The Buffalo Sabres are extremely lucky that they have finally landed themselves the first overall selection in this year’s NHL Entry Draft. The Sabres have been at the bottom of the NHL for a plethora of seasons now, but never were able to land the top pick. Yet, the Edmonton Oilers have obtained four of them this decade, which is extremely frustrating to NHL fans still today. However, the Sabres finally are going to land a franchise player in Rasmus Dahlin and there is finally hope in the city of losing. Dahlin is without a doubt going to become one of the best defenders of this generation, as he already is dominating the Swedish Hockey League at only age 18. With there being so much value with this pick, can you imagine the offers Buffalo could get with it?
With all that stated, in this article, we will be looking at fifteen potential offers that Buffalo would accept for the first overall selection. The main reason why this pick holds an immense amount of value is because of the hype surrounding Rasmus Dahlin. Dahlin is going to be the first Swedish defenseman drafted first overall in the history of the NHL, so that will only add to his value as well. Teams will absolutely be knocking on Buffalo’s door for this star player, but realistically, it will take a huge amount of assets for Buffalo to even consider their offers. With that being said, do not expect to see a trade happen at draft day.
Nonetheless though, let’s take a look at the fifteen trade offers that could land Buffalo’s first overall pick!
15 Toronto Maple Leafs: William Nylander, Timothy Liljegren, Frederik Gauthier, 1st Round Pick 2019
The Toronto Maple Leafs were victims of the NHL’s atrocious playoff structure and lost to the Boston Bruins’ in a very hard fought seven game series. Yet, the future is incredibly bright for this club, as they have an abundance of young forwards who are already at the elite level. However, this season displayed the fact that the Maple Leafs need to upgrade their defensive core as soon as possible if they want to reach their expected success. The Bruins were far too dominant in the final period of Game 7 and that is largely because the Leafs had way too many issues on the backend.
The Toronto Maple Leafs would be wise to at least try to potentially bring in the Sabres’ first overall selection because Rasmus Dahlin would be incredible with the Maple Leafs.
For a deal to go through between these two big division rivals, the Maple Leafs would have to include William Nylander as the main piece going the other way. Promising two-way defenseman Timothy Liljegren would also need to be brought in, as the Sabres would want to make some sort of upgrade to their defensive core. Frederik Gauthier could end up becoming a solid bottom-six forward for the Leafs. This year’s first rounder would finish it off.
14 Dallas Stars: Tyler Seguin, 2nd Round Pick 2018
The Dallas Stars just cannot get it right with their roster and continuously fail to make the playoffs while having an abundance of elite players. Last off-season was expected to be a huge one for the team, but they completely failed to reach expectations and could not even muster a playoff berth. Although the Stars are in one of the toughest divisions in the NHL, it does not excuse the fact that they have been underachieving for years now. One has to wonder if the Stars should start a retooling period with their roster and bring in different talent to the core. These failures cannot continue to arise each and every season.
The Dallas Stars desperately need defense if they ever want to be a strong team in the NHL. Rasmus Dahlin would instantly make them a far better team and could even end up becoming the face of the franchise. For a trade to take place, the Stars may consider moving away top center Tyler Seguin. Seguin’s contract expires at the end of next season and if an extension is not on the horizon, they should move him before he leaves them for nothing. Thankfully for the Stars, Seguin has a ton of value himself, so the rest of the deal would not be very challenging for them. The Stars could just add in their second rounder for this season.
13 Chicago Blackhawks: Duncan Keith, Vinnie Hinostroza, 1st Round Pick 2018
The Chicago Blackhawks had themselves a very tough year this season and have made it perfectly clear that they no longer at the dynasty they once were. Now, there still is hope for this team to around their fortunes because of players like Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews still being fairly young. Yet, it is absolutely apparent that they desperately need to shake up their roster and that starts with changing up the core. Although this may be a tough decision for the Hawks to make, if they ever wish to find themselves back at the top of the league, they need to eventually.
A potential swap with the Buffalo Sabres for their first overall pick would be astronomically huge for the Blackhawks. Yet, for it to even be considered, the Blackhawks would have to give up their top defenseman, Duncan Keith. Although this would hurt immensely in the short term, it is important to note that Keith is getting old and they should rid of him before his value drops off. From there, promising young winger Vinnie Hinostroza would likely have to go the other way. This would be a solid upgrade for the Sabres because it would give them a scoring winger. Lastly, the Blackhawks’ 8th overall selection would be needed.
