Anaheim Ducks: Best Acquisition of 2018-19— Daniel Sprong

ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 05: Daniel Sprong #11 of the Anaheim Ducks skates during the game against the Los Angeles Kings on April 5, 2019 at Honda Center in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 05: Daniel Sprong #11 of the Anaheim Ducks skates during the game against the Los Angeles Kings on April 5, 2019 at Honda Center in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Trades are a part of the business, and the Anaheim Ducks acquired a few players this season that changed their team for the better.

In the NHL, trades are inevitable. This gives teams the opportunity to fix areas that need serious work. In the Anaheim Ducks case, while their trades didn’t exactly change the fate of the team, it improved several areas that were in dire need of help. With a new coach coming in next season, it is likely a few of these players will have a big hand in leading the Ducks back to their winning ways.

Best Acquisition of 2018-19— Honorable Mentions

Devin Shore (5% of the vote): Andrew Cogliano has been a big part of the Anaheim Ducks since he was acquired from the Edmonton Oilers in 2011. However, with the new direction the team wanted to take, Cogliano became expendable.

GMBM made a trade with the Dallas Stars, where Cogliano seems to be fitting in well and acquired Devin Shore. Shore has proven to be a younger and faster version of Andrew Cogliano. He seems to be just as potent on the penalty kill, but he has the ability to add more production and is versatile in the lineup.

Derek Grant (14% of the vote): It was rather disappointing for a lot of Anaheim Ducks fans when Bob Murray let Derek Grant walk after his best season in the league. Grant had come to the “island of misfit toys” and flourished, posting a season high of 24 points in 66 games. His previous season high was an underwhelming 4 points in 2016-17 with Buffalo and Nashville.

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When Bob Murray had finally had enough, he went on a rampage and made three consecutive trades in one day. Their leading goalscorer, at the time, Pontus Aberg had been traded to Minnesota for Justin Kloos and Luke Schenn had been traded to Vancouver, along with a 7th round draft pick, for Michael Del Zotto.

Murray didn’t stop there. Within the same hour, GMBM traded Joseph Blandisi to the Pittsburgh Penguins in order to bring the Elite 1 C, Derek Grant, back home to SoCal. Grant served as their 4th line center for the rest of the season. It was just as if he had never left, and while his 9 points in 31 games aren’t extremely impressive, his presence allowed the Ducks to roll out a 4th line that could actually be somewhat trusted.

Brendan Guhle (17% of the vote): The Anaheim Ducks acquired Brendan Guhle, a young 21-year-old defenseman, and a late first round draft pick from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for Brandon Montour just one day before the Trade Deadline.

Bob Murray had preached getting younger and faster and this was just one more move that proved how serious he was about his statements. Brandon Montour had shown signs that he was at a stage in his career with the Ducks where his development had slowed down. While he had shouldered tremendous responsibility, been a huge help to the Ducks in the midst of their injuries, and always kept a smile on his face, his contract was the easiest to move.

Guhle impressed from the get-go, proving just why he had been the fortunate favorite defensive prospect of the Buffalo Sabres prior to them drafting Rasmus Dahlin. Unfortunately, the injury bug wasted no time, limiting Guhle’s season with the Ducks to 6 games. However, what we did see from him gives Ducks Nation a reason to be even more excited for 2019-20.

Best Acquisition of 2018-19— Daniel Sprong (64% of the vote)

On December 3, 2018, the Anaheim Ducks traded Marcus Pettersson to the Pittsburgh Penguins and acquired Daniel Sprong. I actually tried to recreate this trade in NHL ’18 but was denied, and after watching Sprong play for 47 games, I can understand why.

Sprong spent 4 seasons in the Pittsburgh Penguins organization, being drafted 46th overall in the second round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. He was severely underutilized and the fact that Jim Rutherford found him expendable proves just as much.

With only a maximum of 18 games played in a season, when he was 18 mind you, he was never given the chance to prove exactly what he has to offer at an NHL level. With a new team, however, came new opportunities.

In 47 games with the Anaheim Ducks this season, Sprong proved that he is NHL ready and that he is going to be trouble for other teams. He was 1 point shy of reaching the 20 point mark. He is fast, inventive, undoubtedly has the best shot on the team, and he is barely 22-years-old.

His future with the organization came into question when he spent several games as a healthy scratch. Nevertheless, it seems as though Sprong will be here for the long haul, forging a path to the future with the likes of Troy Terry, Sam Steel, and Max Jones.

dark. Next. Community Involvement Award— Cam Fowler

Stay tuned as we announce the winners for our other awards. Thank you for getting involved in the voting process and helping us determine each player who is deserving of winning each award in the Pucks of a Feather Awards “ceremony.”