Anaheim Ducks Round Table: Breaking Down the 2021 Trade Deadline

Rickard Rakell #67, Josh Manson #42 and Ryan Getzlaf #15 of the Anaheim Ducks (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Rickard Rakell #67, Josh Manson #42 and Ryan Getzlaf #15 of the Anaheim Ducks (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /
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Anaheim Ducks right wing Alexander Volkov (92) Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

What Do You Think of the Volkov Trade?

Ben Thomasian: At face value, it’s hard to dislike this trade. As mentioned above, the Anaheim Ducks turned a minor draft asset with a very small chance of becoming an NHL player along with a prospect that they didn’t see contributing to their team into a young NHL player from a strong franchise.

Volkov came to the Ducks with some positive spin from his AHL coaches, and while he perhaps hasn’t carried that into the NHL, he has scored goals at a prolific rate in his 6 games for the Ducks. Make no mistake about it, Volkov does have some deficiencies in his game that allowed the Tampa Bay team to move on from him, and those troubles have followed him to the Ducks.

Over his 6 game Ducks career, only Jamie Drysdale has a lower on-ice expected goals for percentage at 5-on-5 hockey. Similarly, Volkov ranks poorly across Corsi-For percentage, shots-for percentage, scoring-chances-for percentage, and so forth.

Perhaps that undersells some of the things Volkov does do well and it’s certainly a point to make that the Ducks as a group look poor. Thus, it’s difficult to judge any one particular player. With that said, the Anaheim Ducks did turn nothing into something and that’s laudable. I think from that perspective along, this trade has to be considered a win. That Volkov has shot the lights out with his 37.5% shooting at 5-on-5 hockey is just the cherry on top.

Brad Senecal: Bringing in Volkov was a nice transaction to get a player who is going to be a contributor for the big club as Antoine Morand did not have much of a role in the organization. As fun as it would have been to see Morand play beside his long-time buddy Max Comtois, instead, the Anaheim Ducks got an interesting young player.

A Russian who has been scouted as a goal scorer he seemed that he would be a fit with a team full of ‘developing playmaking’ forwards. While he scored in his first game, he did not record another point until his two-goal performance against the Sharks. While the hope was that he may become the second coming of Carter Verhagee, he will have to keep proving he is more than just a guy.

Garrett Brown: I like the Volkov trade. Nothing to scoff at though. Morand doesn’t project to be a difference-maker, albeit neither does Volkov. I like that Volkov played in the Cup-clinching game last year though, there’s something to be said for experience (even one game of it). After watching a few games, I am more confident about the trade. He appears to be an upgrade on certain players that have gotten regular playing time with the Ducks, and he hasn’t had much trouble putting the puck in the net.

Adam Tenenbaum: The Volkov move won’t move the needle much in terms of a rebuild but given the price paid to get him and his relative age, the move can be seen as a positive one. He has the potential to be another solid young piece as the Anaheim Ducks shift to a younger faster and more skilled team.

Ciara Durant: I don’t hate the Volkov trade, but I don’t love it either. Where he fits in as far as a rebuild goes, I have no idea. But, he is young and his contract doesn’t break the bank. I don’t think he was given a fair shot in Tampa, which makes sense considering they are a stacked Cap caliber team. So, I am hopeful that more opportunities with the Ducks will allow him to showcase his talent. It was nice to see Murray step out of his comfort zone and trade for a Russian player too.

From everything I’ve read about Volkov, he’s never been projected to be anything more than a bottom-six guy. He played with the Syracuse Crunch in the AHL, but he’s struggled at the NHL level. Granted, as mentioned before, he wasn’t given much of an opportunity in Tampa and he’s already getting much more than his 9:32 ATOI that he was given by the Bolts.

We all know Murray loves a good reclamation project, and while Volkov has been known to be a very streaky player, he’s already scored 3 goals in 6 games with the Ducks. While that doesn’t scream “savior”, Volkov could become a decent offensive threat to the Ducks’ bottom six, which is an improvement already.

As much as I personally loved Morand, and wanted to see him have the opportunity to play alongside his best friend, Max Comtois, Murray was able to turn an AHL player who didn’t look like he was going to make the big club anytime soon into a player who can make an impact for the Anaheim Ducks right now, and that is a win.