The Anaheim Ducks have traded defenseman Erik Gudbranson to the Ottawa Senators, in exchange for a fifth-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft.
Gudbranson joined the Ducks last October, after being acquired from the Pittsburgh Penguins. He had nine points in 44 games with the Ducks and the Senators will now be his fourth team in under two years.
TRADE: We have acquired a 2021 5th-round pick from the Senators in exchange for defenseman Erik Gudbranson.
I find this trade.. interesting. One on hand, Gudbranson was better than expected upon joining the Ducks but was never going to be a permanent fit with the team. He can’t add much offensively whatsoever and was in too large of a role. On top of this, he only had one year left on his contract and getting $4 million off the books gives the Ducks flexibility if they want to make any additions either through trade or free agency.
They also acquired Gudbranson for a seventh-round pick (and a minor league player) and then flipped him for a fifth-round pick a year later. So that’s a win, plus with the Ducks still looking to deepen their prospect pool, any pick is useful going forward.
On the other hand, while Gudbranson wasn’t an ideal fit with the Ducks, Josh Manson is now the only right-handed NHL-level defenseman under contract with the team for next season. Anaheim does have many defensemen who will be fighting for a spot, so I like the idea of creating space for them in the lineup but this means they’d be playing not one but two defensemen on their off-side.
Perhaps clearing this cap space means the Ducks will actually make an addition, though I’m still not overly convinced that’s the case here. Either way, this trade is fine but it does raise even more questions as to what Anaheim’s defense group will look like next season.
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Here’s today’s poll question (results and discussion will be posted in a future article):
Are you happy with the decision to trade Erik Gudbranson for a fifth-round pick?