12 Montreal Canadiens: Max Pacioretty, 1st Round Pick 2018
The Montreal Canadiens came into this season with high hopes and were truly hoping that they could win their first Stanley Cup since 1993. However, the squad went into the complete opposite direction and ended up being one of the most atrocious teams in the entire league. It is apparent that the Canadiens’ management has made far too many mistakes with this roster and now they are being forced into a rebuilding period. The Canadiens messed this team up as soon as they traded away P.K. Subban away and they have yet to fix this issue. With that being stated, they will have to start making some huge changes.
The Montreal Canadiens would love to bring in the Buffalo Sabres’ first overall pick because it would give them a young franchise caliber defenseman in Rasmus Dahlin.
There has not been so much hype for a defenseman in a draft for quite some time, so everyone knows this kid is going to be the real deal. The Canadiens also have the assets to make a potential deal go through, especially because they are aiming to rebuild their roster. The Canadiens could start the deal by trading away captain Max Pacioretty. From there, they would have to offer their third overall selection as well, That would enough to go through.
11 Boston Bruins: Brandon Carlo, Zachary Senyshyn, Jeremy Lauzon, 1st Round Pick 2019
The Boston Bruins finished the year extremely strongly this year and almost even were the Eastern Conference Champions. With that being stated, this is clearly a team with a very bright future and with them being so young, they will be at the top of the league for quite some time. The Bruins could very well end up making the Stanley Cup Finals this season as well, but also seem to have some weaknesses with their lineup in certain areas. There is no question that this team is in dire need of a future top pairing left-handed defenseman with Zdeno Chara getting older and likely retiring after next season.
The Boston Bruins could be a team who tries to knab the first over selection from the Buffalo Sabres and have an abundance of assets to make it become a reality. The first player that the Buffalo Sabres would absolutely love to have is right-handed defender, Brandon Carlo. Carlo is already a top-four defender at his young age and will likely develop into a top notch defensive defenseman by the time he is a veteran. Former first round pick Zachary Senyshyn could be an excellent addition for the Sabres. Jeremy Lauzon is another low risk, high reward type of prospect who could be in the deal. Lastly, the Bruins’ 2019 first rounder would be needed.
10 New York Islanders: Nick Leddy, Both 2018 1st Round Picks
The New York Islanders are in a very difficult situation this off-season because the likelihood of them bringing back John Tavares is incredibly low. The Islanders had such a bad regular season this year, even though they were expected to make the playoffs, so this will hurt their chances. The fact that Tavares has yet to sign an extension with the Islanders shows that this team is going to have immense struggles in the near future. The Islanders likely are on the verge of starting another rebuilding period, so they should look to change up this roster for the better. Trading for the first overall pick would be an awesome start.
If the Islanders want to successfully make a huge deal for the first overall pick with the Buffalo Sabres, they are going to have to part ways with one of their top roster players at a minimum. Nick Leddy has become a legitimate top tier defenseman in the NHL with the Islanders and likely would have to be the defender that goes to the Sabres. Although this would be a challenging one to make, Dahlin would end up being a valuable replacement and eventually will be far better. From there, the Islanders would have to give up both of their first round picks this seasons, as the Sabres would want top prospects in the trade. Overall, this would be a solid moves for both teams for sure.
9 Colorado Avalanche: Tyson Barrie, Tyson Jost, 1st Round Pick 2018
The Colorado Avalanche have completely turned their fortunes around and displayed to the league that there is hope after an atrocious season. The Avalanche were astronomically terrible during the 2016-17 season and even were one of the worst teams in the modern era of hockey. With that being stated, the Avalanche did not necessarily expect to do that well this season, but they ended up making the playoffs and shocking the entire NHL. Although they ended up losing in the first round to the Nashville Predators, there is a lot to be excited about with this roster in the future and they will continue to be good.
The Colorado Avalanche would wise to at least consider bringing in the Sabres’ first overall pick because they need to continue to build off the season they had this year.
