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The Anaheim Ducks made their largest moves yet today, completing a few more trades before the deadline.
The biggest news came with defenseman John Klingberg being dealt to the Minnesota Wild, with Anaheim retaining 50 per cent of his salary. In exchange, the Ducks received defenseman Andrej Sustr, prospect Nikita Nesterenko and a fourth-round pick in 2025.
Sustr played 23 games with the Ducks last season, but has spent the entire year in the AHL. Meanwhile, Nesterenko was selected in the sixth round of the 2019 NHL Draft, but has posted relatively strong numbers this season in the NCAA.
Klingberg played 50 games with the Ducks, managing 24 points, and will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. He was always going to be traded, and it did seem like Pat Verbeek did his best to try to get something worthwhile in return. Unfortunately though, the team obviously ends up with an underwhelming return, compared to expectations coming into the season.
The other big move of the day for Anaheim came earlier on, when Dmitry Kulikov was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins, in exchange for a third-round pick in 2024 and forward Brock McGinn.
Like Klingberg, Kulikov was brought in as a one-year stopgap, always likely to be flipped at the deadline. He performed alright for the team in too large of a role and managed 15 points in 61 games. Half of his salary was also retained.
Getting back a third-round pick is fair value for Kulikov, and adding McGinn could end up working out okay for Anaheim. He has another two years left on his deal and while he’s had a down year with Pittsburgh, he can be an effective depth forward. It’s not like the Ducks’ priority is adding more bottom-six forwards but McGinn could potentially be a solid fit for the next few years.
In two other minor moves, the Ducks had also acquired Dylan Sikura from the Chicago Blackhawks yesterday in exchange for Maxim Golod, and today, the team sent Austin Strand to the Buffalo Sabres, adding Chase Priskie.
In another transaction, the Ducks also signed forward Jaxsen Wiebe to a three-year, entry-level contract yesterday. Wiebe is undrafted and currently finishing his junior career with the WHL’s Prince George Cougars.
A longer analysis of the team’s trade deadline moves will be out soon.