Breaking down the picks, trades and rumors

The first round of the NHL draft gets underway at 8 p.m. ET Friday (ESPN2), and there already was activity hours before it began.

The Buffalo Sabres, who hold the No. 1 overall pick, gained another first-rounder in a trade with the Philadelphia Flyers during the afternoon.

The Seattle Kraken, fresh off Wednesday’s expansion draft, will choose second.

University of Michigan defenseman Owen Power is Central Scouting’s top-ranked North American skater, and Sweden’s William Eklund is the top international skater.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the two days of the draft are being held virtually again. Tracking the first-round picks, trades and rumors (the most recent information is at the top):

6 p.m.: Another big trade

The Vancouver Canucks and Arizona Coyotes pulled off another big trade that affects the first-round order. The Canucks get defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson and forward Conor Garland and the Coyotes get Jay Beagle, Loui Eriksson and Antoine Roussel. More important, they get the ninth-overall pick after forfeiting their first-rounder for violating the NHL’s combine testing policy. Ekman-Larsson, 36, has scored 12 or more goals seven times, though his numbers have dropped off recently. Garland, a pending restricted free agent, scored 22 goals two seasons ago and had 39 points in 49 games last season. The Coyotes acquisitions are role players.

4:15 p.m. We have a trade

The New York Rangers traded forward Pavel Buchnevich to the St. Louis Blues for forward Sammy Blais and a 2022 second-round pick.

Buchnevich is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights and was due a big raise from last season’s $3.5 million after getting 48 points in 54 games. Blais (15 points) is signed for $1.5 million next season. Could the Rangers be clearing cap space to trade for Jack Eichel?

3:30 p.m. We have a trade

The Buffalo Sabres traded defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen to the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Buffalo Sabres traded defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen to the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Sabres dealt defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen to the Flyers for defenseman Robert Hagg for a 2021 first-round pick (14th overall) and a second-round pick in 2023.

This continues the Flyers’ revamp of their defense. They earlier acquired Ryan Ellis from the Nashville Predators and shipped out Shayne Gostisbehere in a salary cap move.

Ristolainen had expressed frustration about the Sabres’ lack of playoff appearances and he moves to a team that disappointed last season but has the potential to get back to the postseason.

3:30 p.m. ET: The revised first-round order

1. Buffalo Sabres

2. Seattle Kraken

3. Anaheim Ducks

4. New Jersey Devils

5. Columbus Blue Jackets

6. Detroit Red Wings

7. San Jose Sharks

8. Los Angeles Kings

9. Arizona Coyotes (from Vancouver Canucks in Oliver Ekman-Larsson trade)

10. Ottawa Senators

11. Forfeited

12. Chicago Blackhawks

13. Calgary Flames

14. Buffalo Sabres (from Philadelphia Flyers in Rasmus Ristolainen trade)

15. Dallas Stars

16. New York Rangers

17. St. Louis Blues

18. Winnipeg Jets

19. Nashville Predators

20. Edmonton Oilers

21. Boston Bruins

22. Minnesota Wild

23. Detroit Red Wings (from Washington Capitals in Anthony Mantha trade)

24. Florida Panthers

25. Columbus Blue Jackets (from Toronto Maple Leafs in Nick Foligno trade)

26. Minnesota Wild (from Pittsburgh Penguins in Jason Zucker trade)

27. Carolina Hurricanes

28. Colorado Avalanche

29. New Jersey Devils (from New York Islanders in Kyle Palmieri/Travis Zajac trade)

30. Vegas Golden Knights

31. Montreal Canadiens

32. Columbus Blue Jackets (from Tampa Bay Lightning in David Savard trade)

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NHL draft: Live updates, analysis for picks and trades

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