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Toronto defenceman Dion Phaneuf carries the puck behind the Maple Leafs net in a March game against the Minnesota Wild at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. Phaneuf has six years left on a contract with a $7-million (U.S.) cap hit.Claus Andersen/Getty Images

Make no mistake, picks are in play.

There's an interesting dynamic at work as the NHL heads into its draft week, as so many of the highest selections are concentrated with a select group of teams.

Five teams hold 20 of the first 60 picks. Nine teams – a group that includes four Canadian clubs (Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa and Winnipeg) – have 32 in the first two rounds.

With many teams unable or unwilling to take on salary at the deadline, picks have become the common currency, and that's likely to continue in the lead-up to the draft in South Florida on Friday night.

There's no drama with the top two picks because everyone knows who Edmonton and Buffalo are taking.

There's plenty going on everywhere else.

The chatter among teams over the weekend was that some of these high picks are going to be moved, with teams seeking to either shift up or down in the first round. That could involve several of the teams with a pick in the top 15, but right now the most likely pick to shift is that of the San Jose Sharks, current owners of No. 9.

The Sharks want this year's playoff miss to be a one-year blip, and they could make a deal for more immediate help by dropping back to late in the first round or early in the second, where they have one pick already.

While San Jose's most immediate need appears to be a starting goalie, they're also interested in adding on the blueline. That could come through free agency, as there's a solid crop of defencemen available that includes François Beauchemin, Paul Martin, Christian Ehrhoff, Johnny Oduya, Andrej Sekera, Cody Franson and Mike Green.

The NHL's free-agent negotiation window opens on Thursday, and with their wish list, the Sharks could be one of the busier teams.

The other potential fit for them? Toronto Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf.

There are a lot of factors that make sense there. San Jose is one of those teams any player will waive their no-trade clause to go to. They're in a win-now mode.

The Leafs also want to get another pick higher in the draft – they own four and 24 right now – and are confident they can find very good players outside the top five or six no-brainer picks. Toronto can also take a contract to make the money work.

The only question is how badly do the Sharks want an upgrade on D? Their top four is decent as-is, and Phaneuf has a lot of term left. But consider them in the mix.

Dubas takes lead for Leafs trades

The Leafs will be the only NHL team heading to the draft without a general manager, but there's a clear delineation of responsibility in the organization.

With Mark Hunter taking the lead on the draft and scouting side of the operation, the team sent out a memo to all the league's GMs and high-level execs last week instructing them to contact assistant GM Kyle Dubas if they want to talk trade.

"All inquiries pertaining to transactions leading up to the draft and free agency should be referred to Dubas," the notice read.

That – and the fact Dubas will be attending the GM meetings in Las Vegas – has led some around the NHL to speculate that he would be appointed to the role full time, but that's not the case. Not yet anyway. But it is further proof Dubas has president Brendan Shanahan's ear on key issues, even as Hunter fills out the scouting department.

Add in coach Mike Babcock and those will be the four main voices contributing to what are crucial decisions for the organization in the next 10 days.

Young stars in trade talks

One anomaly this year? There are some big names who could be available when it comes to high – scoring forwards under 30 years old.

Phil Kessel. Kyle Okposo. Ryan O'Reilly. T.J. Oshie. Possibly even Matt Duchene, if Colorado can't move O'Reilly, although the asking price is expected to be unbelievably high.

That's a lot of firepower in a year when there's almost zero offence available in free agency, which might have its weakest crop of forwards ever. That's good news for, say, Matt Beleskey, Shawn Matthias and Michael Frolik, the small crop of 20-something scorers available.

It's bad news for those looking for a difference maker, given the cost will be considerable for even depth talent.

So if you're a team that needs scoring, you have to at least consider the trade route.

That interest is good for the Leafs, who have Kessel, Joffrey Lupul and Tyler Bozak to move. While they are willing to take back contracts if they have to, the Leafs are not interested in retaining salary on long-term deals.

That makes sense, especially with six years remaining on Phaneuf's contract and seven on Kessel's.

Two other teams expected to be busy in the next 10 days? The Bruins, who owe promising defenceman Dougie Hamilton a huge raise and are desperate to rebound from a lost year, and the Blackhawks, who have some obvious cap-related issues after their Stanley Cup win. Both GMs are going to earn their money there.

2015 NHL draft: By the numbers

Teams with four picks in first two rounds: Arizona, Buffalo, Calgary, Columbus, Edmonton.

Teams with three picks in first two rounds: New Jersey, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Winnipeg.

Teams with no picks in first two rounds: New York Islanders.