Some won, some lost in this year's AFL trade period.
Some won, some lost in this year's AFL trade period.

Bucky: Who were trade period’s biggest winners?

THE end of the AFL exchange period provides clubs and supporters with plenty of blue sky to dream about what might be in 2020.

Some teams aced their trade period test, while others flunked. Gary Buckenara runs his eye over every club and gives his verdict on their moves.

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IN: Billy Frampton, picks 37, 45, 49, 2020 second-round pick (WB), 2020 fourth-round (Carl), 2020 fourth-round (GC)

OUT: Cam Ellis-Yolmen, Eddie Betts, Sam Jacobs, Hugh Greenwood, Alex Keath, Josh Jenkins, 2020 third-round

DRAFT PICKS: 4, 23, 28, 37, 45, 49

Eddie Betts returned to Carlton from Adelaide, part of a player exodus from the Crows. Picture: AAP
Eddie Betts returned to Carlton from Adelaide, part of a player exodus from the Crows. Picture: AAP

BUCKENARA SAYS: When you look at the players that have gone out, while there are six of them, the Crows actually haven't lost that much. Betts is at the end of his career and so is Jenkins, while Reilly O'Brien basically took over from Sam Jacobs as No.1 ruck this year and Cam Ellis-Yolmen is a depth player given Brad and Matt Crouch are very similar players who do the grunt work. The ones they would have liked to have kept were Hugh Greenwood and Alex Keath - Keath more so - but again, with Tom Doedee coming back from a knee reconstruction next year, Daniel Talia and Kyle Hartigan in the key defensive roles as well as Will Kelly, there is enough there to cover his loss. With three picks inside the top-30, the Crows can bring in some more nice players to add to the glut of young talent they already have in the likes of Darcy Fogarty, Chayce Jones, Ned McHenry, Wayne Milera, Myles Poholke and Tyson Stengle.

RATING: 8/10



IN: Cam Ellis-Yolmen, Grant Birchall, Callum Ah Chee, picks 48, 52, 72, 2020 third-round (Ess)

OUT: Lewis Taylor, Tom Cutler, picks 46, 91, 2020 second-round, 2020 fourth-round

DRAFT PICKS: 16, 21, 34, 48, 52, 55, 72

BUCKENARA SAYS: Weren't big players but bringing in two free agents in Ellis-Yolmen and Grant Birchall, plus a former top-10 draft in Callum Ah Chee, whose talent is untapped at AFL level, was a nice trade and free agency period. Ellis-Yolmen can come in and do the grunt work to take the pressure off Lachie Neale and Dayne Zorko and allow the likes of Hugh McCluggage and even Alex Witherden to get on the outside and use their skills to create. Birchall isn't the crash and bash player Luke Hodge was but he's going to provide the same level of leadership both on and off the field, albeit in a different style, and if he can get his body right, will be a really nice pick-up to add more class, direction and creativity across halfback. If Ah Chee can get his body right he'll be a really classy player through the midfield who can also go forward and kick goals. He could be a real bonus. The Lions are clearly confident in their young list and so they should be.

RATING: 8/10

Carlton couldn’t get a deal done for Tom Papley, so he stays a Swan. Picture: AFL Photos/Getty Images
Carlton couldn’t get a deal done for Tom Papley, so he stays a Swan. Picture: AFL Photos/Getty Images


IN: Eddie Betts, Marc Pittonet, picks 57, 70

OUT: Andrew Phillips, picks 48, 54, 61, 72, 2020 fourth-round pick

DRAFT PICKS: 9, 43, 57, 70, 85

BUCKENARA SAYS: Carlton was the victim of this trade period thanks to Essendon's unwillingness to do a deal for Joe Daniher, missing out on their two top targets in Tom Papley and Jack Martin. While they tried to say the deals for Daniher and Tom Papley weren't linked, they clearly were because Sydney was never going to let its leading goal kicker from this year go without bringing in Daniher. The Blues also failed to strike a deal for Jack Martin but could end up securing him for free in the pre-season draft, which would be a win given the Suns wanted a first-round pick for him in a trade. Carlton will now need to work out a way to put a price on Martin's head that rules Melbourne out of the running in the pre-season draft as the Demons both need that type of player and will hold a pick before the Blues. The recruitment of Betts looks better now given deals for both Papley and Martin fell through, so he'll actually really add to the list rather than being a bit surplus to needs. Marc Pittonet is a ruckman who's been starved of opportunities at Hawthorn but has been a consistent player at VFL level. He doesn't win a lot of the ball around the ground but his tap work is good.

