The Ducks have traded a 2011 fourth-round pick to the Montreal Canadiens for forward Kyle Chipchura. Chipchura has been pretty useless this year, scoring no points and accumulating a -10 rating in 19 games for the Canadiens.
There are good things and bad things about this guy. The bad is abundantly obvious with his statistics. He actually was benched after playing just two minutes of the last game, and in those two minutes he managed to earn a -2 rating. He isn’t a great skater and he doesn’t have the best hands.
But this is a guy who was the Captain for Canada’s National Junior team just three years ago. He was drafted in the first round, 18th overall, and had (or has) a ton a promise. He’s still just 23 years old and possesses all the assets of becoming a solid NHL player, but he has not played well at all this season.
I’d like to say this is a gamble for the Ducks, but trading a fourth-rounder in a couple of years amounts to a bag of pucks. We’ll see if he gets any playing time with the Ducks or if the team elects to send him down to the AHL first. Since the Ducks don’t have an AHL affiliate, I expect him to start with the team and get evaluated at the NHL level. Hopefully this change of scenery will do him some good.
The Ducks also finally got rid of Erik Christensen as he was picked up on waivers by the New York Rangers. Christensen never found a home with the Ducks after being given many opportunities, and the Ducks will be glad to give his contract to the Rangers.
The Ducks also announced that they have assigned Brendan Mikkelson to Toronto of the AHL. Mikkelson continues to show promise but doesn’t seem strong enough to handle big forwards in the defensive zone. He is still young and will continue to mature, and hopefully he will add some weight to his big frame.
In his place, the Ducks recalled Brett Festerling from Toronto of the AHL. This is a good move because Festerling knows his role is as a shutdown defender, and the Ducks need more stability on the third pairing in that regard.
For the most part I’d say the Ducks are in a better position today than yesterday, but the Chipchura deal will have its fair share of haters. We’ll wait to see if that hate is warranted.