Ducks Make Flurry of Trades

Photo: USA Today

By Michael Walters

The Anaheim Ducks started the day of the trade deadline by trading Derek Grant to Philadelphia for Kyle Criscuolo and a fourth-round pick. The Ducks also claimed Andrew Agozzino off waivers from Pittsburgh. Visit: Grant Trade for more information.

The Ducks also made several other moves today. Nick Ritchie headed to Boston for Danton Heinen. Devin Shore was sent to Columbus for Sonny Milano. Korbinian Holzer was shipped off to Nashville for Matt Irwin and a 2020 6th round draft pick. Daniel Sprong was traded for Christian Djoos.

Lastly, Anaheim had one more late trade come in with Edmonton. The Ducks sent minor league goalie Angus Redmond to the Oilers for defensemen Joel Persson. The Oilers will also get a 2022 7th round draft pick on the condition if Persson plays in 25 NHL games next season for Anaheim.

Ritchie – Heinen Trade

Ritchie played 41 games for the Ducks this season registering 19 points(8 goals + 11 assists) and had a +3 on-ice rating. Ritchie played on a couple different lines throughout the season, but never really found an offensively groove. One concern with his play was the number of penalty minutes that he was taking this season. He has 78 total penalty minutes this season, which is just four less than he had all season last year.

Heinen played in 58 games from the Bruins this season registering 22 total points(7 G + 15 A) and had an on-ice rating of +3. Heinen is good defensively and has a net-front presence. He is gritty and is versatile in that he can play all three forward positions.

Nick Ritchie never seemed to live up to expectations in Anaheim. The question was whether Murray was ready to move on from the former first-round pick and this trade signaled that he was. Ritchie and Heinen seem to have similar styles of play. A key difference is that Heinen doesn’t take that many penalties as he only averages about 10 penalty minutes a season. It appears Murray wanted to replace Ritchie with a player of similar skill, but with more offensive potential and also someone who is not a liability on the ice.

Shore – Milano Trade

Shore played 39 games for the Ducks this season registering 10 points(4 goals + 6 assists) and had a -8 on-ice rating. Shore, like Ritchie, played on a couple of different lines throughout the season, but never really found a place in the Ducks lineup. Shore was brought in when he was traded for Andrew Cogliano.

Milano has played 46 games for the Blue Jackets this season registering 18 points(5 goals + 13 assists) and had a -5 on-ice rating. He has an offensive upside to him and has good hands, but sometimes he tries to makes things happen on his own too much. He appears to need work on his defensive game, which caused him to fall out of favor in Columbus with Coach Tortorella.

Shore never really worked out in Anaheim and couldn’t find a home so it wasn’t a surprise to see him traded. Murray was also done with Sprong as he traded him today, so he picked up Milano as a replacement. Milano didn’t seem to be given a good chance in Columbus with limited ice time, so maybe a change in teams will work for him.

Holzer – Irwin & Pick Trade

Holzer played in 46 games for the Ducks this season registering 4 points(1 goal + 3 assists) and had a -1 on-ice rating. Holzer was always the 6th or 7th defenseman for the Ducks. He was the utility player for Anaheim and even played forward at one point this season because the Ducks were short players.

Irwin played in 27 games for the Predators this season registering two assists and had a -8 on-ice rating. Irwin was a third-pairing defenseman in Nashville but didn’t get to play in too many games this season. He has pretty good size (6-1, 207 pounds) and at times in the past could score a few goals. The downside to him is he doesn’t use his frame well to box out opposing forwards.

Holzer being traded was a little bit of a surprise. It appears he got traded for a similar player. The key here for the Ducks is that they were able to a player and a draft pick out of this deal, which most(including myself) probably didn’t think was possible. Murray just exchanged similar players here, but getting a pick in a deal involving Holzer is an added bonus.

Sprong – Djoos Trade

Sprong played in 27 games for the Ducks this season registering two assists and had a -8 on-ice rating. Sprong was in the dog house forever it seemed like in Anaheim. He was getting passed up as other players were being called up. At times when he was brought up, he didn’t play or only saw limited ice time. It was clear that Murray and Head Coach Dallas Eakins weren’t happy with his defensive game. Once Murray got a replacement in Milano it was time to ship out Sprong. Hopefully, the change of scenery will work for both of them.

Djoos has appeared in just two games for the Washington Capitals. He didn’t record any points and was a +1. He did score 32 points(5 G + 27 A) and was a +8 in 42 games with the AHL Hersey Bears. The word is he is a good puck-moving defenseman with some offensive upside. According to some scouting reports, he would be good on the power play unit and has top-four defenseman potential.

With the news from Murray that Cam Fowler is out for two weeks(and Erik Gudbranson), Murray wanted to bring in a guy that is a good puck-moving defenseman, who can also play on special teams, especially the power play. He is well-rounded in all areas of the game, but the one knock on him is his size. Djoos is also the son of former NHL defenseman Par Djoos. Lastly, he is a Swede and you know how Murray loves Swedish players.

Redmond & Conditional Pick – Persson Trade

Redmond played 15 games in the ECHL this season with the Newfoundland Growlers. He had a 13-0-0 record, with a 2.31 GAA and 9.18 SV%. He only played in two games with the Gulls back in 2018-19. He has been stuck in the Ducks clogged lien of goalies for some time.

Persson played in 13 games with Edmonton and registered two assists. He had a -2 on-ice rating. He played in 27 games with the Bakersfield Condors, registering 16 total points(3 G + 13 A) and a -4 on-ice rating. He is 6’1, 187 pounds and right-handed. He is a good puck handling and passing defensemen. He comes with an offensive upside, but he has only seen limited time in the NHL so it’s unknown if he can produce offensively at that level.

With Kevin Boyle and Anthony Stolarz as the mainstays in San Diego, it appears Murray was ready to move on from Redmond. Also with the news of Fowler and Gudbranson out for a few weeks, the Ducks might give Persson a look. Murray seems to be wanting to add more players to the team defensively that can handle the puck and not cough it up. And Persson is also another Swede, need I say more?

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February 24th, 2020


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