NHL Draft and Trade News

NHL Draft and Trade News
With the first pick of the 2020 NHL Draft, Alexis Lafreniere from Rimouski of the QMJHL is selected by the New York Rangers. Mike Stobe/Getty Images/AFP

Even though there has been no confirmation on the next season of the biggest hockey league in the world, the NHL was still busy on the news front with trade deals and the latest draft this week.

At the top of this list was netminder Matt Murray of the Pittsburgh Penguins going to the Ottawa Senators. Murray was the star of the show after taking the reigns from Fleury in Pitt however his numbers were average at best for most of the recent season and Tristan Jarry now gets the net. So Murray is heading to one of the worst teams in the league over the past few seasons. While he is by no means young, Craig Anderson has been the backstop in Ottawa for ages and is rapidly approaching 40. 

Senators General Manager, Pierre Dorion, has already confirmed Murray will be their number one guy to begin the season. Ottawa is an optimistic young team with some respectable pieces. If Murray can replicate his prior form, which was not always at the head of strong defensive teams in Pitt either, the Senators can be a threat within the Atlantic and decent choice for NHL picks at sportsbooks like Bovada or BetOnline. Perhaps not to take a playoff spot, however crazier things have happened.

Murray had this to say from his social media: “Thank you, Pittsburgh for some incredible years, I cherished every opportunity I had to step onto the ice in a Penguins jersey. I learned so many valuable lessons, developed so many great friendships, and experienced some truly awesome moments. Thank you to the city of Pittsburgh, team ownership and management staff, Jim Rutherford, (coach) Mike Sullivan, (goaltending coach) Mike Buckley, all of the assistant coaches, training and equipment staff, PR staff, and any/everyone in the organization. Most importantly, to all of my teammates, thank you for your friendship, your insights, and for always having my back. It means the world to me. I am truly grateful for every opportunity.”

Another Goaltender Moves On

This statement might be contrasted with the somewhat bitter departure for another Metropolitan netminder, Henrik Lundqvist.’The King’ was none too pleased that the Rangers were finally ready to send him packing after playing his entire career in New York. He led them on several occasions to the doorstep of lifting a Cup, but was gradually declining in form. There are rumours that he may be signing with Metro rival Washington, though it is really only to add depth to that position as his best years are certainly behind him.

In other Rangers news, after winning the lottery this off-season, they were awarded the top prospect in Alexis Lafreniere. New York fans have reason to be excited as he is a talented left winger expected to slot in with former Hart nominee Artemi Panarin, whom joined last summer. Combine that with another top pick in Kaapo Kakko and the Rangers are also looking like an offensive threat in the coming season. This team can beat the NHL odds often. With Lundqvist gone, Shesterkin will get the starting job in net. He only had a limited sample this past season but had many Rangers fans anticipating replication of the many good years provided by his predecessor.