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For some teams, the NHL trade deadline is about building for the future. For others, it's about living in the moment. Hence, that latter group can be rather liberal with their spending of young players and draft picks to solidify a Stanley Cup contender.
Sometimes even when these trades work out, history shows that the draft picks paid were a significant price. Of course, no GM can forecast how a pick will be repurposed; but they can still come back to haunt a team, especially one that fell short of a title.
Here are The Seven NHL draft picks dealt at the trade deadline that became significant players.
On March 9, 2006, Nashville Predators GM David Poile acquired an old friend to bolster his blue line: Brendan Witt of the Washington Capitals, whose physical presence was the kind the Preds sorely lacked in that pre-Shea Weber domination era. The move was praised as one of the best rentals of the 2006 deadline.
Poile's not a fan of dealing draft picks, but had to give to get. So, along with Kris Beech — yes, the one from the Jagr trade — the Preds sent a first-round pick in 2006 to the Capitals … who ended up being Semyon Varlamov, whom they later flipped to the Colorado Avalanche for a first-rounder.
6. Brandon Dubinsky
On March 10, 2003, the Philadelphia Flyers picked up Tony Amonte from the Phoenix Coyotes for a package of assets: Winger Guillaume Lefebvre, Atlanta's 3rd round choice in the 2003 Entry Draft and Philadelphia's 2nd round choice in the 2004 Entry Draft. The third rounder ended up being Tyler Redenbach, who is currently playing in Helsinki and never made the NHL.
The second-rounder was later traded to the New York Rangers, who used it to select 60th overall, taking Brandon Dubinsky.
5. David Perron
In the 2006-07 season, the New Jersey Devils dumped the salary of Vladimir Malakhov on the San Jose Sharks along with a first-round pick for their troubles. That pick was repackaged when the Sharks traded Ville Nieminen and Jay Barriball to the St. Louis Blues for Bill Guerin. The Blues then used that 2007 first-round pick to select David Perron at No. 26 overall.
Why the double entry? Follow the bouncing draft picks …
On March 24, 1998, defenseman Bryan Marchment was traded to the San Jose Sharks by the Tampa Bay Lightning along with David Shaw and a 1998 first-round pick. Coming back to the Bolts: Forward Andrei Nazarov and a 1st-round choice that used to belong to the Florida Panthers, who traded it to San Jose in a package that saw Viktor Kozlov come to Florida.
The Panthers ended up with the top pick in the 1998 Draft.
Tampa Bay used that pick to select Vincent Lecavalier.
Meanwhile, the Sharks traded Tampa's first-round pick in a package to the Nashville Predators on June 27, 1998. The Predators drafted David Legwand. The Sharks, via the picks they acquired from the Preds, drafted Brad Stuart and Jonathan Cheechoo.
And exhale …
3. Phil Housley
Remember Jerry Korab? He played 975 games in the NHL, and was a 2-time All-Star. He was 31 years old in March 1980 when the Buffalo Sabres traded him to the Los Angeles Kings for their first round pick in the 1982 NHL Entry Draft. With that pick. No. 6 overall, the Sabres selected Phil Housley, who'd go on to be one of the best offensive defensemen of his generation.
2. Roberto Luongo
Yeah, we forgot about this too.
But on March 13, 1996, the Toronto Maple Leafs traded for Wendel Clark, Mathieu Schneider and D.J. Smith, sending the following package back to the New York Islanders: Darby Hendrickson, Sean Haggerty, Kenny Jonsson and Toronto's 1st round choice in 1997 Entry Draft.
With the 4th pick in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, the New York Islanders selected Roberto Luongo of the Val-d'Or Foreurs in the QMJHL.
1. Tom Barrasso
On March 10, 1981, the Buffalo Sabres traded beloved star Rick Martin, who had battled through some back injuries, to the Los Angeles Kings, where he would play just four games. Hence, this turned out to be a slightly lopsided trade: The Sabres acquired the Kings' first-round pick in 1983, which ended up being multiple Stanley Cup-winning and Vezina Trophy-winning goalie Tom Barrasso.
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- David Perron
- David Legwand
- Semyon Varlamov
- Nashville Predators
- San Jose Sharks