Ducks Acquire Ilya Lyubushkin

Photo: Micheline Veluvolu

By Michael Walters

The Anaheim Ducks acquired Ilya Lyubushkin aka “Boosh” from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for a 2025 fourth-round pick per multiple reports. He has a $2.75 million cap hit for next season and then he is a UFA in 2024-25. Anaheim is above the cap floor and currently has about $16 million in cap space according to Cap Friendly.

Lyubuskin has spent five years in the NHL playing with Arizona, Toronto, and Buffalo. He has played in 279 games posting 39 total points (5 G + 34 A) and has an on ice rating of -22. He is a stay-at-home defenseman, who can block shots and will jump up in the play. He brings a strong physical game at 6’2″ 200 pounds, but he is also prone to turning over the puck and creating chances for opposing teams. Cam Fowler, Jamie Drysdale, Radko GudasJackson LaCombe, and Urho Vaakanainen will likely be the Ducks top four or five defensemen next season. Lyubushkin would slide into a third defensive pairing role.

Anaheim still hasn’t signed Jamie Drysdale and Trevor Zegras for next season. Troy Terry signed a seven year deal with a $7 million AAV recently.


Lyubuskin adds depth to the Ducks blue line being right-handed, but he isn’t going to significantly help the team next season. Anaheim already signed Gudas for the stay-at-home defensemen role. Lyubuskin will provide more muscle and grit to the Ducks blue line, but also at a possible cost of giving up scoring chances for the opposing team. If he doesn’t work out, then maybe the Ducks can trade him at the deadline for a second or third round pick next season.

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August 18th, 2023


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