GM Pierre Dorion kicked off Ottawa’s trade season earlier today when he dealt defenseman Dylan DeMelo to the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for a 3rd round pick in the upcoming NHL draft. This trade gives Ottawa their 7th selection in the 1st three rounds of the draft, with two potential Top 5 picks in their arsenal. They own their own 2nd, Columbus’ 2nd from the Ryan Dzingel trade last deadline, and Dallas’ 2nd traded in the Mark Stone trade by Vegas. DeMelo was actually acquired in the deal that brought the Senators their 2nd projected Top 5 pick, as they sent Erik Karlsson to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for Chris Tierney, Rudolfs Balcers, Josh Norris, a conditional 1st (which became this year’s selection), and of course DeMelo.
Dylan DeMelo is a 26-year old right shot defenseman making 900k this season, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st. DeMelo was drafted in the 6th round of the 2011 NHL draft by the San Jose Sharks. In the four seasons of data we have on DeMelo, he has a respectable -1.39 career AB score for a defenseman and is coming off his best AB season since his rookie year at -1.98. DeMelo has abysmal penalty taken/drawn and giveaway/takeaway ratios with 13:6 and 38:8 respectively. However, he was Top 3 on the Senators in terms of +/- with a +3 rating. New Senators coach DJ Smith relied heavily on DeMelo in his 49 games this season, as he was averaging around three minutes more per night than his average career ice time of 16:51. Points wise, DeMelo hasn’t found the back of the net yet this season but has registered 10 assists in 49 games played.
This is surely the first of many moves for Ottawa GM Pierre Dorion, as he still is pursuing trades for other pending unrestricted free agents on his team, including Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Ron Hainsey, Craig Anderson, Vladislav Namestnikov, and Tyler Ennis. Trading DeMelo will open up a roster spot for Top Prospect Erik Brannstrom, acquired in the Mark Stone trade last year during the deadline season. This season with Belleville of the AHL, Brannstrom has 20 points in 24 games, while having a +10 +/- rating.
It is definitely an exciting time to be a Senators fan, as there is still a real possibility, they end up with two Top 5 picks in the upcoming NHL draft. Their collection of draft picks and solid prospects is poised to only get larger in the next week, and Dorion certainly still has plenty of work to do. It’ll surely be interesting what other moves Dorion has in store for the Senators, and they will be a key team to watch before Monday’s trade deadline. Much more to come.