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Top 10 trades in Hawk history

Luke Hodge of Hawthorn (R) hugs team mate Trent Croad (24)at the end of the AFL Round 12 match between the Carlton Blues and Hawthorn Hawks at the Telstra Dome.
Is the 2001 trade to receive No.1 draft pick (Luke Hodge) the best in Hawthorn's history?

With the 2017 trade period just days away, we're reminiscing on some of the best trades in Hawk history.

Of course, this list is subjective, and there are several bold moves that didn't make the cut, but nonetheless, here's our take on the 10 best Hawthorn trades.

Don't agree with our top 10? Sound off in the comments on our Facebook post.



In 1993, Hawthorn traded John Barnett, a promising, young forward who had played for the club’s Under 19s side, to North Melbourne in exchange for pick 56. Understandably, at the time, the trade seemed like a relative non-event. Yet, in the 1993 draft, the Hawks recruited Rayden Tallis to the club. Tallis would go onto play 163 games for the Hawks over an 11-year career. While Barnett managed six games for the Kangaroos over two years, before squeezing out another eight for Collingwood in the third and final year of his career.


Recruited to the Hawks in 2013, Jed Anderson came with a promising reputation. Despite debuting in Round 1 of his first year, the Northern Territory product managed just nine more games over the next three years at the Hawks. At the end of the 2015 season, the Hawks brokered a deal with North Melbourne, sending Anderson and picks 38 and 40 in exchange for picks 15 and 55. Although this trade is still in its relative infancy in terms of judging the real winner, the Hawks used that first round pick they received from the Roos to take Ryan Burton. Runner-up in the Rising Star award this season, Burton has shown extreme promise at the Hawks since and figures as a vital cog of the brown and gold’s future. Anderson has played just 14 games in his two seasons at Arden St so far.


At the end of the 2011 season, Adelaide forward Jack Gunston requested a trade back to his home state of Victoria after two years at the South Australian club. Hawthorn immediately became a front runner to secure the 29th pick in the 2009 draft. After a prolonged negotiation process, Hawthorn landed Gunston, along with picks 53 and 71, for picks 24, 46 and 64. Gunston has become a star in the brown and gold, barely missing a game since he arrived at the club. He is now a three-time premiership player and has won the club’s goal kicking award on two occasions. Adelaide did not have the same luck with their three picks, Sam Kerridge, Nicholas Joyce and Cam Ellis-Yolmen respectively. The trio played a combined 41 games for the Crows, with Ellis-Yolmen the only one of the cohort that remains.


Looking to replenish their key defensive stocks after the 2012 Grand Final loss, the Hawks had the Western Bulldogs’ two-time All Australian defender Brian Lake in their sights. Offloading picks 21 and 41, the Hawks received Lake and pick 27. Lake played three years as a Hawk, helping to deliver a Hawthorn premiership in each of those years. He was especially valuable in 2013, when he won the Norm Smith Medal. With pick 21, the Bulldogs drafted Nathan Hrovat, who they have since traded to North Melbourne.


At the end of the 2010 season, Hawthorn joined multiple clubs in the pursuit of North Melbourne ruckman David Hale. Ultimately, Hawthorn were able to trump fellow front-runner Melbourne for the 26-year old’s services, with the compensation pick the club received from Campbell Brown’s departure enough to secure the trade. North Melbourne took Kieran Harper at pick 27 with their spoils from the trade, who went on to play 40 games for the club. While, Hale proved a significant element to the Hawks’ premiership threepeat, playing 108 games in the brown and gold.


Intent on undergoing a club rebuild, Hawthorn traded out senior players Jonathan Hay and Nathan Lonie at the end of the 2005 season in order to secure five picks inside the top 22. Sending Hay to North Melbourne, the Hawks received pick 18 in return, who they turned into a premiership ruckman in Max Bailey. While Lonie, who had played 64 games for the club over five years, earned the Hawks pick 14. On draft day, Hawthorn used that pick to select a running half-back out of Tasmania by the name of Grant Birchall. 12 years later, Birchall is a four-time premiership player for the Hawks, an All Australian defender and has run out in a brown and gold jumper 245 times. 


The 2004 draft figured as a crossroads for Hawthorn, who had struggled to record just four wins that year. The Hawks were in a good place to turn it all around though, holding picks two, five and ten. Recruiter Gary Buckenara felt that he had the draft worked out. Having identified his favourite two talls of the draft, blokes named Jarryd Roughead and Lance Franklin, the final piece in Buckenara’s puzzle was Geelong Falcons midfielder Jordan Lewis, who he felt complemented the key forward pair perfectly. But Buckenara believed Lewis wouldn’t make it to the tenth pick, so he had to get to work. The Hawks struck a deal in a complicated four-team trade that, from Hawthorn’s end, saw them receive pick seven and Bo Nixon in exchange for pick 10 and 37. Nixon played just one game for Hawthorn, but the Hawks got a bit more value out of that pick seven, Jordan Lewis. Playing 264 games in the brown and gold, Lewis is now a four-time premiership player, an All Australian midfielder and a Peter Crimmins Medallist. For the record, Collingwood, the recipients of pick 10, drafted Chris Egan, who managed 27 games before being delisted in 2008.


In the 2009 trade period, Hawthorn executed a trade that drew its fair share of criticism at the time, but would now leave any critic with egg on his or her face. Port Adelaide vice-captain Shaun Burgoyne surprised many at the end of the 2009 season when he requested a trade to a Victorian-based club. Burgoyne, 28 at the time, had endured an injury-ravaged 2009 season and many pundits believed his best was behind him. Nevertheless, the Hawks saw something and, in a complex four-team trade, parted with pick nine and premiership goal kicker Mark Williams. As it happened, Port Adelaide took Andrew Moore, who played 55 games for the club, at pick nine. Williams went to Essendon, where he played just four games over two years. Meanwhile, Shaun Burgoyne has put together a scintillating career in the brown and gold, winning three premierships and becoming one of the club’s favourite sons.


In the same year the Hawks landed Burgoyne, they also had their sights set on North Melbourne defender Josh Gibson. The four-year Roo had shown an interest in becoming a Hawk, and a deal was struck in the first day of trade period. Hawthorn sent picks 25 and 41 to North in exchange for the 25-year old and pick 69. Gibson went on to play 160 games in the brown and gold, becoming a three-time premiership player, a two-time best and fairest winner in premiership years and an All Australian defender. Hawthorn were also able to turn the “steak knives” of the deal in pick 69 into dual premiership defender Taylor Duryea. While North’s pick 25, Aaron Black, was a serviceable player for the club, playing 50 games, but Ayden Kennedy, who was taken with pick 41, never made a senior appearance.


Hawthorn surprised many by coming within a few kicks off knocking off reigning premiers Essendon in the 2001 preliminary final. Yet a decision was made by the Hawks’ brainstrust that the club needed to re-tool their midfield and bring in some of the young midfield talent that was littered inside the upcoming draft. As it eventuated, Hawthorn were willing to offload 21-year old and promising key position player Trent Croad and Luke McPharlin in order to claim three draft selections from Fremantle, pick one, 20 and 36. Pick one and 36 turned into Luke Hodge and Sam Mitchell, while Daniel Elstone was drafted with pick 20. The foundation of a dominant era was built in one trade, with Hodge and Mitchell captaining four Hawks flags between them over the next 14 years. And, two years later, the Hawks managed to recover Croad from the Dockers, allowing him to also be an important member of the 2008 premiership team.


The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs