Around the Atlantic: Montreal picks first, Ottawa lands a superstar and Dubas cuts cap

It has been a heavy news week in the Atlantic division largely due to the NHL draft but there have also been several trades, some depth players re-signing, and new coaches hired. With free agency set to begin on July 13th rumours continue to swirl and teams are scrambling to lock up their guys before they hit the open market.
NHL Draft
Plenty of Atlantic division teams made massive moves on draft night. The Montreal Canadiens had the first pick, but it was the Ottawa Senators who acquired the best player. Prior to the draft, Ottawa traded their seventh overall selection, a second-round pick, and a fourth-round pick in 2024 to the Chicago Blackhawks for star winger Alex Debrincat. A two-time 40 goal scorer and only 24 years of age, Debrincat joins an Ottawa team already stacked with young talent. He is expected to play alongside 2020 third overall pick Tim Stutzle.
The Montreal Canadiens acquired a young Chicago Blackhawk as well. After they made Slovakian winger Juraj Slafkovsky the first overall pick, general manager Kent Hughes traded Alexander Romanov and pick 98 to the New York Islanders for pick 13. They quickly flipped that pick with pick 66 to Chicago for Kirby Dach. Chicago selected Dach third overall in 2019 but he …

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Author: Scott Ony / The Leafs Nation

Actual picks, newfound cap space, and goalie woes headline day two of the draft for the Leafs

First the bad news, the Leafs once again end the first day of the draft without making a selection. The good news is the Leafs did end the first day without Petr Mrazek and freed up $3.8M in cap space. They’ll also still be picking 38th overall and have the opportunity to select a first round caliber player who just didn’t quite make the cut. It’s not a bad piece of business by Kyle Dubas and the Leafs, but the Petr Mrazek situation still leaves a bitter taste in my mouth, but that could just be from wanting the immediate payoff of a first round pick last night. 

Based on the pick value model I’ve been using for the last few years, the difference in value between pick 25 and 38 is equivalent to a late 7th.
So the Leafs paid roughly a 7th to offload Mrazek’s $3.8m cap hit with 2 years remaining.
— Earl Schwartz (@EarlSchwartz27) July 8, 2022

After trading Mrazek ($3.8M), #leafsforever have $10.2M Cap Space with 17 Players (10F/6D/1G) on Projected Roster.
RFA: Engvall, Kase, SandinUFA: Blackwell, Mikheyev, Lyubushkin, Campbell
— PuckPedia (@PuckPedia) July 8, 2022

The Leafs cap situation is now revised to see the Leafs sitting with about $12.6M in space (we won’t gift Kallgren, Abruzzese, or Clifford roster spots just yet) to fill 4-5 forward positions, including Pierre Engvall, one defensive position (Rasmus Sandin), and two NHL goaltenders. That is still pretty tight even if the Leafs primarily need bottom six forwards, a cheap backup, and two should be reasonably priced RFAs.
Despite that, the $5.5M of cap space represented by Justin Holl and Alex Kerfoot could be explored today. No specific mention of either player has co …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation