NHL draft win­ners:

USA TODAY Sports Weekly - - Inside - Kevin Allen Colum­nist

One N.Y. team makes out well, but the other doesn’t. Plus, why Detroit fans should cheer but those who like Carolina shouldn’t.

DAL­LAS – The Washington Cap­i­tals traded goalie Philipp Grubauer and de­fense­man Brooks Or­pik to the Colorado Avalanche right be­fore the draft be­gan, al­low­ing them to keep premium de­fense­man John Carlson.

The Cap­i­tals re­ceived a se­cond-round pick in the deal, but the salary cap room cre­ated was far more im­por­tant. Los­ing Or­pik’s $5.5 mil­lion cap hit al­lowed them to sign po­ten­tial un­re­stricted free agent Carlson two days later to an eight-year, $64 mil­lion con­tract.

Carlson’s $8 mil­lion cap hit ties him with the San Jose Sharks’ Brent Burns for se­cond among league de­fense­men be­hind the Nashville Preda­tors’ P.K. Sub­ban ($9 mil­lion). Car­son will be se­cond on the Cap­i­tals be­hind Alex Ovechkin’s cap hit of $9.5 mil­lion-plus.

“I spent a lot of time with the guys in the room, most of them for my whole ca­reer,” Carlson told re­porters on June 25. “There’s ob­vi­ously a big friend­ship, and want­ing to be around your friends is nice. … I love the city. I love be­ing around here. It’s my home.”

Cap­i­tals gen­eral man­ager Brian MacLel­lan said it was dif­fi­cult trad­ing Grubauer and espe­cially Or­pik be­cause they helped the team. “He’s been a big part of our cul­ture change and a big part of the room,” he said of Or­pik.

The Avalanche bought out Or­pik. Would the Cap­i­tals bring him back at a re­duced salary?

“It’s le­gal,” MacLel­lan said. “We are open to that.”

The Avalanche are thrilled with the deal. “We wanted to make sure with our young group we had two goalies that’ll make sure we have great goal­tend­ing for 82 games,” Colorado gen­eral man­ager Joe Sa­kic said.

Se­myon Var­lamov is Colorado’s No. 1 goalie, but Grubauer could chal­lenge him for an equal share of play­ing time. Grubauer signed a three-year ex­ten­sion.

The Cap­i­tals and Avalanche were win­ners at the draft. Here are other win­ners and losers.

Loser: Mon­treal Cana­di­ens. It feels as if we are all wait­ing for the Cana­di­ens to make a dif­fer­ence-mak­ing move, it just never comes.

The con­sen­sus is the Ari­zona Coy­otes were the early win­ner in the ear­lier Alex Galchenyuk-Max Domi swap, and it doesn’t feel as if we should cel­e­brate Mon­treal’s de­ci­sion to take Jes­peri Kotkaniemi with the No. 3 pick.

Kotkaniemi is a qual­ity cen­ter prospect, and the Cana­di­ens need a cen­ter. But Filip Zad­ina seems like a more dy­namic of­fen­sive player. When you fac­tor in his flair and cock­i­ness, it feels as if he was born to play in front of Mon­treal fans.

Win­ner: New York Is­landers gen­eral man­ager Lou Lamor­iello. Own­ing the No. 11 and No. 12 picks in the draft, Lamor­iello landed the se­cond-best pure goal scorer in Oliver Wahlstrom and one of the top three available de­fense­men in Noah Dob­son.

Loser: Fans. Sev­eral trades were ex­pected and only two were trans­acted. This was pro­jected to be an ex­cit­ing draft, but the trade mar­ket was all talk and no ac­tion.

Win­ner: Detroit Red Wings gen­eral man­ager Ken Hol­land: With the No. 6 pick, the Red Wings landed Zad­ina, one of the most ex­cit­ing of­fen­sive players in the draft. With the No. 30 pick, they landed Joe Ve­leno, a hard­work­ing, high­char­ac­ter cen­ter who was pro­jected to go much ear­lier.

Loser: Carolina Hur­ri­canes. A mixed re­sult. Gen­eral man­ager Don Wad­dell planned to shake up his team by mak­ing trades but didn’t do it un­til Day 2. He ac­quired Dougie Hamilton and Micheal Fer­land from the Cal­gary Flames, but he had to give up promis­ing de­fense­man Noah Han­i­fin and for­ward Elias Lind­holm. Jeff Skin­ner could draw greater in­ter­est in the trade mar­ket now that free agent Ilya Ko­valchuk is off the mar­ket af­ter sign­ing with the Los An­ge­les Kings. Wad­dell did draft winger An­drei Svech­nikov with the se­cond over­all pick. He will be a star.

Win­ner: Ed­mon­ton Oil­ers. They drafted Evan Bouchard at No. 9 to fi­nally land the de­fense­man they have needed for sev­eral years. Bouchard might have the best point shot the team has had in a decade. He’s 6-2, and it’s not un­think­able that he could make the team and work in slowly.

Loser: New York Rangers. It feels as if they should have cho­sen Bouchard with the No. 9 pick. Noth­ing against Vi­tali Kravtsov, who might end up be­ing a premium NHL for­ward, but Bouchard is go­ing to be a top-pair­ing de­fense­man, and those are more dif­fi­cult to find. The Rangers did make two other strong picks in K’An­dre Miller and Nils Lund­vist, both of whom will be listed among their top prospects.


The Cap­i­tals were able to re-sign John Carlson, left, af­ter mak­ing a draft-day trade to clear cap space.

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