The Anaheim Ducks’ offseason started off with a resounding bang yesterday, as the team made a much anticipated move by trading Nick Bonino, Luca Sbisa, and two 2014 draft picks (24th and 85th overall) to the Vancouver Canucks for Ryan Kesler and a 2015 3rd round pick. The team, knowing that it needed to address a major hole at center, was able to negotiate for Kesler to play a big role behind Ryan Getzlaf without having to give up valuable young players, such as Emerson Etem, Rickard Rakell, Sami Vatanen, and Devante Smith-Pelly.
The NHL Entry Draft is over, but free agency begins this coming Tuesday. The Ducks still have areas of the team they should look to address, with a top-four defenseman at the top of the list. However, championship teams have the core of their roster established before free agency. The Ducks, who were at the doorstep of advancing to the Western Conference Finals this past year, seem to have their roster mostly set, led by Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Cam Fowler, and Kesler.
Two weeks ago, I wrote a piece on why the Ducks should have traded for Ryan Kesler. Now that the Ducks have acquired him, it’s time to see how Kesler slots in on this team and what he will bring to the Ducks.