Blake Acres, Tom Mitchell and Aaron Cadman. Pictures: AFL Photos

RIVALS Carlton and Collingwood have turned to the Trade Period more than any other clubs to put together their strong lists.

The Magpies are coming off an unforgettable 2023 season, crowned premiers after a thrilling Grand Final win over Brisbane in September.

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Carlton, meanwhile, charged into a preliminary final before falling to the Lions, and the Blues are being tipped to contend again in 2024.

The Blues have welcomed 12 players onto their list via trades, which is the most of any club, with Collingwood next in line with 11.

Top five clubs Players who joined via trade
Carlton 12
Collingwood 11
Hawthorn, Melbourne, Port Adelaide 10


It means they have used the AFL Draft fewer than every other club, with the Magpies and Blues bringing in 18 of their current players via the draft.

Carlton also has 17 players on its list who have previously featured for another AFL club, which is also a League-high.

In contrast, another of 2023's preliminary finalists, Greater Western Sydney, has relied heavily on the AFL Draft.

The Giants have welcomed 32 of their current players via the draft, which is five more than the next highest clubs in Adelaide, West Coast and the Western Bulldogs.

Top 10 clubs Players who joined via AFL Draft
Greater Western Sydney 32
Adelaide, West Coast, Western Bulldogs 27
North Melbourne, Port Adelaide 26
Brisbane, Fremantle, Gold Coast 25
Richmond 24

Toby Greene, Lachie Whitfield, Stephen Coniglio and Josh Kelly are among the club's first-round picks, with Aaron Cadman, Finn Callaghan and Tom Green more recent arrivals.

Only five Giants – Callan Ward, Jesse Hogan, Lachie Keeffe, Toby Bedford and Braydon Preuss – have previously played for another AFL club.

Essendon, which landed Ben McKay, Jade Gresham and Todd Goldstein this off-season, and St Kilda have the most players who arrived via free agency with four apiece.

Ben McKay in his new Essendon colours. Picture: Supplied

The Saints have also had success via the pre-season supplemental selection period (SSP), with four current players – Mason Wood, Liam Stocker, Anthony Caminiti and Jack Hayes – coming via that mechanism.

The Magpies recently overtook them as the club with the most players on their list arriving via the SSP, with Jack Bytel, Josh Eyre and Lachie Sullivan signed this month, joining Oleg Markov and Oscar Steene.

Collingwood, Hawthorn and Richmond have the most current players who arrived through the Mid-Season Rookie Draft with four each, most notably Pies John Noble and Ash Johnson, Hawks gun Jai Newcombe and Tigers premiership player Marlion Pickett.

Editor's note: First published on January 14, 2024. Updated on February 19, 2024.

AFL Draft: 27 (equal second most)
Trade:
3 (equal 17th most)
Free agency:
1 (equal 12th most)
Rookie Draft/Cat B rookies:
8 (equal fifth most)
Pre-Season Draft/SSP:
3 (equal fourth most)
Mid-Season Draft: 1 (equal 16th most)

Daniel Curtin with Mark Bickley after being selected at No.8 by Adelaide during the 2023 AFL Draft at Marvel Stadium on November 20, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

AFL Draft: 25 (equal seventh most)
Trade:
7 (equal ninth most)
Free agency:
3 (equal third most)
Rookie Draft/Cat B rookies:
5 (equal ninth most)
Pre-Season Draft/SSP:
2 (equal eighth most)
Mid-Season Draft:
2 (equal seventh most)

Joe Daniher celebrates a goal during the 2023 Grand Final between Collingwood and Brisbane at the MCG, September 30, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

AFL Draft: 18 (equal 17th most)
Trade:
12 (most)
Free agency:
3 (equal third most)
Rookie Draft/Cat B rookies:
4 (equal 12th most)
Pre-Season Draft/SSP:
4 (third most)
Mid-Season Draft:
3 (equal fourth most)

Adam Cerra celebrates a goal during the round 17 clash between Fremantle and Carlton at Optus Stadium on July 9, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

AFL Draft: 18 (equal 17th most)
Trade:
11 (second most)
Free agency:
1 (equal 12th most)
Rookie Draft/Cat B rookies:
3 (16th most)
Pre-Season Draft/SSP:
5 (equal most)
Mid-Season Draft:
4 (equal most)

John Noble runs with the ball during Collingwood's clash against Fremantle in round 18, 2023. Picture: Getty Images

AFL Draft: 22 (equal 14th most)
Trade:
8 (equal sixth most)
Free agency:
4 (equal most)
Rookie Draft/Cat B rookies:
2 (equal 17th most)
Pre-Season Draft/SSP:
3 (equal fourth most)
Mid-Season Draft:
3 (equal fourth most)

Ben McKay jogs during Essendon training on December 9, 2023. Picture: Getty Images

AFL Draft: 25 (equal seventh most)
Trade:
6 (equal 11th most)
Free agency:
1 (equal 12th most)
Rookie Draft/Cat B rookies:
9 (fourth most)
Pre-Season Draft/SSP:
2 (equal eighth most)
Mid-Season Draft:
2 (equal seventh most)

Josh Treacy celebrates a goal during Fremantle's clash against Hawthorn in round 24, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

AFL Draft: 22 (equal 14th most)
Trade:
8 (equal sixth most)
Free agency:
1 (equal 12th most)
Rookie Draft/Cat B rookies:
12 (equal most)
Pre-Season Draft/SSP:
0 (equal 16th most)
Mid-Season Draft:
1 (equal 16th most)

Brad Close celebrates a goal during Geelong's clash against Collingwood in round 22, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

