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Who should the Ducks trade: Forward Edition

Jake takes a look at the pros and cons of moving the older forwards on the roster

Anaheim Ducks v Carolina Hurricanes Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images

As a follow up to last week’s look at the potential trade value of each Ducks defenseman and goaltenders over the age of 26, I am going to look at the forwards that are in the same position this week. As I stated in last week’s article, the Ducks should be in full rebuild mode, and a big part of that is moving on from assets that will not have value during the Ducks next contending window, which in my estimation is when Zegras is the number one center on the team. As part of that, it is useful to understand the pros and cons of moving each older player along with the potential value they might bring in return. The following are the 26 and older forwards for the Ducks.

Jakob Silfverberg

Position: RW

Age: 29

Contract status: $5.25 Million cap hit with four years left after this season

Trade Protection: 12 team no trade list

2019-2020 Stats: 44 GAMES 15G 14A 29P 51 CF% 47 GF% 49 xGF%

Pros: Jakob Silfverberg’s value may not be higher over the course of his contract than it is now. He is on pace for one of the most productive seasons in his career, but it might not be completely sustainable. He is currently shooting 15.5% and has an individual expected goals total of 10.85, which means he is likely scoring above what he should be. This makes him a prime candidate because eventually his goal scoring will dry up and his shooting percentage will regress to his career rate of 9.9%. On top of this, Silfverberg will likely not be this productive three to four years down the line, which is when the Ducks will probably be in their peak contending years.

The idea of moving him comes down to your view on the Duck’s contending window.

Cons: Moving one of the best players on the team is always going to be controversial. If the Ducks were to move Silfverberg, they would lose not only one of their best goal scorers and point producers, but they also would be losing someone that is stable in his own zone and a model complete-game player. He also is a member of the current leadership core, and one that Bob Murray even mentioned as being a part of the solution and not the problem with the team.

Comparable player in contract and style recently traded: Tomas Tatar

Potential Value: Looking for a comparable is tough for Silfverberg. The majority of the players that had comparable deals per CapFriendly were either dealt in the final year of their deal, completed the entire deal with the signing team, or were moved in cap dump deals because they didn’t age well. That last point is the exact reason why you move the deal now. Tomas Tatar is the closest I could come up with. He was dealt to Vegas at the 2018 deadline with three additional years on his contract.

The main difference is that he was 27 at the time of the trade. Tatar got Detroit a 1st, 2nd, and a 3rd round pick. If the Ducks could get a combination of picks and prospects similar to that, I would be ecstatic. The main issue is this was widely thought to be an overpay.

My Verdict: Silfverberg should be moved. What it comes down to is which risk you are willing to take. Are you willing to take the risk that Silfverberg will age well and will still be a core part of the team during the next contending window, or risk that the future you get in return will pan out? One of these is a high risk, high reward, and the other is lower risk, low reward. The Ducks should be going for the high reward option.

Rickard Rakell

Position: RW/LW

Age: 26

Contract status: $3.789 Million cap hit with 2 years left after this season

Trade Protection: None

2019-2020 Stats: 42 GAMES 12G 16A 28P 51 CF% 49 GF% 53 xGF%

Pros: Rickard Rakell has one of the best value contracts in the league and is on pace for yet another 40+ point season. That translates into a high trade value, and he command the greatest return out of any forward on the Ducks. He also will need a new contract that will most likely be an overpay in a few years.

Cons: He is the highest skilled forward currently on the Ducks and losing him would significantly hurt the team this year and in future years. Anaheim cannot completely gut the team and expect the rebuild to happen magically. Some of the current roster does need to be retained, and Rickard Rakell is a prime candidate for that. He is the youngest out of this group of forwards and still has plenty of productive years ahead of him. On top of that he was a member of the Ducks teams that had deep playoff runs, so for people that value playoff experience, he checks that box as well.

Comparable player in contract and style recently traded: Nazem Kadri is the closest comparable in contract, but slightly different due to being a center.

Potential Value: Nazem Kadri was dealt along with Calle Rosen and a 3rd round pick for Tyson Barrie, Alexander Kerfoot, and a 6th round pick. It is hard from this trade to determine what the value of Kadri alone was, however. Regardless, Rakell is most likely to be able to bring back an impact player to the Ducks. With his cap hit and term left, he helps out a team in win-now mode.

