Senators trade Robin Lehner, David Legwand to Sabres for 21st pick

Robin Lehner is on his way to the Buffalo Sabres. (USATSI)
Robin Lehner is on his way to the Buffalo Sabres. (USATSI)

Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray wanted to trade a goalie before the start of the NHL draft, and on Friday morning he was able to accomplish that goal when traded Robin Lehner and veteran forward David Legwand to the Buffalo Sabres for the 21st overall pick in Friday's NHL draft.

The pick originally belonged to the New York Islanders but went to Buffalo as a part of last year's Thomas Vanek trade. 

The Senators now have the No. 18 and 21 picks in the draft. 

It's definitely a steep price to pay, not only in terms of the draft pick compensation going back to Ottawa, but also because the Sabres are taking on the remainder of Legwand's contract which still has one year and $3 million remaining on it. The Sabres were likely willing to take Legwand in an effort to help them reach the NHL salary floor and to give what will surely be a young, inexperienced team a seasoned veteran to log some time on the third or fourth line.

Adding a goaltender, especially a young one that still has upside, was also a necessity for the team.

Lehner, 23, has spent parts of five seasons with the Senators, appearing in 86 games and recording a .914 save percentage since he was selected in the second round (No. 46 overall) of the 2009 NHL draft. He is still unproven at this point as a starter which makes the price tag even more surprising from a Buffalo standpoint, especially in a market where there seemed to be a number of goalies available either via trade or the free agent market. But he definitely has a lot of talent and has shown flashes of being able to be a very good starter in the NHL. 

The Senators needed to deal one of their goalies because they had a bit of a logjam at the position after re-signing Andrew Hammond to a three-year contract extension back in May. The team also still has veteran Craig Anderson signed for three more seasons at $4.2 million per year.

With Lehner now on his way to Buffalo, all of the focus turns to New York Rangers goalie Cam Talbot. The Rangers seem determined to trade him before the draft begins and are still hoping to get a first-round pick out of somebody for him. Now that the market has been established, they might have an even better chance of making that happen even if Talbot is a few years older than Lehner. 

CBS Sports Writer

Adam Gretz has been writing about the NHL and taking an analytical approach to the game since the start of the 2008 season. A member of the PHWA since 2015, he has spent more than three years covering... Full Bio

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