Two Canadian Western Conference NHL teams added to their defensive core for their future.
Hours before the draft, the Calgary Flames acquired future top-defenceman Dougie Hamilton from the Boston Bruins (Doesn’t that feel great Leafs fans?) in exchange for the 15th, 47th, and 57th picks in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. Hamilton, 22 is an RFA who did not want to land a long-term deal in Boston, was dealt by the Bruins to receive greater compensation (in draft picks) than from an offer sheet if he were to test free agency. The Flames will likely sign Hamilton to a long-term contract, and will fit in perfectly with a young, developing team.
The Flames already have a strong defensive core, and a young group of forwards. With veterans Kris Russell, Mark Giordano, and Dennis Wideman leading the pack, the Flames have improved dramatically with the addition of such a highly sought after defenceman. Calgary will definitely be a force in the 2015-16 regular season, especially if the team lands an emerging goalie.
With competition just three hours down the road, the Oilers and Flames are re-igniting the fire that is the “Battle of Alberta.”
After drafting Connor McDavid first overall, the Edmonton Oilers looked to the New York Islanders to bolster their defence. The Oilers acquired NHL-ready defenceman Griffin Reinhart in exchange for the 16th and 33rd overall picks. The 6-foot-4 defenceman will be a shutdown player that will compete with Darnell Nurse for a spot on the first line of defence. With both Reinhart and Darnell Nurse, the Oilers have a defensive core that is led by two left-handed defencemen that will shine in the “City of Champions.”
The Oilers need to continue to add defensive depth, especially on the weak right side. The offensive surge that consists of Hall, McDavid, Eberle, Yakupov, Nugent-Hopkins, and Draisaitl are just the top six forwards that will show teams how strong of an offensive powerhouse the team will be.
As both the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames progress throughout the summer, both teams will be looking to strengthen their back end, especially in goal. Both teams can be observed as an offensive force respectively, but it’s up to the full 180-foot game that will define how successful the team will be.
Will the acquisitions from Friday, June 26, 2015 pan out as planned? Only time will tell.
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