AFL Draft: 25 (equal seventh most)
Trade:
4 (equal 15th most)
Free agency:
2 (equal sixth most)
Rookie Draft/Cat B rookies:
12 (equal most)
Pre-Season Draft/SSP:
1 (equal 12th most)
Mid-Season Draft:
2 (equal seventh most)

Levi Casboult celebrates a goal during Gold Coast's clash against North Melbourne in round 24, 2023. Picture: Getty Images

AFL Draft: 32 (most)
Trade:
3 (equal 17th most)
Free agency/Uncontracted:
2 (equal sixth most)
Rookie Draft/Cat B rookies:
5 (equal ninth most)
Pre-Season Draft/SSP:
0 (equal 16th most)
Mid-Season Draft:
2 (equal seventh most)

Aaron Cadman and Toby Greene at the 2022 NAB AFL Draft at Marvel Stadium, November 28, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

AFL Draft: 23 (equal 11th most)
Trade:
10 (equal third most)
Free agency:
1 (equal 12th most)
Rookie Draft/Cat B rookies:
4 (equal 12th most)
Pre-Season Draft/SSP:
2 (equal eighth most)
Mid-Season Draft:
4 (equal most)

Jai Newcombe in action during the match between Hawthorn and the Western Bulldogs at UTAS Stadium in round 22, 2023. Picture: Getty Images

AFL Draft: 23 (equal 11th most)
Trade:
10 (equal third most)
Free agency:
1 (equal 12th most)
Rookie Draft/Cat B rookies:
8 (equal fifth most)
Pre-Season Draft/SSP:
1 (equal 12th most)
Mid-Season Draft:
1 (equal 16th most)

Steven May celebrates with fans after the Grand Final between Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs at Optus Stadium, September 25, 2021. Picture: Getty Images

AFL Draft: 26 (equal fifth most)
Trade:
7 (equal ninth most)
Free agency:
3 (equal third most)
Rookie Draft/Cat B rookies:
4 (equal 12th most)
Pre-Season Draft/SSP:
2 (equal eighth most)
Mid-Season Draft:
2 (equal seventh most)

Aidan Corr in action during North Melbourne's clash against St Kilda in round 19, 2023. Picture: Getty Images

AFL Draft: 26 (equal fifth most)
Trade:
10 (equal third most)
Free agency:
2 (equal sixth most)
Rookie Draft/Cat B rookies:
2 (equal 17th most)
Pre-Season Draft/SSP:
0 (equal 16th most)
Mid-Season Draft:
2 (equal seventh most)

Esava Ratugolea poses for a photo in Port Adelaide colours. Picture: @PAFC Twitter

AFL Draft: 24 (10th most)
Trade:
5 (equal 13th most)
Free agency:
2 (equal sixth most)
Rookie Draft/Cat B rookies:
6 (eighth most)
Pre-Season Draft/SSP:
3 (equal fourth most)
Mid-Season Draft:
4 (equal most)

Marlion Pickett gathers the ball during the round 11 match between Richmond and Port Adelaide at the MCG on May 28, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

AFL Draft: 20 (16th most)
Trade:
8 (equal sixth most)
Free agency:
4 (equal most)
Rookie Draft/Cat B rookies:
5 (equal ninth most)
Pre-Season Draft/SSP:
5 (equal most)
Mid-Season Draft:
2 (equal seventh most)

Mason Wood in action during the round three clash between St Kilda and Essendon at the MCG on April 1, 2023. Picture: Getty Images

AFL Draft: 23 (equal 11th most)
Trade:
4 (equal 15th most)
Free agency:
2 (equal sixth most)
Rookie Draft/Cat B rookies:
11 (third most)
Pre-Season Draft/SSP:
1 (equal 12th most)
Mid-Season Draft:
3 (equal fourth most)

Dane Rampe in action during the match between Sydney and Geelong at the SCG in round 16, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

AFL Draft: 27 (equal second most)
Trade:
5 (equal 13th most)
Free agency:
2 (equal sixth most)
Rookie Draft/Cat B rookies:
7 (seventh most)
Pre-Season Draft/SSP:
1 (equal 12th most)
Mid-Season Draft:
2 (equal seventh most)

Harley Reid poses for a photo during the AFL Draft at Marvel Stadium on November 20, 2023. Picture: Getty Images

AFL Draft: 27 (equal second most)
Trade:
6 (equal 11th most)
Free agency:
1 (equal 12th most)
Rookie Draft/Cat B rookies:
4 (equal 12th most)
Pre-Season Draft/SSP:
3 (equal fourth most)
Mid-Season Draft: 2 (equal seventh most)

Western Bulldogs draftees Joel Freijah, Lachlan Smith, Ryley Sanders and Aiden O'Driscoll pose during a training session at Whitten Oval on November 27, 2023. Picture: Getty Images

 

Players who joined via AFL Draft

Greater Western Sydney

32

Adelaide, West Coast, Western Bulldogs

27

North Melbourne, Port Adelaide

26

Brisbane, Fremantle, Gold Coast

25

Richmond

24

Hawthorn, Melbourne, Sydney

23

Essendon, Geelong

22

St Kilda

20

Carlton, Collingwood

18



 

Players who joined via trade

Carlton

12

Collingwood

11

Hawthorn, Melbourne, Port Adelaide

10

Essendon, Geelong, St Kilda

8

Brisbane, North Melbourne

7

Fremantle, Western Bulldogs

6

Richmond, West Coast

5

Gold Coast, Sydney

4

Adelaide, Greater Western Sydney

3