2018 NHL Draft rumors: Live updates, latest trade buzz, teams looking to move up in first round

The 2018 NHL Entry Draft is underway in Dallas, with the Sabres taking Rasmus Dahlin No. 1 as expected. Free agency is still a week away, but that hasn't stopped big-name coaching changes and big-name trades from taking place ahead of the draft, which runs through Saturday. Here's a rundown of all the latest rumors surrounding picks and (more) trades centered on this weekend's big event, followed by our live blog with all the latest news. 

Karlsson still up for grabs?

Erik Karlsson, the Ottawa Senators' top defenseman -- and player -- could very well be the target of blockbuster trade talks as free agency draws near. With his former teammate, Mike Hoffman, now out the door, some may think Karlsson is actually more secure in Ottawa considering Hoffman's fiancee was accused of harassing the Karlsson family. But TSN's Bob McKenzie and Frank Seravalli are among those who've suggested the Sens are still listening to offers for their All-Star.

Karlsson, remember, was the hottest name floated at the in-season trade deadline, but Ottawa ultimately retained him for the close of an abhorrent season. Now, look out for the Vegas Golden Knights, who eyed him before and have now tasted the Stanley Cup Final; and the Tampa Bay Lightning, who were reportedly big suitors in February, to make potential trade pitches.

Islanders could be leveraging first-rounders for 'D' help

According to USA Today's Kevin Allen, the New York Islanders could get aggressive with their two first-round picks (Nos. 11 and 12) now that they've juiced up their leadership with Lou Lamoriello at general manager and Barry Trotz at head coach. That could mean either a move around the first round or a package offer for some veteran help on defense. Considering the murky future of free agent-to-be John Tavares, of course, maybe staying put and adding a pair of top prospects isn't such a bad idea, either.

Sabres may want third overall pick for O'Reilly

The Montreal Canadiens are after the Buffalo Sabres' alternate captain, Ryan O'ReillyTSN's Pierre LeBrun has reported. But a deal might not happen, per LeBrun, without the Habs surrendering the No. 3 overall pick, which would obviously enable the Sabres to pair an elite prospect with Jack Eichel. For Montreal, of course, the pressing offseason concern is simply to land a top-line center, and offloading Max Pacioretty could ultimately be part of the solution.

Oilers prepared to offer 10th overall pick for immediate help

Edmonton Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli told Sportsnet's John Shannon that he's open to dealing the team's first-rounder for a veteran blue-liner. He also admitted it's "not that easy" to pull off a deal that immediately benefits the Oilers, but he has to try. Edmonton might've been the biggest disappointment of the 2017-18 NHL season if it weren't for the collective collapse of previous playoff teams like the Senators, Canadiens, New York Rangers and Chicago Blackhawks.

Rangers have the ammunition for a run at a top-three pick

Speaking of the Rangers, Kevin Allen, from USA Today, speculates that New York could shake up the top of the draft if it chooses to package any or all of its three first-rounders (Nos. 9, 26 and 28), saying "they would grab one of the premium scorers" if a deal got them all the way to the second or third overall spot. Veteran center Kevin Hayes, Allen noted, is also on the trading block.

Flyers making Wayne Simmonds available via trade?

This would be like the anti-Karlsson move -- one that's never seriously been on anyone's radar. But The Athletic's Michael Russo said in reporting on potential Minnesota Wild trade targets that the Philadelphia Flyers might be "gearing up" to sell their soon-to-be-30-year-old forward. After an injury-riddled 2017-18 and with a contract expiring after this year, perhaps it makes sense to explore potential return packages, but the Flyers would almost assuredly be admitting to a rebuild by dealing their fan favorite.

Senators reportedly exploring trade partners for Craig Anderson

Karlsson might not be the only big name on the move out of Ottawa after Hoffman's departure. According to TSN's Frank Seravalli, the Senators are already working with the agent of Craig Anderson to identify potential new homes for the 37-year-old goalie. Nothing is imminent on the trade front, Seravalli added, but it appears Ottawa is bent on moving on from Anderson, who at times was a postseason stud during the team's 2016-17 Eastern Conference Finals run, before his deal expires in two seasons.

Live blog on latest news

Follow along with all of the latest news and trade buzz ahead of the first pick on Friday night. If the live blog isn't working for you, click here.

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