The Avalanche also have a ton of assets that could potentially make a deal go through, so they truly have nothing to lose in their pursuit. The Avalanche would most certainly have to include Tyson Barrie in the deal, as he has been in the rumour mill for what feels like years now. Former first rounder Tyson Jost would have to be incorporated into the deal as well, as the Sabres want to be young. Lastly, this year’s middle first round pick would have to be included.
8 Edmonton Oilers: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Zack Kassian, 1st Round Pick 2018
The Edmonton Oilers fell from grace this season and ended up finding themselves back into the position where they have been throughout the entirety of this decade. The Oilers simply realized that they cannot rely on Connor McDavid to be the only player that can carry them to success. The NHL is a team-first league, unlike the NBA, so the Oilers now need to build their roster differently for the upcoming season. Horrible free agent decisions, such as Milan Lucic, have buried this team already, so they are being forced into another rebuilding period, If they are forced to rebuild, they should do it in style.
The Edmonton Oilers have had the first overall pick four times this decade, yet only have two of those players left. So why not trade for this year’s first overall pick? Rasmus Dahlin would be an excellent addition this roster and finally give them a legitimate top-two defenseman who can help them win far more games. The price for Dahlin is obviously extremely high and would have to include former first overall pick, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. From there, tough guy Zack Kassian could find his way back to Buffalo as a depth forward for their rebuild. Lastly, the Oilers would have to part ways with their tenth overall selection as well.
7 New Jersey Devils: Nico Hischier, 2nd Round Pick 2019
The New Jersey Devils were another team who surprised the NHL world by making the playoffs after having a bad year the season before. The Devils can thank former Edmonton Oiler star Taylor Hall for their accomplishments this season and should be ecstatic that they have a very bright future ahead of them. However, with the New Jersey Devils in the hardest division in hockey, the Metropolitan Division, they need to continue to find ways to improve this roster. They almost failed to make the playoffs because of the extreme toughness of this division, so they have to make next season easier on themselves.
The New Jersey Devils need some serious upgrades on their defensive core, so trading for the rights to draft Rasmus Dahlin would be extremely beneficial. There is no question that Dahlin is going to be a franchise talent in this league, as he is dominating the Swedish League at just 18 years old. However, if the Devils want to pick up this pick, they would have to trade away their top prospect, Nico Hischier. Although this would be a tough loss, the Devils need to give up something to get something huge. The Devils simply do not have much in their prospect pool as well, so the Sabres would want Hischier. Also, the Devils second rounder in 2019 would have to be included.
6 New York Rangers: Filip Chytil, Mats Zuccarello, 1st Round Pick 2018
After years of playoff failures, the New York Rangers have finally decided to enter a rebuilding process and work toward the future. The Rangers shockingly found themselves out of the playoff hunt early on into the season and decided to trade away a lot of their core players to change up the dynamic of the team. Players such as former captain Ryan McDonagh and Rick Nash were moved out for a plethora of prospects and draft picks, so it shows that this team is heading in the right direction. With the Rangers going to struggle for a bit, they should try to bring in the first overall pick from Buffalo.
The New York Rangers would be wise to make this deal because defenseman like Rasmus Dahlin are truly a rarity. The Rangers would instantly have a far brighter future and may even land their next potential captain moving forward. For a deal to take place between these two New York teams. Filip Chytil would have to be involved in the talks. Chytil was considered the best rookie AHL player this season and has an abundance of potential to become a star. Veteran Mats Zuccarello would be a great pick up for Buffalo as well. Lastly, the Sabres would definitely want the Rangers’ ninth overall selection.
5 Los Angeles Kings: Drew Doughty (Extension Added)
The Los Angeles Kings are in quite a pickle as of now because they simply cannot find ways to be consistent. After a very strong regular season, the Kings completely ruined that by losing four straight games to the Vegas Golden Knights in the first round. The glory days of the Kings are definitely gone and they now need to figure out ways to get back to that position. The issue with the Kings is that they have handed out far too many bad contracts to their former top players during their cup runs. The Kings may need to start from phase one yet again and trading for the rights to Rasmus Dahlin would be excellent.
The Kings are going to experience a very upsetting summer next year if they fail to bring back Drew Doughty.
Doughty has been there best defenseman throughout the entirety of his NHL career, so the Kings would love to have him back. Yet, there have been reports that Doughty is looking for as much money as possible and the Kings may not be able to make that happen because of their cap issues. With that being stated, the Kings should deal Doughty to the Sabres for the first overall pick. The Sabres would want an extension added to the deal, but at the end of the day, this would benefit both teams.
