NHL trade, free agency buzz: What we’re hearing ahead of the draft

    Kristen Shilton is a national NHL reporter for ESPN.

    Greg Wyshynski is ESPN’s senior NHL writer.

MONTREAL — The NHL’s general managers met on the eve of the 2022 NHL draft. What their meeting lacked in rules changes or policy news, it made up for with post-meeting news and buzz on trades, free agents and other league matters.

Here’s a glimpse at what was said, and heard, in Montreal on Wednesday, including the latest buzz on pick trades, progress on deals for Kris Letang and Evgeni Malkin, and what comes next for Evander Kane:

Prepare for players — and picks — in motion

The lead up to any draft includes some degree of trade talks.

This year, general managers sound braced for even more potential movement than usual. And that could start early in Thursday’s first round.

“I do think there’ll be quite a few trades this week,” Philadelphia Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher said. “And [then] what that means with draft slots. We’re open to moving [pick] No. 5 and yet No. 5 hasn’t been moved once in 20 years. Teams typically don’t move back or move out of a high pick. It happens infrequently, but I think everyone’s exploring, and maybe by virtue of the fact that it is a flatter draft, the other teams are more willing to consider moving back.”

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