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Did you understand those draft floor trades?

Trying to figure out what teams were thinking in a trade is tough at the best of times. The draft floor makes it worse.

St. Louis Blues v Chicago Blackhawks Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

This rundown will include all of the deals that involved first-round picks, who was chosen with the picks involved, and me scratching my head a lot.

The details on the deals comes from CapFriendly. Don’t watch the draft without them!

Pick #7

Before the draft began, the New York Rangers traded Derek Stepan and Antti Raanta to the Arizona Coyotes for Anthony Deangelo and this pick. The Rangers took Lias Andersson at seventh oveall.

Andersson at seven was a bit of a stretch; Bob McKenzie’s list had him at 13, but it wasn’t a total off the board selection.

Getting some cap space makes sense for the Rangers, and getting some actual hockey players of value makes sense for the Coyotes. Deangelo is now on his third NHL team at 21.

This was the least head-scratching of all the deals, as there seemed to be something useful in it for everyone.

Pick #26

Dallas traded up to 26 and gave Chicago the 29th pick and the 70th to do it.

With the 26th pick, Dallas selected goaltender Jake Oettinger, and with the 29th pick, Chicago selected Henri Jokiharju. They were ranked 26th and 34th respectively, so on the surface, Dallas did a smart thing if Oettinger was their man and is really worth the loss of the 70th pick.

The analysis on Sportsnet and elsewhere was that the Stars feared St. Louis would take the top ranked goalie in the draft before they could get him. Dallas was drafting for organizational need, but the need was acute. What they gave up only seems foolish if you don’t believe in drafting goalies in the first round, which hasn’t historically been a smart play.

Chicago went a touch off the board with their pick, but Jokiharju is a guy who has had a lot of buzz lately. It’s hard to question Chicago’s choices. Drafting is one of their strong suits. Keeping the players and managing the cap after is where it all unravels.

Dallas may have done something dumb here, but the cost is minor if they have.

Pick #27

The Philadelphia Flyers made a deal with the St. Louis Blues that sort of adds up. They traded Brayden Schenn for Jori Lehtera and this pick. The Flyers also receive a conditional 2018 first-round pick.

Condition: If the 2018 draft pick becomes a top 10 pick, Blues have the option to move the pick to 2019. If it is a top 10 pick in 2019, Blues have the option to move the pick to 2020. If the pick is moved to 2019 or 2020, the Flyers will also receive a 2019 3rd round pick

With the current pick, the Flyers took Morgan Frost, a centre ranked 38th on McKenzie’s list. That’s a bit of a reach, but he’s the kind of small centre who got overlooked a lot as a junior the Flyers have had success with. They also have Nolan Patrick, who is likely to go straight to the NHL. So risk taking with their next pick is likely okay.

The player swap is a bit more confusing. Schenn is the higher profile player, and the Flyers signed him to a four-year deal almost exactly one year ago. Lehtera has one more year left on a three-year deal he signed two years ago. Lehtera makes a modest amount less, but $425,000 in cap hit savings is not worth making this deal on its own.

The player comparison is interesting. At five-on-five, they are very similar, with Lehtera having the edge in defensive impacts. Schenn scores on the power play. Leahtera really doesn’t score goals at all. So for the Flyers, who have a plethora of goal-scorers, including two power play specialists in Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds who don’t really need help, the deal makes some sense.

For the Blues, they get someone who can put the puck in the net, which is something they struggle with in their current configuration of Vladimir Tarasenko and a team full of grinders.

I’m not sure the picks in this deal were worth it, though. Even though two firsts from the Blues will likely end up being little different from two seconds from a bad team, there are still two of them. It seems like an overpay on a discount goal-scorer because the team can’t afford Matt Duchene or Alex Galchenyuk.

Pick #31

The Pittsburgh Penguins, holder of this gift with purchase pick you get with the Stanley Cup traded it to the St. Louis Blues along with Oskar Sundqvist for pick number 51 and Ryan Reeves.

The Blues took Klim Kostin with the pick. Kostin was ranked so high pre-draft, he was sitting in the “green room” the NHL was trying out this year for the players and families of the top 8 picks. He’d been sitting there for the entire draft until the Blues rescued him.

Kostin had fallen to 18th on McKenzie’s list, and even if he was overhyped earlier due to his play as a 17 year old, he likely still was a steal at 31.

Interestingly, the Blues have a chance to move him directly to the AHL — not that they have an AHL team, but Vegas will take him on theirs as part of the one-year sharing deal. Kostin’s contract in the KHL is with Dynamo Moscow, and they changed ownership recently. The new owner does not want to honour the old contracts, so Kostin may be able to break that deal, and be eligible to turn pro right now.

If Kostin’s play as a young man was not a fluke, if he is worth his higher ranking, the Blues spun their enforcer into gold. Sundqvist, likely to join Kostin in the AHL, is just gravy.

The Penguins, who everyone and their dog says needed to get tougher, get a tough guy who isn’t Tom Sestito. It is much easier to be self-righteous about what the other teams do to Sidney Crosby if your tough guy isn’t of the low sort that Sestito is and can actually play hockey, which Reeves sort of can.

The pick exchange doesn’t mean much. The difference between 31 and 51 is historically pretty small, but passing up Kostin for whatever is available at 51 might come back and haunt the Penguins.

St. Louis won this deal. Even if Kostin doesn’t work out, it was a smart gamble. Pittsburgh just looks a little silly and maybe still hungover from the cup parties — a forgivable sin.