the ill Patrick Eaves in Anaheim, as his timetable for a return is hazy, at best, if at all, so he made the move to pick up Craig Smith in Nashville, trying to cash in on their overall game, which seemed to pick up in the second half of the season last year as well.
The goaltending carousel kept on spinning with Wilton's pick, as his goalie surviving team was in need of a little help, as he opted for Malcolm Subban in Vegas, as he begins to get more work, coming off of his lower-body injury. Chad Johnson was getting sparse starts in Buffalo and wasn't exactly winning them either, so now he has help for Andrei Vasilevskiy moving forward.
Stuart needed a goalie as well, as Louis Domingue is now sitting in the minors in Tampa Bay's organizational scheme and there doesn't seem to be any window for him to return any time soon. So, he opted for the backup in New Jersey, Keith Kinkaid, as he'll try to capitalize on Jersey's improved play in the 2018 season, so far.
The second of two retired players was let go with the 21st drop in the Waiver Draft, as defenseman Mark Streit wasn't coming back to Benson's team, so a healthy body was needed and Pittsburgh's Olli Maatta is now there to fill the void, for however long he can stay healthy for.
Kristy & Don opted to pass, as their team looked pretty solid heading into the Waiver Draft... although they did try to poach a player that was already picked on another team at the original draft. I'm not sure how well that was going to work for them.
Jeremy needed a defenseman change as well and there is more news surrounding his pick, which will come after this post, but he picked up Sami Vatanen, who was on the Ducks roster at the time of the pick, dropping Jonas Brodin in Minnesota, who has continued to struggle these days.
Somehow, Canucks backup goalie, Anders Nilsson, made it down to the end of the first round of the Waiver Draft and that's where Brian was able to snag him, with the 24th pick. Between minutes played and points accumulated, Nilsson was better than his goalie, Mike Condon in Ottawa, so the swap was pretty easy.
Finally, finishing off the first round of the Waiver Draft, is the current reigning champion, Dale B., and he was able to make an improvement to his excellent team, dropping Victor Rask in Carolina and picking up Ryan Hartman in Chicago. Rask is officially available to anyone, if they were looking for someone like him in the second round and beyond, but the pick of Hartman is an improvement, especially since he's getting really hot these days.
So, not only were were able to finish off the first round, Scott B. was up and at it in the evening last night, and he was able to kick off the second round right away, looking to improve his defense corps, dropping Nathan Beaulieu in Buffalo and picking up his second Golden Knights player, Colin Miller.
Now, we'll kick off Thursday with Eric's pick, which I have waiting in the coffers, I just wanted to review the day yesterday, before I got too far ahead of myself. Stacey C. will be next up on the bill and we'll continue to roll through. Stay tuned!