Ducks trade Sami Vatanen to Devils for Adam Henrique, Joseph Blandisi

HC at Noon caught up with newest New Jersey Devil Sami Vatanen, who had no idea any trade was happening, but is very excited for the next chapter in his career and life.

The Anaheim Ducks and New Jersey Devils agreed to a swap of players Thursday morning.

Heading to New Jersey is 26-year-old defenceman Sami Vatanen and a conditional draft pick. The Ducks acquire 27-year-old centre Adam Henrique, 23-year-old centre Joseph Blandisi, and a 2018 third-round pick.

Vatanen is making $4.875 million against the cap through the 2019-20 season and has four points in 15 games this season after missing nearly all of October with an injury. He had 24 points last season and approached 40 points in the two seasons prior.

Henrique and Blandisi add much-needed forward depth to the Ducks lineup as they continue to deal with a plethora of injuries to their group up front. With Ryan Getzlaf, Rickard Rakell, Ryan Kesler, Patrick Eaves, Ondrej Kase and now potentially Jakub Silfverberg (who left Wednesday’s game) on the sidelines with injury, Anaheim was basically without its top two forward units.

Henrique, making $4 million against the cap this season and next before becoming UFA eligible, is two years removed from a career-high 30 goals, but scored 20 and goals and 40 points last season. In 2017-18, the Brantford, Ont., native has four goals and 14 points in 24 games.

Blandisi, a sixth-round draft pick in 2012, has spent all of this season in the AHL, where he has three goals and 14 points in 19 games. He’s played 68 career NHL games, posting eight goals and 26 points.

The conditions for the draft pick acquired by the Devils are as follows:

• If Anaheim signs Henrique to a new Standard Player Contract for 2019-20 prior to their own third-round pick of the 2019 Draft, Anaheim will transfer their own third-round pick in the 2019 Draft to New Jersey.

• If Anaheim signs Henrique to a new Standard Player Contract for 2019-20 after their own third-round pick of the 2019 Draft, Anaheim will transfer their own third-round pick in the 2020 Draft to New Jersey.

• If Henrique does not re-sign with Anaheim, no pick will be exchanged.

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