Ducks, Coyotes Agree to Trade 7 players, 4 Draft Picks

The Anaheim Ducks added established NHL winger Valeri Nichushkin and 2 exciting prospects to their organization on Thursday. While Nichushkin is a strong and defensively-responsible player capable of putting the puck in the net (122 points in 343 career NHL games), it’s clear he wasn’t the centerpiece of the deal. nich

Let’s take a deeper look at the 2 prospects that are now part of Anaheim’s rapidly improving farm system.

Erik Brannstrom, 22, was selected in the first round of the 2017 NHL draft. A future PP quarterback, Brannstrom loves to have the puck on his stick and possesses great passing skills and a good shot. By acquiring Erik, Anaheim has a rising star on the blueline under club control for many years – and he should come with an affordable price tag after this year’s RFA. Brannstrom joins Calen Addison, Scott Perunovich, and Braden Schneider as key parts of the club’s future on the backend – all 23 years old or younger and skilled at moving the puck up ice. All 4 prospects are expected to join Adam Pelech and Jamie Oleksiak – key defensive stalwarts – at the start of next year’s campaign, if not sooner dependent upon any additional personnel changes leading up to this year’s trade deadline. brannstrom

William Eklund is the second – and perhaps even more coveted – prospect in the deal. A fast, creative forward that can play both center and wing, Eklund was drafted 7th overall as part of the most recent, 2021 draft class. He has great on-ice vision and seemingly fits well with any linemates. His dynamic play has already earned him a 9-game look at the NHL level in his first year of professional eligibility.
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Eklund, 19, joins Cole Sillinger, 18, (2021 #12 overall) and Alex Nylander, 23, (2016 #8 overall) as young, hungry forward prospects that have already had a taste of NHL action in Anaheim’s prospect pool.

Penguins Spend Lots in UFA, Prep For Future Playoffs Contention

The Penguins headed into UFA with two things: lots of cap space and a desire to spend it. These two factors combined to form three big UFA signings in Evgeni Kuznetsov, Chris Kreider, and Jake Allen. The Penguins believe in these players, which is shown by the money spent on these players as the first two got 7.5M over 4 years, while Allen got 5M over 3 years. At a press conference following the signings, GM Juliet Richards had this to say:

“Looking at the group of young players I have, I believe that this team is closer to contending for a playoff spot than we are to the start of our rebuild. Given the massive amount of cap space we already have, combined with a need to hit the salary floor, I decided now would be a good time to go out and make some big money bets. Evgeni Kuznetsov has proven in years past that he has it in him to be a first line center and we believe he still has that type of talent. Kuznetzov also expressed interest in coming in and playing with his countrymen Kaprizov and Svechnikov on his wings, so we believe this was the perfect fit. Chris Kreider is a big powerful winger who has shown he can score goals and be a high end contributor, so it made perfect sense to go out and add him into the fold. We see Kreider as a guy who can anchor our 2nd line for years to come while also being capable of slotting into the top line in a pinch. Jake Allen is a good bet to be capable of playing a 1A/1B role, and seeing as our goalies in the pipeline are years away, it made perfect sense to make a bet and potentially gain a starting goalie. Overall we’re very pleased with our moves, and can’t wait to see everything we’ve built over these past few years begin to come together”.

What do you think of the Penguins moves?

GM Shank Happy with Perron and Foligno Additions

The New York Rangers concluded their busy offseason by filling out their top six, adding two veteran forwards in the ever consistent David Perron and rugged two way forward Marcus Foligno.

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They may not be the flashiest names available on the open market, but GM Shank feels the value they can provide will prove worthy of their $7.9m and $5m cap hits respectively. Perhaps quietly, Perron has put up no less than 16 goals and 46 points in each of the last 5 seasons, and has been near a point per game player the last 4. Marcus Foligno looks to provide some physicality in the Rangers top 6, which was the main thing they were lacking up until now.

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The Rangers lineup seems set now with training camp opening up soon, perhaps only adding some farm players and depth pieces. GM Shank seems to be living up to his promise to the fans of New York, but only time will tell if he’s done enough to add up to a playoff appearance.