NHL Draft Trades

Trade On Up: The cost of a trade on Draft Day

We all like to look at prospects to learn more about them and get a peak at who our favourite team could be selecting come Draft Day in June. However, after months of mock drafts and prospect reports, your team could simply decide that it wants to trade away these picks. In some more exciting cases, there are pure draft pick deals that are made on the draft floor in order for teams to either move up and get the player they really wanted or trade down to acquire an extra asset while taking the player they covet.

This is often the case when there are a multitude of risers in a specific round, especially in the late 1st round and 2nd round as a whole. In fact, we’ve covered some potential risers your team could target via trade, as we get closer to the draft.

We have seen a multitude of trades go down over the last 6 years (essentially since the implementation of the latest CBA) and we wanted to look back at trades in order to get a general sense of what it would sensibly cost for your team to trade up from one rank to another.

The Top 10

Well, there’s only been one top-10 draft selection that has been traded in the last 6 years, and that would be the New Jersey Devils’ major trade to acquire goaltender Corey Schneider for the 9th overall selection in the 2013 NHL draft.

Now, what does this tell us? That the likelihood of a top-10 pick getting traded is slim to none. Teams have rarely ever traded down from their positions, and you’d have to go all the way back to the 2008 NHL draft to see the last time a team in the top-10 traded down from their original pick (Islanders moving down from 5th overall to 7th overall, and then again from 7th overall to 9th overall to select Josh Bailey). There simply isn’t enough data to support any claim that could be made. We hope to see one this June, but we wouldn’t bet on it.

Picks 10-25

This is where the draft gets very interesting for teams, as there is more movement as the Draft goes along. As precedence goes, we have seen many valuable assets like 2nd round picks act as the necessary price to increase your position by 4-6 spots. Most recently, in the 2018 NHL draft, we saw the Ottawa Senators trade the 22nd overall pick for the 26th and 48th 2016 picks. They decided to Slide down 4 spots to gain the 48th overall pick. Generally speaking, moving any more than 4 spots will generally cost you a 2nd round pick, as evidenced by the below trades.

In some rare cases, you can see a team be willing to trade down perhaps a spot or two in order to get whatever they think they can get because they’ve received assurances from other clubs that their player will be available or to avoid that another. On the flipside, the team trading up, even for one or two spots, ensures that they will 100% get their guy, especially if there was competition to acquire that pick from a rival GM. We have seen this occur as recently as 2018, but also in the top-end of the 2016 draft, where the Ottawa Senators traded their 12th overall pick + a 3rd round pick for the 11th overall pick.

Based on the precedence, here’s what we believe it would cost a team to move up:

To acquire a pick between 10 and 25:

  1.  Moving up 1-2 spots = 1st round pick + 3rd round pick
  2. Moving up 4 to 8 spots = 1st round pick + 2nd round pick
  3. Teams very rarely have traded down beyond 6/7 ranks.


New York Rangers: (#22-K’Andre Miller)
Ottawa:(#26-Jacob Bernard-Docker) + 2nd round pick (#48-Jonathan Tychonick)

St-Louis: (#25-Dominik Bokk)
Toronto: (#29-Rasmus Sandin) + 3rd round pick (#76-Semyon Der-Arguchintsev)


Ottawa: (#11-Logan Brown)
New Jersey: (#12-Michael McLeod) +3rd round pick (#80-Brandon Gignac)

Winnipeg: (#18-Logan Stanley) +3rd round pick (#79-Luke Green)
Philadelphia:  for (#22-German Rubtsov) + 2nd round pick(#36-Pascal Laberge)

St-Louis: (#26-Tage Thompson)
Washington: (#28-Lucas Johansen) + 3rd round pick (#87-Garrett Pilon)


Philadelphia: (#24 Travis Konecny)
Toronto: (#29 Gabriel Carlsson- CLB) + 2nd round pick (#61 Jeremy Bracco)


San Jose: (#18-Mirco Mueller) 
Detroit: (#20-Anthony Mantha)+ 2nd round pick (#58-Tyler Bertuzzi)

Picks 25 to 40

From here on out, things get very tricky. As recently as last year, we have seen teams get a little bit more aggressive in the tail-end of the 1st round and the early 2nd round. We’ve found that moving back in the 1st round from between picks 25 and 31 often requires something less significant like a 3rd round pick. We can view this with the most recent trades between St-Louis and Toronto during the 2018 NHL Draft, and again between Dallas and Chicago during the 2017 NHL entry Draft.

However, the cost to upgrade a 2nd round pick into a 1st round pick is far steeper and far more complicating than the previous thresholds. 2nd round picks that range from 30 to 40 often require a 3rd round pick as bounty in order to secure a late 1st round pick, as the difference is rather small. For example, in 2015, the Tampa Bay Lightning traded the 28th overall pick to the New York Islanders in exchange for the 33rd overall pick and the 72nd overall pick. Similarly, in 2015, the Maple Leafs traded the 29th overall pick (previously acquired via trade) to the Blue Jackets for the 34th overall pick and the 68th overall pick.

Things get a little trickier however if the 2nd round pick is in the mid-2nd round (40 to 50), as it often requires two second round picks to get teams to move or a flurry of lower draft picks. The reason being is that many NHL teams believe the top-45 of an NHL Draft are often the top of the class, and the risky selections begin as of the middle of the second round. A clear example of this can be found during the 2014 NHL Draft, where the New York Rangers traded the 28th overall pick in exchange for two second round picks (35th overall and 57th overall).

