In the National Hockey League, every general manager has their own tendencies and quirks. Some make lots of trades. Some never make trades at all. Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving seems to love trades involving first round draft picks.
A week or two back, the Flames traded 2013 first round pick Morgan Klimchuk to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Andrew Nielsen. That swap was the ninth that Treliving has made involving either a future first round pick or a player originally drafted with a first round pick.

A brief history of Treliving trading firsts

  • March 1, 2015: 2011 first round pick Sven Baertschi to Vancouver for 2015 second round pick (used to select Rasmus Andersson).
  • June 26, 2015: 2015 first round pick, along with two 2015 second round picks, to Boston for 2011 first round pick Dougie Hamilton.
  • Feb. 22, 2016: Markus Granlund to Vancouver for 2013 first round pick Hunter Shinkaruk.
  • March 1, 2016: Jyrki Jokipakka and 2016 second round pick to Ottawa for 2013 first round pick Curtis Lazar and Michael Kostka.
  • June 24, 2017: 2018 first round pick, 2018 second round pick and 2019 second round pick to NY Islanders for Travis Hamonic and 2019 fourth round pick.
  • June 29, 2017: Keegan Kanzig and 2019 sixth round pick to Carolina for 2011 first round pick Ryan Murphy, Eddie Lack and 2019 seventh round pick.
  • June 23, 2018: 2011 first round pick Dougie Hamilton, Micheal Ferland and Adam Fox to Carolina for 2013 first round pick Elias Lindholm and 2015 first round pick Noah Hanifin.
  • Aug. 20, 2018: 2013 first round pick Hunter Shinkaruk to Montreal for 2013 first round pick Kerby Rychel.
  • Nov. 27, 2018: 2013 first round pick Morgan Klimchuk to Toronto for Andrew Nielsen.

The balance sheet

In his time in Calgary, Treliving’s staff has drafted three players in the first round: Sam Bennett in 2014, Matthew Tkachuk in 2016 and Juuso Valimaki in 2017.
They’ve also acquired seven past first round selections: 2011 (Dougie Hamilton, Ryan Murphy), 2013 (Hunter Shinkaruk, Curtis Lazar, Elias Lindholm, Kerby Rychel) and 2015 (Noah Hanifin). Murphy arguably shouldn’t count, as he was acquired and then immediately bought out.
They’ve also traded away four past first round selections and two future first round picks: 2011 (Sven Baertschi, Dougie Hamilton), 2013 (Hunter Shinkaruk, Morgan Klimchuk), 2015 (future) and 2018 (future).
On the whole, if you exclude the Murphy acquisition due to the buyout, Treliving’s swaps have broken even in terms of first round picks. He’s acquired as many as he’s traded away, though he seems to be collecting 2013 picks, three of which are still with the organization. His trades to send past first rounders out of town were “punting moves” to garner future assets, while the swaps of future picks were made to add NHL bodies to his roster.