RATING: 7.5/10



IN: Darcy Cameron, picks 62, 2020 second-round pick (StK), 2020 fourth-round (StK)

OUT: James Aish, picks 56, 69, 2020 third-round

DRAFT PICKS: 35, 62, 74

BUCKENARA SAYS: An uncharacteristically quiet trade period but did bring in much-needed ruck depth in the form of Darcy Cameron, who the Magpies got very cheap - moving back just four spots in the draft. Cameron is a ruckman - I can't see him being used as an effective forward-ruckman as he lacks that agility and speed required, so seeing a forward line featuring both Cameron and Mason Cox is highly unlikely. A salary cap squeeze is reportedly the reason for James Aish's departure to Fremantle and Collingwood really didn't get much in return for a guy who played in the Grand Final last year and this year's preliminary final. Very surprised they didn't show interest in Josh Jenkins - he would have been a perfect fit to add structure and goalkicking power with Adelaide paying the majority of his wage. It means same problems will face Collingwood next year without a good genuine key forward target to help Cox and Brody Mihocek as Ben Reid is always injured.

RATING: 6/10

Joe Daniher and Essendon will have to kiss and make up after the Bombers couldn’t come to terms with Sydney. Picture: Wayne Ludbey
Joe Daniher and Essendon will have to kiss and make up after the Bombers couldn’t come to terms with Sydney. Picture: Wayne Ludbey


IN: Tom Cutler, Andrew Phillips, picks 33, 61, 64

OUT: Picks 37, 52, 57, 70, 2020 third-round

DRAFT PICKS: 31, 33, 61, 64, 65, 88

BUCKENARA SAYS: Essendon had every right to drive a hard bargain and stand their ground over Daniher and in the end they'd be very happy to head into 2020 with both he and Orazio Fantasia in the forward line. Adrian Dodoro said picks 5 and 9 from Sydney wouldn't have been enough but for a guy who's played 11 games in two years, that would have been overs. It's a risk holding Daniher to his contract because it's going to take a bit for him to rededicate himself to a club he had got his head around leaving. If Daniher can get his body right and contribute in 2020, Essendon could be the big winner if he and Fantasia can help them have a deep finals run. All eyes will be on him and the club for how they manage the situation. The hard work starts now. I think Essendon fans will be happy to have both Daniher and Fantasia at the club because without them they couldn't contend for a premiership. Tom Cutler will be a handy pick-up as an outside runner who plays on the wing, he has a good engine and can be a 70-80 metre player. The knock on him is his ball use.

RATING: 7.5/10



IN: Blake Acres, James Aish, picks 10, 22, 58, 69, 79, 2020 second-round pick (Melb), 2020 third-round (Coll)

OUT: Brad Hill, Ed Langdon, 2020 third-round, 2020 fourth-round

DRAFT PICKS: 7, 10, 22, 58, 69, 79, 83

BUCKENARA SAYS: Lost Brad Hill who's a very good player and Ed Langdon who's handy but brought in James Aish very cheaply and Blake Acres in terms of guys who can come in and help now. On face value, that's a net loss so the onus will be on Fremantle's recruiters to nail picks 7 and 10 in particular to be able to look back fondly on this trade period as an overall haul. Acres can play a role but he's not really the type of player they need as they already have a few big-bodied midfielders, while Aish can play across half-back and through the midfield but he doesn't have the speed they really need. Need to target quick players with good ball use at picks 7, 10 and 22.

RATING: 7/10

The Cats will hope Jack Steven can ease the pain of losing Tim Kelly. Picture: AAP
The Cats will hope Jack Steven can ease the pain of losing Tim Kelly. Picture: AAP


IN: Josh Jenkins, Jack Steven, picks 14, 24, 2020 first-round pick (WCE), 2020 third-round (GC)

OUT: Tim Kelly, Zac Smith, picks 57, 2020 third-round

DRAFT PICKS: 14, 17, 24, 36, 93

BUCKENARA SAYS: One of the winners. Yes, the Cats lost Tim Kelly, but the deal they got for him (picks 14, 24, 37 and West Coast's 2020 first-rounder) was very good and if Stephen Wells can nail the draft selections, which we know he has a history if doing, then that trade is going to look even better in 3-5 years. Kelly's loss will be offset by the addition of Jack Steven, who they effectively got for Zac Smith in a major coup if he can get himself fit and healthy again, because we all know how good he can be even though he does butcher the ball. He's a heart and soul type player who should fit in very well. The recruitment of Jenkins is smart. It will allow Tom Hawkins to move up the field a bit, which he likes to do, and Jenkins can play closer to goal and vice versa so he adds some flexibility as well as depth.

