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Grading the Ducks’ Trade Deadline Deals

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This year’s trade deadline was a change of pace for the normally listless Ducks, who found themselves way out of the playoff picture and were sellers at the deadline – and did they ever sell!

The Ducks made eight total transactions – seven trades and one waiver claim – in the period prior to the NHL Trade Deadline in an attempt to refresh the roster and stock up for the future.

Let’s figure out just how well Bargain Bob did this year as he tries to build a team that can one day get out of the basement.

Ondrej Kase for David Backes, Axel Andersson, Boston’s 2020 First-Round Pick // Grade: B

Though this technically isn’t a deadline deal, it happened close enough to warrant a spot here. Plus, it’s arguably got the best haul of all the February trades. The trade was initially jarring for Ducks fans because, after all, Kase is a talented young player who was starting to get back into a nice rhythm. Unfortunately, fears of concussion issues caused the Ducks to ultimately decide to move on from him.

Backes is a salary dump but a strong veteran presence who brought a coveted first-rounder from Boston. While Boston’s pick will wind up being towards the end of the draft, it’s still first-round capital that can either be traded or used to select another young prospect. Andersson could turn out to be an interesting righty defenseman but for the time being, he’ll be in San Diego.

Derek Grant for Kyle Criscuolo, Philadelphia’s 2020 Fourth-Round Pick // Grade: C

The “Elite 1C” finds himself heading to the City of Brotherly Love as again the Ducks decide to move Grant. A nomad of sorts, Grant becomes a meme amongst the Ducks fandom but was realistically a decent 3rd or 4th-line forward for Anaheim. Criscuolo is a local Philly product who’s on a minor league deal – meaning more help for the Gulls.

The fourth-round pick will be the whichever pick is better – the Flyer’s own or the Nashville pick Philly acquired last year. It’s sort of a nothing deal that doesn’t really inspire confidence, but the fourth-rounder could end up being the next Keith Yandle or Gustav Nyquist, both stellar fourth-round picks once upon a time.

Nick Ritchie for Danton Heinen // Grade: A+

Heinen’s not great but we’re finally free from Nick Ritchie so this gets the highest grade possible. Could’ve used another draft pick, even a 2021 pick, to sweeten the deal for the good guys, but you have to take what you can get.

Ducks Claim Andrew Agozzino from Pittsburgh // Grade: C

Amidst the trade madness, the Ducks claimed Agozzino, a 29-year-old AHLer with limited big-league experience. He’s got just 7 points in 38 career NHL games but he probably won’t play much for the top club – he’ll spend lots of time in sunny San Diego (barring injury.)

Daniel Sprong for Christian Djoos // Grade: B+

What might realistically be the best deal of the afternoon brings the Ducks a nice young defenseman who’s got a Stanley Cup championship under his belt. Sprong never quite fit in with the Ducks and was often compared against the man he was traded for, Marcus Pettersson, who has put together a very nice career in Pittsburgh.

Hopefully, Djoos can make an immediate impact with Cam Fowler and Erik Gudbranson currently out with injury.

Devin Shore for Sonny Milano // Grade: B+

Milano is another nice grab for the Ducks, especially at the expense of a player in Devin Shore who seems to have plateaued. Milano can scoot, bringing the energy to a team that has severely lacked in that department over the past few years. The 23-year-old first-round pick has played some meaningful hockey at the World and AHL level, including a Calder Cup with Cleveland in 2016.

Let’s hope he can bring the Ducks to the promised land next.

Korbinian Holzer for Matt Irwin, Nashville’s 2022 sixth-round pick // Grade: D

Both of these guys stink but least Irwin’s deal expires at the end of the season. The eventual sixth-round pick is whatever.

Angus Redmond, Anaheim’s 2022 seventh-round pick for Joel Persson // Grade: C

The final deal of the day sees the Ducks pick up a nice defenseman from the rival Oilers. Persson could be a nice blue line guy if developed, but realistically he’s more Gulls depth.

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