Anaheim Ducks: End of Season Grades for 2020-21 Defensemen

Cam Fowler #4 of the Anaheim Ducks (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Cam Fowler #4 of the Anaheim Ducks (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /
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Anaheim Ducks
Haydn Fleury #51 of the Anaheim Ducks (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

Haydn Fleury

Grade: B+

Eakins Adjusted Bell-Curve Grade: A

Moving from one of the best teams in the league with a sound defensive structure, to one of the worst and without any grounding in solid defense, isn’t typically as easy as Haydn Fleury made it look. Certainly, his performances kind of declined as he grew accustomed to being out of position, as was dictated by the coaching staff, the longer his tenure in Anaheim went. However, not even the sheer woeful incompetence of the Anaheim Ducks defensive planners could easily wipe away the poise and class of the young blueliner.

In some ways, it’s astounding that the Carolina Hurricanes were willing to let the young man go for such a nominal return, but that they did should be considered a boon of the highest order, by all within the Ducks fandom. Fleury may not have put in the performances that Devon Toews has in Colorado, yet the magnitude of the trade shouldn’t be considered in too different a light. It was a steal and one of the best trades of Bob Murray‘s career.

I can only give Fleury a B+ grade due to his coachability, fitting into the Ducks defensive scheme. Should he take that attitude to another team, with even a borderline NHL caliber coaching staff, this grade would easily slot into the “A’s.” He was really, really good, and I’m not sure that enough people are talking about him as one of the Anaheim Ducks’ top-4 blueliners for the next decade.

Ben Hutton

Raw Grade: D

Eakins Adjusted Bell-Curve Grade: D-

Look, the most notable thing about Ben Hutton was that he was Jamie Drysdale’s partner in Drysdales first NHL game. He also absolutely savaged the Anaheim Ducks when he was eventually traded to Toronto and that somehow, for some reason, Toronto actually thought it was a good idea to trade an actual draft pick to acquire him. Those are some weird career-high watermarks, but since the calendar turned over to January back in 2020 it’s been a weird wild world.

Anyway, whatever. He wasn’t good and now he’s gone.