The Anaheim Ducks and Dallas Stars have agreed to terms on a trade that will send Patrick Eaves to the Ducks in exchange for a conditional second-round draft pick in 2017, the Ducks announced Friday. The pick will be the middle one of three Ducks’ second round picks which came from the Ottawa Senators, San Jose Sharks and the pick that was sent to Anaheim as part of the trade that sent goaltender Frederik Andersen to the Toronto Maple Leafs during the offseason. Additionally, it could become a first round pick if the Ducks advance to the Western Conference Finals and if Eaves plays in 50 percent or more of the game in the first two rounds, per Bob McKenzie.
— Anaheim Ducks (@AnaheimDucks) February 24, 2017
Eaves has been one of the best bargains in the league this season, playing right wing for the Dallas Stars. With a cap hit of only $1 million that is expiring at the end of this season, the Anaheim Ducks are getting a valuable depth scorer that could help them in their quest to return to the Stanley Cup Finals. The 32-year-old Eaves was tied for first on the Stars in goals with a career-high 21 goals – tied with Tyler Seguin and is tied for fourth in the NHL with 11 power-play goals in 59 games. In addition to his offensive contributions – including a career-high 37 points at the time of the trade, Eaves also provides gritty play and can slot anywhere in the lineup.
The Well-Traveled Veteran
Eaves was originally a first-round pick of the Ottawa Senators in 2003 – being selected with the 29th overall pick that year. He’s played in 604 career NHL games split between the Ottawa Senators, Carolina Hurricanes, Detroit Red Wings, Nashville Predators and Dallas Stars. In that time, he’s scored 120 goals and 227 points while also compiling 198 penalty minutes. He’s played in 76 playoff games with the Senators, Hurricanes, Red Wings and Stars, and has scored nine goals and 19 points with 39 penalty minutes.
After a successful 2015-16 season, the Dallas Stars are sitting in 12th place in the Western Conference and sixth place in the Central Division. A trade involving Eaves was expected given their place in the standings and the expiring nature of his contract – an opportunity the Ducks felt was worth taking with an eye towards the playoffs.
Ducks Looking for Help
The Ducks sit in fifth place in the Western Conference, and third in the Pacific Division with 74 points. They’re directly competing with the Edmonton Oilers and San Jose Sharks ahead of them, while also looking to fend off the Nashville Predators and Calgary Flames behind them. This deal could help the Ducks who rank 19th in the NHL in goals-for at the time of the trade with just 159 goals on the year. Eaves should slot in nicely on a Ducks team that could use the extra firepower and grit to separate themselves from the pack and hopefully make a deep run this year.
For the Stars, the immediate plans look destined to revolve around the trade deadline with an eye towards the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. While Dallas likely won’t qualify for the playoffs this season, they still have a core in place that could be built upon moving forward. Accumulating prospects and draft picks – especially second round picks that could become first round picks, is the smart plan of action for the Stars and general manager Jim Nill as they return to the drawing board. This is one of the first pieces to fall in what could be a very eventful trade deadline.
The Stars also announced that they have placed forward Adam Cracknell on the injured reserve retroactive to Feb. 18 with a lower-body injury.
Brandon Share-Cohen has covered the NHL and various professional sports for six years. Working with The Hockey Writers, Brandon works extensively on covering the Boston Bruins in addition to his role as the News Team Lead.