We reported yesterday that Pierre-Luc Dubois, the 2016 third-overall pick, is about to be traded from the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles to Blainville-Boisbriand Armada when the QMJHL trading period opens on December 18.
While the Screaming Eagles’ return on Dubois won’t be known until that date when the trade goes through, let’s take a look at the most recent top-five picks to be traded in junior:
John Tavares – Tavares was the first player to be granted exceptional status by the OHL; in fact, the rule was colloquially known as the John Tavares Rule for years afterward. Tavares is a little different from the rest of the players on this list, in that he was traded during his draft year, as opposed to after. On January 8, 2009, the Oshawa Generals (who will appear a few more times in this list) traded Tavares, future NHL defenseman Michael Del Zotto, and goaltender Daryl Borden to the London Knights for winger Christian Thomas, defenseman Scott Valentine, goaltender Michael Zador, and six draft picks. Tavares and Del Zotto were rentals who went on to play in the NHL the following seasons, while Borden played three games with the Knights before ending up in senior hockey. Thomas scored 246 points in 212 games with the Generals before turning pro. He’s appeared in 27 NHL games with three points to his name, and 241 AHL games with 125 points. He’s currently a member of the Hershey Bears. Valentine played out his uneventful CHL career in Oshawa and then bounced around North American pro leagues before heading to Europe. Zador is now retired.
Brayden Schenn – The younger Schenn brother was traded while he was playing for Canada at the 2011 World Juniors. The Los Angeles Kings 2009 fifth-overall pick was traded from the Brandon Wheat Kings to the Saskatoon Blades, who were gearing up for a playoff run. Schenn had played just two games that season prior to the WJC due to injury. Schenn was fantastic for the Blades, scoring 53 points in 27 games and another 11 points in 10 playoff games. The Wheat Kings received four draft picks (two first round picks) and two 15-year-old prospects, Tim McGauley and Ayrton Nikkel. Nikkel is now playing Canadian University hockey, while McGauley was actually a member of the Wheat Kings until last year; he’s now on the AHL Hershey Bears roster.
Leon Draisaitl – The Oilers selected Draisaitl third overall in 2014 with high expectations for “The German Gretzky.” Draisaitl had earned that nickname while playing German junior where he scored a ridiculous 192 points in 29 games. He then came to the WHL, where he scored 163 points 128 games before being drafted. With only two actual NHL centers (Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Boyd Gordon) on the roster, Draisaitl made the Oilers out of training camp despite not showing he was ready. He played 37 games with the Oilers, scoring just 2 goals and 9 points before Oilers GM Craig MacTavish orchestrated a trade of Draisaitl’s rights in the WHL. The Memorial Cup-bound Kelowna Rockets acquired Draisaitl from the Prince Albert Raiders for forward Kris Schmidli, defenceman Dalton Yorke and three draft picks. Neither player did much for the Raiders, while Draisaitl scored 53 points in 32 games for the Rockets and was named the MVP of the Memorial Cup, which the Rockets lost to the aforementioned Oshawa Generals in overtime.
Michael Dal Colle – The Islanders’ fifth-overall pick in 2014, Dal Colle had three productive seasons in Oshawa before struggling in his second season, post-draft. Dal Colle was not picked by Canada for the World Juniors and fought with injuries. He had 25 points in 30 games before the Generals traded him on New Years’ Day 2016. The Kingston Frontenacs traded Robbie Burt, a first round pick, two seconds, and two thirds for the Generals captain Dal Colle. The ’99 born Burt has just 12 points in 56 games, and is not ranked by Central Scouting for the upcoming draft. Dal Colle turned it on in Kingston, scoring 55 points in 30 games and is now playing in the AHL, where he has 11 points in 24 games.