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Ducks Begin Accumulating Assets

Photo by Bruce Bennett

Ducks Begin Accumulating Assets

The Anaheim Ducks front office had itself a busy Saturday, kicking off the weekend by trading two players out of the Pacific Division in exchange for some future help, by way of draft selections.

First, the club moved pending unrestricted free agent winger Nicolas Deslauriers to the Minnesota Wild for a third round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft. Then, the team sent big ticket item Hampus Lindholm – a 28-year-old defenceman – to the Boston Bruins for a king’s ransom.

Heading to Anaheim are young defencemen Urho Vaakanainen and John Moore, as well as a 2022 first round pick, a 2023 second round pick and a 2024 second round pick – what a haul.

Boston, however, turned the trade into a trade-and-sign style of deal, thus attempting to backup its shopping spree with a long-lasting contract. Lindholm signed an eight-year, $52 million deal on Sunday morning, which will see the blueliner make $6.5 million annually.

“I would be hard-pressed to think we were going to give away the assets, trade away the assets that we did without the belief that we could enter into an extension,” Bruins GM Don Sweeney said on Sunday. “Obviously, the timing is difficult. You have to have some trust that your group is going to find some common ground after the fact, but we were confident in doing our diligence that this would be a place that Hampus would be excited to play.”

According to Lindholm, the Bruins offered a very intriguing promise of a long-term deal, to which he jumped on without even having lived in the city of Boston one full day.

Taken sixth overall by the Ducks in 2012, Lindholm has put up 57 goals and 222 points in 582 games for Anaheim over the course of his regular season career, before playing at a point-per-game rate in his 21 postseason outings.

“Hampus has been a fixture with the Ducks for years, which we value and respect,” Anaheim general manager Pat Verbeek said. “That said, we are very pleased with our return. As I’ve stated since arriving in Anaheim (hired Feb. 3), our goal is to continue building a team that can compete for the Stanley Cup for the long haul. Adding players and assets that fit in the age group of our existing younger talent sets us up well for the future.”

Deslauriers, a 31-year-old scrapper, will bring Minnesota some truculence as it moves towards the playoffs. Posting five goals, five assists, 90 penalty minutes and 210 hits in 61 games for the Ducks this year, the Quebec product garnered the Ducks a third rounder in return for his services, 13 years after being selected in the third round, himself.

The Lindholm trade came just a few hours after the Deslauriers trade, which happened a few days following the team’s move of fellow blueliner Josh Manson. The 30-year-old, eight-year pro was shipped to Colorado in exchange for yet another defensive prospect, Drew Helleson and a 2023 second round pick.

Anaheim currently sits at just a $70 million cap hit following these trades, second-last in the league. They also now own 13 picks through the first three rounds of the 2023 NHL Draft, highlighted by three selections in the second round of that year’s running.

Carter Brooks - Associate Editor of Game On Magazine - is a news writer and sports columnist situated in Winnipeg, MB. On top of reading and writing, his favourite pastimes include camping, car-modification projects and coaching hockey. Carter can be reached at carterbrooks1994@gmail.com or on Twitter at @GameOnHockey.

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