Acquiring draft picks no easy task for Gillis
LOS ANGELES — The National Hockey League economy and a deep and even draft field is stunting the trade market for draft picks and working against the Vancouver Canucks as general manager Mike Gillis tries to increase his tickets in Friday’s lottery.
After trading away his second- and third-round picks for roster players, Gillis wants to acquire another selection or two. He didn’t make much progress on Thursday.
“Not really,” he said. “Draft picks are really coveted right now. When you look around the league, because of the entry-level system, it’s just like what we’re trying to do in Vancouver — we’re trying to have young players push to play on our team. Your resources get used up so quickly in other areas.
“We’ve done well at signing players, but it uses up your resources in a hurry. You have to have a push from below. Most teams feel the same way; they want entry-level guys on their team.”
The Canucks have the 25th pick in the opening round Friday. Rounds two through seven are Saturday.
Gillis said his trade discussions Thursday did not include the Washington Capitals. There were unsubstantiated reports the Canucks were trying to acquire Alex Semin from Washington.
“We’ve been in discussion with other teams that might want to move up,” Gillis said. “You lay the foundation, and then you wait to see who’s there. If there’s a player there we want, we’re not moving the pick. And there’s a pretty good chance there will be a player there we like and have rated higher than 25th. If that’s the case, we’ll exercise the pick.”
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