The Anaheim Ducks Are in a Better Position for the Draft After the Trade Deadline

DALLAS, TX - JUNE 22: A general view of the Anaheim Ducks draft table is seen during the first round of the 2018 NHL Draft at American Airlines Center on June 22, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - JUNE 22: A general view of the Anaheim Ducks draft table is seen during the first round of the 2018 NHL Draft at American Airlines Center on June 22, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Prior to Sunday, the Anaheim Ducks were lacking both a 3rd and a 7th round draft pick. However, two trades have put them in a much better position for the 2019 draft.

Now that the Trade Deadline has officially past, all eyes are on the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. Currently near the bottom of the league, the Anaheim Ducks are in a good position to snag a high first-round draft pick. If things keep going the way they have been, a Top 5 pick isn’t that far of a stretch.

However, the excitement ended there. Prior to the Trade Deadline, the Anaheim Ducks were lacking two draft picks; a 3rd round and a 7th round. Losing out on a third-round pick, while maybe not the end of the world, would still be a missed opportunity for the Anaheim Ducks. A seventh-round is even more insignificant, but don’t forget about Ondrej Kase.

That is two missed opportunities to add talent to your team, especially if your goal in the next few seasons is to transition to a younger and faster style of hockey. This year is not the year for the Anaheim Ducks to strike out, this is the year for them to really start thinking about their future.

How Did They Lose These Picks?

On March 1, 2017, the Anaheim Ducks and the Chicago Blackhawks announced that they had made a trade. The Ducks acquired Sam Carrick and Spencer Abbott (who is currently inactive.) In return, the Chicago Blackhawks acquired Kenton Helgesen (who is also currently inactive) and the Anaheim Ducks 2019 7th round draft pick.

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Considering that both Abbott and Helgesen are both inactive, in hindsight, the trade now seems to be a pretty fair deal. Carrick has been an incredible asset to the San Diego Gulls over the past few seasons, wearing the “A” as well as posting over 40 points in his last two seasons. While it remains to be seen what he can do at an NHL level, a phenomenal AHL player for a 7th round prospect seems fair. At least for now.

The Anaheim Ducks traded away their 2019 3rd round draft pick in a much more exciting trade with the New Jersey Devils. In exchange for defenseman Sami Vatanen, the Anaheim Ducks received Adam Henrique and Joseph Blandisi. With the trade, the Ducks would receive the Devils 2018 3rd round draft pick, who they used to draft Blake McLaughlin. In addition, the New Jersey Devils also received a conditional 3rd round pick.

If the Ducks were to re-sign Henrique prior to the 2019 draft, New Jersey would then receive their 2019 3rd round pick. However, if he signed after the 2019 draft, the Devils would receive the 3rd round draft pick in 2020. During the offseason, Adam Henrique was rewarded with a contract extension, giving the Devils the opportunity to draft 10 new prospects in the 2019 draft.

Bob Murray Makes Smart Trade Deadline Choices to put the Ducks Back on Track

As mentioned previously, the Anaheim Ducks were lacking two draft picks prior to the 2019 Trade Deadline. However, two smart trades would end up putting the Ducks back on track. In fact, these two trades put the Anaheim Ducks in a better position draft wise than they were before they traded their previous two picks to Chicago and New Jersey.

In a trade with the Buffalo Sabres, Bob Murray acquired Brendan Guhle and a secondary 1st round draft pick. While this came at the expense of fan favorite, Brandon Montour, it was a trade that needed to happen. Not only do the Anaheim Ducks get younger, adding 21-year-old Guhle, but they also get another 1st round draft pick.

Although this pick will most likely be anywhere from 20th to 30th overall, Bob Murray has had incredible success drafting late in the first round over the past decade of being the Anaheim Ducks General Manager. A late first round pick, without a doubt, puts the team in a better position to draft two extremely talented prospects right from the get-go.

Bob Murray also parted ways with defenseman Michael Del Zotto in a trade with the St. Louis Blues. Del Zotto had only played 12 games dressed as a Ducks, but the 28-year-old’s style did not fit Bob Murray’s mold. Thanks to Michael Del Zotto, however, the Anaheim Ducks were able to trade Luke Schenn to the Vancouver Canucks and steal a sixth-round pick from the St. Louis Blues for the 2019 NHL Entry Draft.

It may still wind up being a pick that doesn’t impact the Anaheim Ducks in the long run, it is rare for a pick that late in the draft to do so, this still gives the Ducks to take a chance to widen their prospect pool. Plus, again, who can forget Ondrej Kase?

All in all, the 2019 draft is going to be extremely exciting for Ducks Nation this year. Leave it to Bargain Bob to trade away two draft picks and, in a few years time, turn them into draft picks that are going to be incredibly beneficial for the Anaheim Ducks and their future.

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