Each day leading up to free agency on July 1, TSN.ca breaks down the latest news and rumours around the NHL.


Chasing Travis

TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger reports the Toronto Maple Leafs and Calgary Flames are among the teams going hard after New York Islanders defenceman Travis Hamonic.

Dreger also lists the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning as teams interested in the defenceman.

TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie said Thursday it's possible that the Islanders are looking for as much as two first-round picks for the 26-year-old. He said the Flames understand that acquiring Hamonic would likely cost them one first-round pick and more, but two first-rounders is out of the question.

The Islanders are currently without a pick in the first round of tonight's draft after sending the 15th overall pick to Vegas in order to steer the Golden Knights' expansion draft decision.

McKenzie said the Flames are looking to solidify their top-four with Mark Giordano, TJ Brodie and Dougie Hamilton already in place and could still re-sign pending free agent Michael Stone to join that group.

Hamonic, 26, scored three goals and added 11 assists in 49 games with the Islanders this season. A second-round pick in 2008, Hamonic owns 26 goals and 146 points in 444 games since debuting with the Islanders in 2010.

Hamonic is under contract for three more seasons at a $3.86 million cap hit.


Going Down?

The Vancouver Canucks were believed to be attempting move up from their No. 5 slot in tonight's NHL Draft, but general manager Jim Benning all but ruled out such a move on Thursday.

Speaking to reporters in Chicago ahead of the draft, Benning said moving into the top four "is not a possibility right now." Benning said that depending on who the first four teams select, the Canucks could even look to move down in the draft to acquire more picks.

He listed centres Gabe Vilardi, Elias Pettersson and Cody Glass by name as players the team likes in the draft. Vilardi was ranked fifth in the TSN Hockey Final Draft Rankings and could be available to the Canucks if the Dallas Stars and Colorado Avalanche both go defence with Cale Makar and Miro Heiskanen. Pettersson is ranked seventh and and Glass is ranked eighth.

Benning reiterated on Thursday that he has no plans to trade defenceman Chris Tanev and said if were to move Tanev, the team would need a good defenceman coming back in the deal.

TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger reported Friday the New Jersey Devils are planning on keep the No. 1 overall pick unless something materializes in the next few hours. 


Who's Staying?

The Vegas Golden Knights moved two defencemen selected in the expansion draft on Thursday and are expected to move more in the coming days.

TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun reports the team plans to keep their young players and therefore both Shea Theodore and Nate Schmidt will be staying put in Vegas.

LeBrun reports three teams called the Golden Knights looking to add Theodore but were quickly told no.

Theodore was acquired from the Anaheim Ducks in the return for the Golden Knights taking on Clayton Stoner from the Ducks.


Looking for Goals

The Anaheim Ducks had to give up Shea Theodore to keep their defensive core intact in the expansion draft, but a key blueliner could still be moved.

TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun reports that though there is no urgency for the Ducks to move Sami Vatanen, the team is in the market for a scoring winger this off-season.

Vatanen was rumoured to be on the block as the likely top exposed defenceman on the Ducks' expansion list, however the team struck a deal to keep in him in Anaheim.

LeBrun adds that the offers the Ducks currently have on the table aren't worth moving Vatanen, so unless the offers improve he'll remain in Anaheim.

The 26-year-old scored three goals and added 21 assists in 71 games with the Ducks this season, ranking third on the team in average ice time with 21:40 per game.


Who Wants Galchenyuk?

Montreal Canadiens forward Alex Galchenyuk has been firmly on the trade block since the team acquired winger Jonathan Drouin last week.

TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun said Thursday the New Jersey Devils have called the Canadiens to talk about Galchenyuk and they are at least a team to keep an eye on.

McKenzie added that the Minnesota Wild talked to the Canadiens before the expansion trade freeze, but he doesn’t believe the Wild see Galchenyuk as a piece they're looking to add. The Canadiens, however, have their eyes on Wild defenceman Marco Scandella

Scandella, Jonas Brodin and Matt Dumba are all rumoured to be available to this off-season from the Wild blueline. McKenzie believes Scandella is the most likely of the trio to be dealt and lists the Buffalo Sabres along with the Canadiens as teams who have interest. 

Scandella, 27, scored four goals and added nine assists in 71 games with the Wild this season while logging 18:20 of ice time per game. He is signed through 2019-20 at a $4 million cap hit.

The Canadiens traded defenceman Nathan Beaulieu before the trade freeze and lost Alexei Emelin in the expansion draft. Montreal did, however, acquire defenceman David Schlemko for a fifth-round pick on Thursday.


Moving Up Blues?

St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong told the team's website on Thursday that he will look to move up in tonight's draft. 

The Blues own picks No. 20, 27 and 51 in the first two rounds after acquiring a first-round pick ahead of the trade deadline for defenceman Kevin Shattenkirk. Armstrong noted that there are a few players the team has their eye on and could pull the trigger if they're available in the right slot.

"We are considering moving up," Armstrong toldstlouisblues.com. "We've talked to some teams that are in an area where they think they might want to move back and grab either two first-round picks or one of our firsts and our second-round pick, depending on how far we move up. There are a couple of players we have our eye on."

Armstrong said that while this draft doesn't appear to be lined with superstars, some players in the class will outperform expectations, it's just a matter of finding those players.

"(This draft) doesn't have the (Sidney) Crosby, (Alex) Ovechkin or (Auston) Matthews-type players at the top end, but we're still excited," Armstrong said. "It doesn't look like it has the depth of Robby Fabbri's draft where you might get a guy to fit in your Top 6. But that being said, someone is going to outperform the draft, they always do. It could be someone in the late first round or the fourth round.

"There's going to be a great player coming from this draft, and our job is trying to find one of them."