RATING: 9.5/10



IN: Brandon Ellis, Hugh Greenwood, Zac Smith, 2020 second-round pick (BL), 2020 fourth-round (BL)

OUT: Callum Ah Chee, 2020 third-round pick, 2020 fourth-round

DRAFT PICKS: 1, 2, 15, 20, 78, 90

BUCKENARA SAYS: It was good to see the Suns make a stand with Jack Martin by refusing to trade him to the Blues for a deal they deemed unsatisfactory. It will make players think twice about leaving the club in the future because all of a sudden you're not guaranteed to get to where you want to go - it's not as easy to leave as it has been in the past. It looks like he'll head to the draft or pre-season draft where the Suns will hold the first pick and while it has been reported the Suns would consider redrafting him, I wouldn't bother - he's disgruntled and has a history of not working hard enough. Just move on and take a player who is desperate for an opportunity. Greenwood and Brandon Ellis will add experience to a very young group but as we say almost every year, it's going to be all about who Gold Coast pick with their high draft picks and whether they can retain those players and have them become 10-14 year players for the club. The re-signing of Ben King was the best news and biggest win of the trade period for the Suns.

RATING: 8.5/10



IN: Sam Jacobs, picks 6, 40, 59, 2020 third-round pick (NM)

OUT: Adam Tomlinson, Jon Patton, Aiden Bonar, picks 12, 18, 2020 fourth-round

DRAFT PICKS: 6, 40, 59, 60, 80, 94

BUCKENARA SAYS: Jacobs is a really good recruit for the Giants and will solve the issues they've had in the ruck since the retirement, and subsequent return, of Shane Mumford who hasn't quite recaptured his best. Jacobs is durable and will give the gun midfielders first use. The Giants have lost a bit of depth with Jon Patton, Adam Tomlinson and Aiden Bonar going out but have made room in their salary cap to re-sign free agents Lachie Whitfield, Jeremy Cameron and Zac Williams next year. Will end up with two top-10 quality kids in the draft if no bid comes for academy prospect Tom Green before pick 6, which would be the ideal scenario.

RATING: 7/10

Big Jon Patton got to the Hawks for almost nothing. Will he be another Alastair Clarkson reclamation project? Picture: Getty Images
Big Jon Patton got to the Hawks for almost nothing. Will he be another Alastair Clarkson reclamation project? Picture: Getty Images


IN: Jon Patton, Sam Frost, pick 42

OUT: Grant Birchall, Marc Pittonet, picks 50, 2020 second-round

DRAFT PICKS: 11, 30, 42, 54, 63, 87, 92

BUCKENARA SAYS: Smart recruiting from the Hawks to bring in both Sam Frost and Jon Patton who fill holes on the list. Patton is a risk given he has done his knee three times but they got him so cheaply - for a 2020 fourth-round pick they originally got from Melbourne - that it's definitely a risk worth taking given the club's history in getting the best out of players with a long injury history. Positioned well for the draft and definitely have enough draft points to match a bid for father-son prospect Finn Maginess, who I have ranked in the top 15 players in this draft. The Hawks will be hoping no bid comes before pick 11 so, like GWS, they can essentially bring in two top 15-20 talents by using points from later selections.

RATING: 7.5/10



IN: Adam Tomlinson, Ed Langdon, pick 8, 2020 second-round pick (Haw), 2020 fourth-round (Fre)

OUT: Sam Frost, picks 22, 42, 61, 79, 2020 first-round, 2020 second-round, 2020 fourth-round


BUCKENARA SAYS: Tomlinson adds versatility and Langdon much-needed pace and outside run, so they've slightly improved their list. The pressure will be on everyone at Melbourne to bounce back and have a good year next year because trading their 2020 first and second-round picks plus picks 26 and 50 this year to North Melbourne for pick 8 is a big risk. If they finish bottom four again or fail to make finals that first-round pick will be top 10. Ouch. This draft is strong for classy midfielders with pace, which is exactly what the Demons need so clearly they've got their eye on a couple of players in particular. Time will tell.

RATING: 7/10

Versatile everyman Adam Tomlinson gives the Dees a handy Swiss Army knife. Picture: AAP
Versatile everyman Adam Tomlinson gives the Dees a handy Swiss Army knife. Picture: AAP


IN: Aiden Bonar, picks 26, 50, 2020 first-round pick (Melb), 2020 fourth-round (Melb)

OUT: Pick 8, 2020 third-round

DRAFT PICKS: 26, 27, 47, 50, 73, 84

BUCKENARA SAYS: Quiet trade period but got Bonar, a former No.11 draft pick, for next to nothing and that could be a big win if he can develop and reach the heights at AFL level his talent suggest he can. He's strong and has great pace for his size, which is exactly what the Kangaroos need. He's got some x-factor. Will be barracking for Melbourne to have a poor year in 2020 so they can really cash in on that pick swap. It's a wait and see.

