Defense-Depleted Ducks Acquire D-Man Colby Robak from Panthers


Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Anaheim Ducks have acquired defenseman Colby Robak from the Florida Panthers for defenseman Jesse Blacker and future draft considerations.

A second round draft pick by the Panthers in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft (46th overall), Robak, 24, has registered  three assists and 25 penalty minutes with the Panthers in 42 career NHL games. Robak will join the Ducks as they face the Minnesota Wild on Friday. After Friday, the Ducks will go on to play its next seven games against Canadian teams.

The trade was announced a day after the news that recently acquired veteran defenseman from the Tampa Bay Lightning Eric Brewer will miss 4-6 weeks with a broken foot.

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The Panthers acquire defenseman Jesse Blacker, 23, who racked up five assists in 15 games with the Ducks American Hockey League affiliate Norfolk Admirals. Blacker was a second round draft pick by the Toronto Maple Leafs (58th overall) in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, making his NHL debut with the Ducks on Nov. 28 against the Chicago Blackhawks, where he logged 6:03 time-on-ice.

The Panthers will receive either a fourth round pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft or a sixth round pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.

It’s apparent that this transaction is one that will provide the Ducks with temporary relief, as the injury-ridden Ducks have been missing several of their top defenseman. If Robak does suit up for the squad, he will be the thirteenth defenseman to play for the team this season, a feat no other team in the NHL holds. 23 year-old Sami Vatanen and 20 year-old Hampus Lindholm have been the only defensemen to have been in the lineup for every game this season for the Ducks.

While the Ducks have been depleted especially in the defensive department, the team activated defenseman Mark Fistric, who hasn’t seen any action this season because of back issues, and Clayton Stoner, who was sidelined for the past week because of the mumps virus.

Expect to see more from young defenseman Josh Manson, who has played in fifteen games thus far, with a 19:40 average time-on-ice. The 23 year-old defenseman, the son of former NHL player Dave Manson, has been an invigorating boost for the youthful defense of the Ducks, in addition to the presence of 24 year-old Mat Clark, who has played in seven contests for the team thus far.

"“Who knew 12 games ago, or whatever the amount was, that Josh Manson would be up here playing the kind of minutes he is or that Mat Clark would be playing the kind of minutes he has,” Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. “But they’ve hung in some games where we haven’t been as good.”"

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