Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau raved in an interview Tuesday about the great deal they received when trading for Ryan Kesler. Despite liking the guys he traded, bringing Kesler to the team excites everyone involved:
“Obviously, as a coach, you’re sitting there saying ‘That’s a great deal.’ I loved Nick Bonino and Luca Sbisa, but you’re getting a top-flight guy that can give Ryan Getzlaf a rest every now and then. It gives you strength down the middle. I’ve never coached a team in the NHL that’s had a second-line center that you’re going to have with Ryan Kesler. It’s a great acquisition, and it gets you excited. In the last couple of years, we thought we were a threat. This makes us a bona fide threat to become an elite team.”
The Ducks acquired Kesler along with a third-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft on June 27 in exchange for Nick Bonino Luca Sbisa and a first-round and third-round pick in the 2014 draft to the Vancouver Canucks.
Kesler playd 77 games during the 2013-14 campaign where he tallied 25 goals and 43 points. During the 2012-13 season, Kesler missed 31 games due to injuries to his shoulder, wrist and ankle. In the 2010-11 season he won the Selke Trophy after scoring a career best 41 goals and 73 points as well as having a plus-24 rating.
The Western Conference teams are currently very strong down the center, part of the reason Kesler was acquired. After losing in the first round of the playoffs, the franchise knows they have what it takes to be a threat in the league. Adding Kesler will only increase this threat and help the club obtain the opportunity to battle once again for a play in the Stanley Cup.