With the Draft less than two hours away, the dominoes continue to fall in Boston. The Bruins made their third deal of the day sending Milan Lucic packing to the Kings in exchange for LA’s 13th overall pick, goalie Martin Jones and D prospect Colin Miller.
No surprise here as once Bruins GM Don Sweeney moved Dougie Hamilton to the Flames, he had to deal Lucic to recover assets. In acquiring the number 13 pick, Boston now has picks 13, 14 and 15 in tonight’s first round. With Boston still needing a young blueliner to replace Hamilton, figure Sweeney to be busy working the phones with the Coyotes for the third overall pick. If they are able to acquire the number three pick, look for them to select Boston College defenseman Noah Hanifin. He’s ranked third among North American skaters and put up 23 points (5-18-23) in his freshman year.
The Bruins were able to get a better return for Lucic than Hamilton. Jones was LA’s backup behind Jonathan Quick. The 25-year old could be moved again to a team that needs a starting goalie. The Stars, Sharks, Oilers and Panthers are all bidding on Rangers backup Cam Talbot. The Canucks also have Eddie Lack available assuming they keep Ryan Miller. Miller is a former 2012 fifth round pick of the Kings who tallied 19 goals and 52 points in his second pro year with Manchester in the AHL. He’s 22 and should compete for a spot on Boston’s blueline. Boston re-signed Adam McQuaid to a four-year deal worth a reported $11 million.
As for the Kings, it looks like they’re all in with Lucic and Anze Kopitar possibly available in 2016. With Mike Richards expected to be bought out, Los Angeles will take a big shot at winning their third Cup in five years after missing the playoffs. They are set to lose former Conn Smythe winner Justin Williams this July and controversial checking center Jarrett Stoll. However, the pieces are still in place with a core that features Norris runner-up Drew Doughty, Jake Muzzin, Alex Martinez on the back end with Kopitar, Lucic, Marian Gaborik, Jeff Carter, captain Dustin Brown, Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson all up front plus Quick in net.