After being treated to perhaps the most exciting playoff run in NHL history with the LA Kings, Southern California fans now could be in for even more thrills next season, as the Anaheim Ducks announced today that they have acquired center Ryan Kesler and a third-round selection in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for center Nick Bonino, defenseman Luca Sbisa, the 24th overall pick (first round), and the 85th overall pick (third round) in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.
The Ducks lost to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Kings in a thrilling seven-game series, and the addition of Kesler should only add to the rivalry between the clubs.
Expect Kesler to improve the Ducks in at least two areas: defense and faceoffs.
Kesler, 29, has scored 182-211=393 points with a +25 rating and 594 PIM in 655 career NHL games with Vancouver. A 2011 Frank J. Selke Trophy winner (awarded to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game) and 2011 NHL All-Star, Kesler owns a 52.9 career faceoff percentage (5372-for-10159). During Vancouver’s run to the 2011 Stanley Cup Final, Kesler earned 7-12=19 points in 25 games and led the team with a 54.1 faceoff percentage.
Kesler scored 25-18=43 points with 81 penalty minutes (PIM) in 77 games for the Canucks last season. He led Vancouver in goals, game-winning goals (5), power-play goals (9), and shots (239), while ranking third in scoring and power-play scoring (9-7=16). Kesler also led team forwards in shorthanded time-on-ice average (2:12 per game) and overall (169:58).
Kesler had to waive his no-trade clause in order to complete the transaction.
Bonino, 26 (4/20/88), earned 33-49=82 points with a +9 rating and 48 PIM in 189 career NHL games with Anaheim. He also appeared in 24 career Stanley Cup Playoff games for the Ducks, notching 7-5=12 points with a +4 rating and 14 PIM. In 2013-14, Bonino ranked second on the club in power-play goals (7), power-play scoring (20) and faceoff wins (583), third in overall scoring (22-27=49) and third among forwards in average time-on-ice (16:13). The 6-1, 196-pound center was acquired from San Jose with Timo Pielmeier in exchange for Kent Huskins and Travis Moen on Mar. 4, 2009.
Sbisa, 24 (1/30/90), recorded 9-47=56 points with 217 PIM in 266 career NHL games with Anaheim and Philadelphia. In 14 career Stanley Cup Playoff games with the Ducks and Flyers, Sbisa collected 0-2=2 points with 19 PIM.
By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services