After long-time rumors of the Anaheim Ducks swapping one of their many talented defensemen for a forward, the trade was complete. Last Thursday morning the Ducks announced the following trade with the New Jersey Devils:
Finally, for a team that desperately needed offensive backup, reinforcements have arrived. While it is sad to see Vatanen go, Ducks fans knew a trade was coming eventually for one of their many talented defensemen, and with a player like Adam Henrique coming back Ducks fans will be a fan of this trade sooner than later.
For one, Henrique helps their offense right now. With the amount of injuries faced on their top six now, Henrique is able to come in and be a top line center. Injuries to Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler have left gaping holes in the lineup that the team has struggled to fill. With his previous experience as a top center, Henrique is perfect to slot in and be that temporary relief that the team so desperately needs.
Henrique also helps their offense in the future. Once Getzlaf and Kesler come back, Henrique will not be pushed down to third line center. Instead, he will move to the left-wing spot on the second line with Kesler and Jakob Silfverberg. The Ducks have been looking for some time to fill that role. Henrique is good for a consistent 45 points, and is a good two-way player. His time with the Devils pushed him out of his top center role to more of a depth winger and he was still able to put up points, a fact that bodes well for how the Ducks plan to use him.
In terms of personality, Henrique is one of the most enjoyable guys playing the game. He has a great personality, and enjoys interacting with fans. If it’s any indication by how saddened Devils fans were by the trade, Henrique will be quickly loved in Anaheim.
Joseph Blandisi is a good extra value to be had in this trade. Blandisi played parts of three seasons with the Devils, but mostly with their AHL affiliate Albany Devils. Only 23-years-old, Blandisi will be a solid depth winger on either the third of fourth lines.
Losing Vatanen is tough for Ducks fans. Drafted in 2009 by the Ducks, Vatanen played 280 games with the team since his debut in 2012/13, putting up 126 points while averaging over 20 minutes per game. Fortunately, the Ducks have a stockpile of young, talented defensemen. Players like Brandon Montour and Josh Manson will continue to see their responsibilities rise with Vatanen’s trade.