RATING: 6/10



IN: Picks 12, 18, 2020 third-round pick (StK), 2020 fourth-round (GWS)

OUT: Paddy Ryder, Dougal Howard, Billy Frampton, pick 10, 2020 fourth-round pick

DRAFT PICKS: 12, 18, 29, 66, 67, 68, 71, 86

BUCKENARA SAYS: On paper the Power lost three players but is it really going to hurt them? Scott Lycett is a very good ruckman and in the prime of his career whereas Paddy Ryder is in his last years and they've got a lot of talented talls on the list including Charlie Dixon, Todd Marshall, Tom Clurey and even Tom Jonas, so clearly the club identified Howard as expendable. They can cover what they've lost while at the same time strengthened their position in the draft to add more good youngsters to develop and play alongside Connor Rozee, Zak Butters and Xavier Duursma. I like what they've done.

RATING: 7.5/10



IN: Picks 41, 56

OUT: Brandon Ellis, Dan Butler

DRAFT PICKS: 19, 38, 39, 41, 56, 75, 77, 95

BUCKENARA SAYS: Lost a dual premiership player in Ellis and a depth player, albeit a premiership player, in Dan Butler but with Sydney Stack, Marlion Pickett and Alex Rance to act basically as new recruits next year, the Tigers are in a very good position with a really strong list. Didn't need to be active and haven't lost any stars.

RATING: 7/10

Saints fans are roaring like Bradley Hill after he made his way from Fremantle. Picture: AFL Media/Getty Images
Saints fans are roaring like Bradley Hill after he made his way from Fremantle. Picture: AFL Media/Getty Images


IN: Paddy Ryder, Dougal Howard, Brad Hill, Zak Jones, Dan Butler, 2020 fourth-round (PA), 2020 fourth-round (Syd)

OUT: Josh Bruce, Jack Steven, Blake Acres, picks 6, 2020 second-round, 2020 third-round, 2020 fourth-round

DRAFT PICKS: 51, 76, 82

BUCKENARA SAYS: One of the big winners. Finally the Saints have added pace and creativity with the additions of Hill, Butler and Zak Jones, while Ryder is a really important pick-up to help Rowan Marshall in the ruck for a couple of years and Howard for structure and depth down back. Josh Bruce, Blake Acres and Steven have departed but at the end of the day the additions far outweigh the departures and St Kilda's list is much stronger for next year than it was this year. The Saints gave up a lot to get Hill but he's the player they've been crying out for and is going to add so much to the group - he'll be worth the price they paid. New coach Brett Ratten definitely has a lot to work with, with more weapons at his disposal.

RATING: 9.5/10



IN: Lewis Taylor, picks 32, 2020 third-round pick (Fre)

OUT: Zak Jones, Darcy Cameron, picks 54, 2020 fourth-round

DRAFT PICKS: 5, 25, 32, 44, 81

BUCKENARA SAYS: Disappointing. Did the hard work to get Daniher to request a trade to the club but failed to satisfy Essendon with a trade. We haven't heard the end of this. Expect the Swans to get to work on locking Daniher in as a restricted free agent recruit in a similar way to how they landed Lance Franklin basically 12 months before the deal actually went through. Another Franklin-style mega long-term big-money contract is looming to blow the Bombers out of the water to make sure they can't match the offer. It was smart not to trade out Papley, their leading goalkicker this year, before securing Daniher because that would have come back to bite them.

RATING: 6/10

Tim Kelly was all smiles after making his way from the Cats to the Eagles. Picture: AFL Photos
Tim Kelly was all smiles after making his way from the Cats to the Eagles. Picture: AFL Photos


IN: Tim Kelly, picks 46, 91 2020 third-round pick (Geel)

OUT: Picks 14, 24, 33, 64, 2020 first-round


BUCKENARA SAYS: Kelly is a star and while he cost a lot in terms of the actual trade, his recruitment means the Eagles have one of the best midfields in the competition and has them set up to build a dynasty with a team capable of winning multiple premierships. If they win the premiership in 2020 the hefty price they paid to get him won't matter one bit.

RATING: 8.5/10



IN: Josh Bruce, Alex Keath, 2020 third-round pick (Adel)

OUT: Picks 32, 45, 51, 2020 second-round

DRAFT PICKS: 13, 53, 89

BUCKENARA SAYS: Stood their ground on the Bruce and Keath deals and in the end got two key players for structure cheaply and held on to their first-round pick. Double tick. Really smart recruiting and list management by the Bulldogs to identify early exactly what they need to go to the next level. The additions of Bruce and Keath means they now have flexibility and depth in key posts up forward and down back - two areas of weakness in the past - and improves their list so much they're now definitely in the mix to contend for the premiership in 2020. The list is seriously talented.

RATING: 8.5/10

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