Although there is no surefire price range, we have compiled the following trades and come to the following average in terms of pricing:

To acquire a pick between 25 and 31:

  • Late 1st  (26-30)+ 3rd
  • Early 2nd (32 to 34) + 3rd
  • Two seconds (35-62)


Dallas: (#26-Jake Oettinger)
Chicago: (#29-Henri Jokiharju) + 3rd round pick (#70-Andrei Altybarmakyan)

Flyers: (#35-Isaac Ratcliffe)
Arizona: (#44-Filip Westerlund) + 3rd  round pick (#75-Nate Schnarr) + 4th round pick (#108-Noel Hoefenmayer)


Islanders: (#28-Anthony Beauvillier)
Tampa Bay: (#33-Mitchell Stephens) + 3rd  round pick (#72-Anthony Cirelli)

Columbus: (#29-Gabriel Carlsson)
Toronto: (#34-Travis Dermott) + 3rd  round pick (#68-Martins Dzierkals)


Chicago: (#20-Nick Schmaltz) + 6th round pick (#179-Ivan Nalimov)
San Jose: (#27-Nikolay Goldobin + 3rd round pick (#62-Justin Kirkland)

New York Islanders: (#28-Joshua Ho-Sang)
Tampa Bay: (#35-Dominik Masin) + (#57-Johnathan MacLeod)

Picks 32 To 45

Now, in order to move up into the 2nd round, an often overlooked scenario which has often led to the selection of some solid NHL players is a little more complicating. We have generally seen that, to move up in the 2nd round, between the picks 32 and 50, the cost is often a 3rd round pick.

 For example, in 2015 the Ottawa Senators acquired the 36thnd overall pick from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for pick 42 and 73. Similarly in 2013, the Arizona Coyotes acquired the 39th overall pick from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for the 42nd overall pick and the 73rd overall pick (3rd round pick).

And, in cases where the 2nd round pick is a late 2nd pick (between 50th and 62nd overall) the cost is often higher than a simple 3rd round pick. In fact, as we have seen in some rare instances, it takes three picks in order to climb 20 spots in the 2nd round. In 2013, the LA Kings acquired the 37th overall pick from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for the 57th overall pick, the 88th overall pick (3rd rounder) and the 96th overall pick (4th rounder). That is quite a haul of picks for the Buffalo Sabres.

To acquire a pick between 32 and 45 :

  1. Mid-2nd (40-55) + 3rd
  2. Late 2nd (55-62) + 3rd + 4th


Ottawa: (#36-Gabriel Gagne)
New Jersey: (#42-MacKenzie Blackwood) + 2016 3rd  round pick (#73-Joseph Anderson)


Washington: (#39-Vitek Vanecek)
Buffalo: (#44-Eric Cornel) + 3rd  round pick (#74-Brycen Martin)


Los Angeles: (#37-Valentin Zykov)
Buffalo: (#57-William Carrier) + 3rd  round pick (#88-Anton Slepyshev) + 4th  round pick (#96-Kyle Platzer)

Arizona: (#39-Laurent Dauphin)
New Jersey: (#42-Steve Santini) + 3rd round pick (#73-Ryan Kujawinski)

Pittsburgh: (#44-Tristan Jarry)
Columbus: (#50-Dillon Heatherington) + 3rd round pick (#89-Oliver Bjorkstrand)

Picks 50 To 60

Now this is where things get a little wacky. Trading up from the 3rd round into the 2nd round is often a difficult task that requires a high 3rd round pick (picks 63 to 70) + 4th or 5th round pick. This kind of move rarely ever happens, as teams like to scoop out players that fell out of the middle of the 2nd round.

In 2018, the Edmonton Oilers acquired the 62nd overall pick (2nd round) from Montreal in exchange for the 70th overall pick ( 3rd round) and the 133rd overall pick ( 5th round). Thus, we see here that moving up 10 spots from the middle of the 3rd round into the early 2nd round only cost a 5th round pick.

However, the added pick can sometimes vary depending on who is available on the board. For example, in 2015, the Washington Capitals acquired the 57th overall pick in exchange for the 62nd overall pick (3rd round) and the 113th overall pick (4th round). This seems like a rather steep price to move up just 5 spots, but the fact that 2nd round picks greatly outvalue 3rd, 4th or 5th round picks adds credence to the mark-up necessary to acquire such a pick.

To acquire a pick between 50 and 62:

  1. Late 2nd (57-62) + 3rd
  2. Early 3rd (63-70) + 4th/5th ( depending on the crop)


Edmonton: (#62-Olivier Rodrigue)
Montreal: 3rd round pick (#70-Jordan Harris )+ 5th round pick (#133-Samuel Houde)


Washington: (#57 Jonas Siegenthaler
New York :  3rd round pick (#62 Robin Kovacs) + 4th round pick ( #113 Brad Morrison)

Calgary: (#60 Oliver Kylington)
Arizona: 3rd round pick (#76 Adin Hill) + 3rd round pick in 2015 (#83 Jens Looke)

Draft Day trades on the way!

There you have it folks! We figured we’d save you the headache of reading into late round trades of 5th, 6th and 7th round picks. Those trades have little to no consistency, as teams will get desperate and trade for future late round picks if they see that their targeted players are no longer on the board.

We strongly believe this will be a draft that will see a dozen or so picks switch hands on the draft floor, and we hope this guide and research is enough to give you a taste of what’s in store for the 2019 NHL Draft!

Should you wish to read up more on on who you team could draft on June 21st, check out our Post-U-18 Mock Draft!