The New Jersey Devils have added an impressive player to their blueline and the Ducks have gained a solid center in a good deal for both teams. Vatanen is great puck moving defenseman and is no slouch in the defensive end either as he is has a career +/- of 22. In his 280 NHL games Vatanen has 33 goals and 126 assists. The Devils have had a great start to the year and Vatanen could be a big addition for them. The Devils are looking like they will return to the playoffs this year and Vatanen’s experience will help them if they make it there.
The Ducks have now added two centerman with this trade the big one being Adam Henrique. Henrique has had a solid start to the season and has 14 points in his 24 games played. Henrique is a solid 40 point player and will be sure to add to the Ducks weak center depth. Henrique is likely to be on the Ducks second line. The Ducks also added center Joseph Blandisi in the trade. Blandisi is a young center with potential. He only has 68 games played in the NHL and has 26 points. Blandisi hasn’t played any games in the NHL this season but has 14 points in his 19 AHL games this season. Besides Blandisi the Ducks also received a 3rd round pick from the Devils.
Henrique is only signed for this season and the next but if he resigns with the Ducks the Devils will receive a third round pick in 2019 or 2020. Vatanen is signed until after the 2020 season and will be a UFA when his contract expires. Blandisi is signed for two more seasons and will be an RFA when his contract ends.
Both teams made these moves for the future but they also pay off now. The Devils have been improving their team steadily over the past three seasons adding big pieces like Taylor Hall, Kyle Palmieri, Marcus Johansson and now Sami Vatanen. Coupled with their youth the Devils are starting to hit their stride. Henrique provides another big bodied center that the Ducks seem to love (Getzlaf, Vermette, Rakell). In the end this trade made sense for both teams and they both addressed areas of need on their current rosters.
Written By: Tyler Smith (@TylerSmith4386)