4 Florida Panthers: Vincent Trocheck, Frank Vatrano, 1st Round Pick 2018 And 2019
The Florida Panthers were easily one of the best teams in the entire NHL during the second half of the season, but it was not enough for them to make it to the postseason. The Panthers simply found themselves at the bottom of the league during the first half, but still managed to register 96 points by season’s end. The future is extremely bright for the Panthers, as they have an abundance of young players who are finally blossoming into legitimate superstars. However, if the Panthers wish to make themselves contenders in the NHL, they need to make some major moves this off-season.
The Florida Panthers would be extremely wise to trade for the Sabres’ first overall selection because they need another elite defenseman on the backend. There is no question that Aaron Ekblad has developed into a star, but he needs some support. The Panthers could part ways with top-six centerman Vincent Trocheck, although it would be challenging for them to do so. From there, the Panthers could move scoring depth winger, Frank Vatrano, Lastly, the Panthers would have to part ways with their 15th overall selection this season, and the following year’s as well.
3 Pittsburgh Penguins: Kris Letang, Conor Sheary, 1st Round Pick 2019
The Pittsburgh Penguins are currently fighting for their third straight Stanley Cup championship and are looking fairly solid in the process. They currently are putting up a very strong fight against the Washington Capitals and appear to be heading for another Game 7 series. The Penguins are continuing to win not only because of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, but also their immense scoring depth. The Penguins have always been a scoring team during the Crosby era, but they definitely could use a major upgrade on the backend. That is where the first overall pick from Buffalo comes in,
There is no question that the Penguins desperately want to continue their dynasty, so why not try to bring in the Rasmus Dahlin? He has the tools to become a franchise defenseman in the NHL and is already ready for the professional level. For a deal to work, the Penguins would most definitely have to include elite defenseman, Kris Letang. Letang has become a bit injury prone, but when he is healthy, he still is one of the best in the game. Young scorer Conor Sheary would also have to be added onto the deal because the Sabres want long-term guys. Lastly, the Penguins 2019 first round pick would have to be included.
2 Carolina Hurricanes: Jeff Skinner, 1st Round Pick 2018
The Carolina Hurricanes are victims of the extremely tough Metropolitan Division because they clearly have a very strong roster, but cannot compete. The Hurricanes need to figure out what direction they want to move forward toward because being a tweener team does not offer much. If the Hurricanes want to be contenders, they need to bring in some better talent around their stars. Yet, with players like Justin Faulk and Justin Skinner soon set to become free agents, should they rather start a rebuilding period and start anew? Either way, they likely will lose those guys to free agency.
With all of that being stated, the Hurricanes should use Jeff Skinner to bring in the first overall pick. Skinner has developed into a consistent 30 goal scorer in the NHL when he is healthy and could be a star with Jack Eichel centering him. The Hurricanes are also in a very solid spot to make a trade for this pick because they have the second overall selection in the draft after moving up many spots. Although there is a lot of risk when swapping the top two picks. Dahlin is going to be a legitimate superstar in this league, so the Hurricanes do not have to worry. This would be excellent for both sides.
1 Ottawa Senators: Erik Karlsson (Extension Added)
The Ottawa Senators had such an abysmal season this year that it is hard to remember that they were one game away from making the Stanley Cup finals last season. With that being stated, the Senators are absolutely going to start a rebuilding period and made little steps toward it at the deadline when they traded away Derick Brassard and Dion Phaneuf. The Senators still have a lot of work to do with their roster, as it is apparent that many players do not wish to be there anymore. Management has also screwed up immensely with their openness toward topics such as Erik Karlsson being on the block and even threatening relocation.
The Ottawa Senators are definitely not going to be able to bring back Erik Karlsson after they actively were shopping him at the deadline.
Karlsson almost became a member of the Vegas Golden Knights and that ultimately will end up sinking the Senators now. The Senators need to find a way to move him out, so why not try to land the first overall pick? The Senators would be losing their franchise Swedish defenseman for a future franchise Swedish defenseman. The Sabres would also instantly become a far better team now with this deal and likely would find themselves back in the playoffs. Overall, this trade would be an absolute win-win for both parties and should happen.