What a horrible last couple of days for the Waiver Draft. We had a pretty decent day on Thursday, but Friday went all to hell and between both of those days, I wasn't feeling too up to doing the recap post either.
Nevertheless, we're back at it here on Saturday morning and we'll figure out where we left off... which was Eric's pick on Thursday morning and we'll go from there!
Eric kicked it all off with the 27th overall pick and he took a flyer on Sharks forward Joonas Donskoi, who was on the shelf with a slight injury, but he was listed as day-to-day. If the injury was to get worse, Eric would also get a shot to move him out in the bonus round, but it still sounds fairly minor, at the moment.
With the next pick, Steve looked to improve his blueline, dropping the underachieving Julius Honka in Dallas and buying into the Vegas Golden Knights, taking Deryk Engelland to replace the Finn. If you missed it in the player notes this morning, Engelland was hurt this week, also day-to-day with an upper-body injury, suffered after the pick, so he's eligible for the bonus round drops, if necessary.
Stacey C. has now made a couple of moves, removing the full proxy tag from his team, which is good news for him. His second move was dropping Frans Nielsen in Detroit and replacing him with Lars Eller in Washington, keeping that European flavour on his team, but shifting the talent from an offensively stifled team to a high-powered offense on the eastern seaboard.
Troy's team was in dire need of a shake-up in this Waiver Draft and he opted to go to the blueline with his second move of the draft, dropping Montreal defender Jeff Petry and picking up Adam Pelech from the surging Islanders. The Islanders are 2nd in the NHL in goals for, so that's a good team to jump on at the moment, as it seems like a good number of players are picking up scrap points here and there.
Neil was unfortunate to see Eddie Lack head down to the minors from the Flames a couple of weeks ago and there isn't any reason, at the moment, that they needed to call him back up, so Neil picked up a new backup goalie in Darcy Kuemper on Thursday, trying to make good use of the Kings' back-to-back games with a pretty potent roster these days.
Since penalty minutes isn't a mini-game this year, there really was no use for Radko Gudas on Wes' pool team moving forward, especially now that he has a significant lead in the category regardless. Wes looked for a bit more offensive potential and picked up Michael Del Zotto from the Canucks to get it. Del Zotto is playing big minutes for Vancouver and could be a very good addition.
Ryan couldn't find any possible improvements in his second round move, so he passed. He does have bonus round options, if needed, but that is unlikely.
Mike went back to the blueline as well with his 2nd round pick, looking to improve his offense with Joel Edmundson of the Blues, who has quietly been putting up points in a St. Louis offense that can find some extra gears from time to time. Carolina's Jaccob Slavin has been pool worthy over the last couple of seasons, but hasn't gotten off to a great start this season, hence the drop.
As we motored through the first 34 picks before Stacey M., Andrew Ladd's name was bounced around quite a bit, thought to be one of the more recognizable names out there, but there was just no takers, until Stacey came calling. She had an injury to take care of right away in Montreal's Artturi Lehkonen and this is the second move in this post that saw a Canadiens player dropped for an Islanders player. Interesting.
Brenda & Seward were another team that decided to pass, as their roster has been relatively healthy after the first couple weeks of the year and they could see better numbers from what they have already, compared to what was out there.
There was a lot of disappointment in Cam's voice, when he had to drop Zdeno Chara for his lack of offense this season, as the aged defender isn't the same offensive guy he used to be this season. In the corresponding move, he picked up another player he had never heard of in Columbus' Markus Nutivaara, a regular guy on the Jackets roster.
The top half of the standings were all apparently sitting on Hampus Lindholm in Anaheim, hoping that his late start to the season would get him to drop into their laps and pick him up as a sneaky pick in the Waiver Draft. Clayton was the fortunate recipient of this luck, as he fell into his lap and Lindholm has now replaced Cody Ceci in Ottawa, who hasn't been as effective as Clayton would have hoped.
Both Tony and Grant passed on their picks in the 2nd round, as both of their teams remain injury-free these days.
After a lengthy, lengthy wait, Chris opted to jump on the Blue Jackets bandwagon with his 2nd pick in the Waiver Draft, picking up rookie forward Pierre-Luc Dubois, who has been doing just a smidgen better than his teammate Brandon Dubinsky, who was Chris' drop in the move.
Chris' pick was what now brought us to Saturday morning and Derek B. was waiting ever-so-impatiently to make his move. All of that waiting paid off, I guess, as he was able to drop Troy Stecher from the Canucks and pick up Kris Russell in Edmonton, who has been better in picking up points in the early part of the year.
The last pick that I have on the board right now belongs to Dale C., who hummed and hawed for a little while, debating on making the move to try and improve his forwards. There was some better numbers from Vegas' Erik Haula than what he was getting from New Jersey's Pavel Zacha, so he made the swap and he'll hope that the Golden Knights can keep the offense going.
So, now we're waiting on Wilton, who has informed me this morning that he is driving to Edmonton, as this post was being written, so it might be a little bit before that pick gets done. The bonus round will be a free-for-all for all of those injured players still listed on teams and I will inform everyone about when it starts. Now we wait again!