My Verdict: Personally I would keep Rakell, but only if I moved on from Silfverberg. One of them needs to go because they are the players that could bring back the highest return to help the Ducks in the future. The reason why I would pick Rakell over Silfverberg is pretty simple: age.

Ryan Getzlaf

Position: C

Age: 34

Contract status: $8.25 Million cap hit with 1 year left after this season

Trade Protection: Full NMC

2019-2020 Stats: 46 GAMES 11G 22A 33P 50% CF% 47% GF% 52% xGF%

Pros: Ryan Getzlaf has shown that he still has elite hands that can make plays to set up anyone for goals. It does not happen as frequently now, but he still will make any team better in the league. This, along with the fact that he has won a Stanley Cup, World Junior Championship, World Cup, and Olympic Gold would make him a very desirable asset for any team in the league.

Cons: He is the longest tenured captain in Ducks history and should finish his career in Anaheim, which would make him the first player to play his entire career with the Ducks organization (taking out guys that only got cups of coffee with the team). In addition, his cap hit is fairly high for his production. He will make any team better, but it would be tough for any contending team to take on his contract this year and next.

Comparable player in contract and style recently traded: Jerome Iginla

Potential Value: Iginla was traded as a rental from Calgary to Pittsburgh as compared to Getzlaf having one more year on his deal after this year, but Calgary got a first rounder and two college prospects in return. Getzlaf could return something similar.

My Verdict: This is a situation where the logical thing is for the Ducks should be looking to move on from Getzlaf, but there are times that logic needs to be thrown out the door. Like I said above, Getzlaf is the longest tenured captain in Ducks history and should play his whole career with the Ducks. The only way he should be moved is if he asks for it to happen. He has full-NMC anyway, so the likelihood of this happening is slim-to-none anyway.

Adam Henrique

Position: C

Age: 29

Contract status: $5.825 Million cap hit with four years left after this season

Trade Protection: 10 team no trade list

2019-2020 Stats: 48 GAMES 15G 10A 25P 53 CF% 50 GF% 51 xGF%

Pros: Adam Henrique is currently playing in a position of depth as far as prospect pipeline goes. Even though Sam Steel and Isac Lundestrom have not blown the doors off this season, one would expect that those two, along with Trevor Zegras, will supplant Adam Henrique in the next four seasons, thus making him a third or fourth line center that is paid like a second line center. In addition, he is a player like Silfverberg that will be in his mid 30s at the expiration of his deal. He most likely will not be that impactful four years down the line, and would have a greater impact on a win-now team.

Cons: Sam Steel and Isac Lundestrom, as stated above, have not blown the doors off. If these two do not become regular NHLers, the Ducks will need the depth at center that Henrique provides. He also has shown an ability to thrive on the wing this season, which makes him more versatile to a Ducks team that could have a lot of depth down the middle. The final con is that his trade value is hindered by his contract.

Comparable player in contract and style recently traded: None

Potential Value: The return for Henrique is a bit of an unknown. He makes a lot of NHL teams better with his versatility and ability to score, but his cap hit and term could become difficult to manage. Unlike Silfverberg, Henrique plays a game that might not age well and would make teams wary to give up assets to acquire.

My Verdict: Move on from him. I think you run the risk of letting the kids play. The Ducks have hitched themselves to that bandwagon, so just go all in. If you can get a first rounder and more for Henrique, then you have to do it.

Carter Rowney

Position: C/RW

Age: 30

Contract status: $1.133 Million cap hit with one year left after this season

Trade Protection: None

2019-2020 Stats: 48 GAMES 5G 5A 10P 40 CF% 37 GF% 39 xGF%

Pros: Carter Rowney provides the ability to kill penalties and is a cheap option for this year and next. He has also provided some decent scoring numbers with his five goals and five assists, which could boost his value.

Cons: He will probably have little value to contenders due to the fact that any time he is on the ice, his team is stuck in their own zone. On top of that, some teams might stay away due to the additional year on his deal. He also fills a role for the team that the Ducks do not necessarily want a prospect filling. I do not agree with the theory that only veteran grinders should make up a fourth line, but this has been the approach this season.

