Today, it’s even less likely, as general manager Don Waddell announced the team has traded the negotiating rights to UFA defender Joel Edmundson to the Montreal Canadiens for a fifth-round draft pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.
Of the Canes’ three unrestricted blue liners, Edmundson was the one it made the sense to try to re-sign, given his solid season and physical play. In his one season in Carolina, Edmundson tied a career high with seven goals and set a career high with 20 points to go with 118 hits and 91 blocked shots.
However, with six NHL defensemen under contract for next season (assuming RFA Haydn Fleury is re-signed), it was always most likely that Edmundson would find a better deal on the open market, so it makes sense for the Hurricanes to recoup an asset for him.
This leaves the Canes with two unrestricted free agent defensemen in Sami Vatanen and Trevor van Reimsdyk, both of whom seem very unlikely to be back next season.
The Canes now have eight picks in the upcoming NHL entry draft:
New York Rangers Second
The official release from the team on the Edmundson trade is as follows:
‘CANES ACQUIRE FIFTH-ROUND PICK FROM MONTREAL
Carolina sends rights to Joel Edmundson to Canadiens
RALEIGH, NC – Don Waddell, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has acquired Montreal’s fifth-round selection in the 2020 NHL Draft in exchange for the rights to defenseman Joel Edmundson.
Edmundson, 27, recorded 20 points (7g, 13a) in 68 games with the Hurricanes this season. The 6’4”, 215-pound defenseman has earned 72 points (20g, 52a) in 337 career NHL games with St. Louis and Carolina.
The 2020 NHL Draft with be held virtually over two days. Round 1 will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 6 and Rounds 2-7 will begin on Wednesday, Oct. 7.