Anaheim Ducks: 2021 Outrageous Trade Deadline Extravaganza

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Anaheim Ducks

UNIONDALE, NEW YORK – MARCH 07: Jeff Skinner #53 of the Buffalo Sabres (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

No Skin Off My Nose

Sometimes you have to risk it to get the biscuit. So buckle up, this one could get a little wild. My fantasy Anaheim Ducks are going to acquire Jeff Skinner and the remaining 6 years on this $9 million AAV contract. What’s more, I’m even going to give up the Ducks’ best trade piece, Rickard Rakell, to do so.

Crazy like a fox? Or just plain old crazy?

To make the money work going both ways, the Ducks will need to add a relatively significant salary to the mix. We’re going to have both Adam Henrique, Rakell, and a 2nd round pick (2023) heading towards Buffalo. From the Sabres perspective, this gives them a useful third-line combo forward (Henrique) who comes in at a far lower AAV and is signed for fewer years.

Most importantly, he’s still a useful player as he’s shown that over the past few games. Henrique is less than a calendar year removed from being the Ducks’ highest-scoring forward and has 4-points (2G, 2A) in the five games since he’s been back in the Anaheim Ducks lineup.

However, the big-ticket item on this list is Rakell. At 27-years-old, the former 30 goal scorer is still a dynamic offensive threat as both a facilitator and goal scorer. More to the point, he comes in at an absolute song, costing less than $3.8 million for the remainder of this season and next.

For a  Sabres team wishing to build around Jack Eichel while he’s still in his prime, these pieces are invaluable both for their on-ice contributions and for the flexibility they provide should the Sabres wish to make further trades. However, there is some risk involved for the Sabres as well. Namely that my Ducks want a big-time payout in return.

Alongside Jeff Skinner, who we only hope can contribute to the on-ice efforts at this stage of his career, my Ducks want Dylan Cozens, and a 1st round selection in each of the next three drafts.

Essentially, the breakdown is this: A single first-round pick in value for each of the seasons that Skinner is signed for after the end of the Henrique contract; the salary differences for the rest of this season and the first three seasons of the Skinner/Henrique swap (~$12 million dollars) are added to the Rakell portion of the trade and used to acquire Cozens. That is to say Rakell and a cap dump of ~$12 million dollars for a former top-10 draft pick.

The risk for the Sabres is that they would be buying heavily into Eichel’s present-day abilities and the chance to win a cup now. They do still have Rasmus Dahlin and Jack Quinn as young up-and-comers, but other than that would be sacrificing their future.

The risk for the Anaheim Ducks is that rebuilding this roster would assume that they would be very competitive in 3-4 seasons time, with Cozens and Trevor Zegras hitting their primes, and would potentially be looking at a significant increase to their salaries. Skinner would still be a rostered player and very likely to be a significant drag on the team assuming current results continue.

Ducks Get
Jeff Skinner
Dylan Cozens
2021, 2022, 2023 First-Round Draft Picks
Sabres Get
Rickard Rakell
Adam Henrique
2023 Second-Round Draft Pick

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