Comparable player in contract and style recently traded: All fourth liners dealt at the deadline.

Potential Value: Rowney will most likely get a fifth to seventh round pick.

My Verdict: If you can somehow get a fourth or higher then you move him.

Derek Grant

Position: C/RW

Age: 29

Contract status: $700,000 cap hit that expires this year

Trade Protection: None

2019-2020 Stats: 36 GAMES 10G 3A 13P 39 CF% 33 GF% 37 xGF%

Pros: Derek Grant provides all the same positive things to a team that Rowney does, but also has the flashy 10 goal number next to his name and the great faceoff percentage. I don’t think either of these are indicative of Grant having a positive impact on the Ducks or other teams given his horrendous underlying metrics, but maybe some team will overpay for the unsustainably high shooting streak Grant has been on.

Cons: Similar to Rowney, it removes a warm body from the fourth line and penalty kill.

Comparable player in contract and style recently traded: Derek Grant last year but with more goals.

Potential Value: Grant was traded for Blandisi last year. If the Ducks could somehow get a third or a decent prospect out of Derek Grant’s hot streak, that would be a massive boost to the farm system. In the short term, this could be a move used to bolster the San Diego Gulls, much like the Pontus Aberg for Justin Kloos trade last season.

My Verdict: As a UFA this summer, he has to get moved if he can get you a return.

Nicolas Deslauriers

Position: LW

Age: 28

Contract status: $950,000 cap hit that expires this year

Trade Protection: None

2019-2020 Stats: 36 GAMES 1G 4A 5P 42 CF% 37 GF% 39 xGF%

Pros: Some team out there will find value in the toughness that he brings to the table and his willingness to fight.

Cons: The Ducks would lose their toughest player and their player most willing to fight, if you think that still matters. Shocker: I personally do not.

Comparable player in contract and style recently traded: Nicolas Deslauriers this past summer.

Potential Value: The Ducks gave up a fourth round pick in an obvious overpay for him this past summer.

My Verdict: You have to try and recoup some value from that trade and get a pick back for him if you can.

Last week I excluded Lindholm from the group of players because he was 25 at the time. Members of the AC community, mainly Thyme, rightfully pointed out that Lindholm was turning 26 soon so he should’ve been included. I realized my mistake and have included him below just for all of you seeing as he is now 26 years old.

Hampus Lindholm

Position: LD

Age: 26

Contract status: $5.205 million cap hit with two years left after this season.

Trade Protection: None

2019-2020 Stats: 40 GAMES 1G 17A 18P 51% CF% 39% GF% 48% xGF%

Pros: Lindholm still has incredibly high value to any NHL team. He is in the early stages of his prime production years, is cheap and locked up for a few more years, and he is still very good. His 5v5 on ice numbers have slipped this year but that should not impact his value much. He is up there with Rakell as one of the players on the Ducks that would get you the highest return.

Cons: He is arguably the Ducks best defenseman (this was not arguable until this season, with Fowler having a monster year). There would be a massive hole left behind if Lindholm were to be moved. On top of that there is not currently anyone in the Ducks system that is comparable to Lindholm. He is just so good in his own zone that losing him would significantly impact the current roster. He is also still young enough where he will still be on the tail end of his prime at the start of the Ducks next contending window.

Comparable player in contract and style recently traded: Dougie Hamilton

Potential Value: Dougie Hamilton was dealt from the Calgary Flames to the Carolina Hurricanes along with Michael Ferland and Adam Fox for Elias Lindholm and Noah Hanifin. You would expect Lindholm to be able to get a player like Hanifin in a return deal. The only way I would look at moving him is if you can get a difference-maker that is still in the early part of his development curve. A team in win-now mode might not have the patience to let him develop, and would rather have the finished product now. A random idea is moving Lindholm to Colorado for Bowen Byram.

My Verdict: I would not personally trade Lindholm, but if a deal like the one I mentioned above is offered to Bob Murray, I think it’s necessary to entertain the idea of moving him.

*All stats per Hockey Reference and Naturalstattrick. All shot metrics listed are at 5v5.