Ducks Ship Vatanen to Devils for Henrique

by | Nov 30, 2017 | News, NHL, Rumors | 17 comments

The Anaheim Ducks traded defenseman Sami Vatanen and a conditional draft pick to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for forwards Adam Henrique and Joseph Blandisi plus a third-round pick in 2018.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: For the second time this month, we see an honest-to-goodness hockey trade and not a salary dump or a couple of struggling teams swapping aging assets. This is a good move for clubs. The Devils needed more experienced skill on their blueline, while the Ducks needed to bolster their injury-ravaged forward lines.

Vatanen, 26, spent much of last season and this past summer as a fixture in the trade rumor mill. He’s a solid all-around defenseman and should be a good addition to the improving Devils’ defense corps. The only concern is he’s recently returned from offseason shoulder surgery, though he doesn’t appear significantly hampered by it, logging over 21 minutes per game.

The Ducks currently sit outside the Western Conference playoff picture, brought on largely because of injuries to a number of key players, including centers Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler. Henrique, 27, is a versatile top-six forward who can skate at center or left wing. He reached 40 points in five of the last six seasons and is on pace this season for over 45 points. 

Cap-wise they’re comparable, as Henrique is signed through 2018-19 with an annual cap hit of $4 million, while Vatanen carries a $4.875 million cap hit on a deal that runs through 2019-20.

Blandisi, 23, spent the last two seasons shuttling between the Devils and their AHL affiliate. He hasn’t played an NHL game yet this season. Given the growing number of Ducks forwards on the sidelines, however, he’ll likely see action with his new club soon. He’s considered an agitating forward who can play center or wing. 



  1. Striker called that Vatanen will be the ducks D that will move.
    Solid trade for both, again, pretty disappointed that the Leafs couldn’t swing a deal here

  2. Maybe overpayment by the Ducks as I would think Sami would of brought in a player a step better than Henrique.

    • Henrique is a solid NHL player, he can play C until Kesler & Getzlaf return then slide to LW with Getzlaf.

      Blandisi will get an NHL job with Anh now as well.

      Great trade for both teams.

  3. Good god, if that’s all Vatanen cost NJ the leafs should have been in on this. Bozak is comaparable numbers wise and cap wise, not so comparable defensively but add another piece to make it happen….Lou where were you on this one!

    Could have been Bozak, 2018 2nd round and Shoshnikov?

    • bozak ufa… and doesn’t have same ceiling. no comparable here.

      • Exactly. Some need to stop overvaluing certain of the Leafs. There is NO way Bozak comes even close to Henrique as a complete player, plus he’s a UFA next summer making $4,200,000 now while Henrique is at $4 mil until 2019-20. How much is Bozak and his agent going to be seeking next summer? Not an easy sale for a D of the quality of Vatanen. Shero more than makes up for the loss of Larsson from his D corps.

      • As a Leafs fan, Bozak is nowhere close to Henrique. Henrique is B+ two way forward on a better contract

    • When are leafs fans going to stop proposing trades dealing their unwanted junk, for prime players.

  4. I am a Leafs fan….
    But if I am the Ducks GM I like Henrique way better than Bozak…and to add a quality player in Blandisi into a deal is sweet Blandisi will pan out as well.

    It’s perfect for both teams …quslity trade through and through.

    Devils are a dark horse now for sure they feel they will compete for a conference final now…they see the East as wide open ..znd feel they are the Ottawa senators of last year.

    I am sure they are not done ..and will add another significant price again as they have put the league on notice as they are going for it.

    Shero has done an amazing job thus far.

    As a side note:
    Leafs need there star young players to start producing big time…and that is first and foremost there biggest need and not having to make any transaction however I am a proponent to move on from Bozak asap…the new face off rules has rendered him useless now.

    Leafs probably have another deal in place and or didn’t want to pay the price the Ducks asked as it was steep…henrique was a fixture in New Jersey and was the poster boy of the team after Parise left via UFA Devils gave up a decent core peice and a room leader.

  5. not that they are directly comparable as they are not but once again we see how good a return top 4 d men can bring. Cole being a borderline 4/5 guy, even with ufa, aught to bring in a decent asset.

    • Vatanen is averaging 21 minutes per game, Cole is averaging 14. Vatanen is 2 years younger and signed for 2 years beyond this year. There is a gap the size of the Grand Canyon between Vatenen and Cole.

      I’m not saying a bag of pucks for Cole, but I can’t see more than a pick or lower prospect.

  6. This makes the Hall for Larrson trade look even better for the Devils,

  7. I like what the Ducks did. Once healthy, they will have a team that can role 4 lines. The top three lines (depending on how things shake out), can be lethal. Here is my predictions for the lines. (minus Eaves. I think he is out for the year)

    Henrique-Getzlaf-Kase/Ritchie/Eaves (maybe)
    Rakell-Grant-Perry (I love how they have played)

    You can throw Shaw/Rasmussen in a pinch. Or one gets traded for a pick. I would say Rasmussen.
    If grant falters, there can be a switch with Henrique and move Ritchie up to the top line.

  8. Kal El makes a good point that the new face off rules have made it worse for Bozak in that department. He’s hit his ceiling as far as potential. He’s overpaid. He doesn’t hit. He doesn’t forecheck. He doesn’t back check. He doesn’t score. He’ll want more money next year. There’s a reason why they haven’t traded him. Nobody wants to give up anything for him.

    • LETS see if this doesn’t start the trade season moving along…not a bad deal for both teams Adam Henrqiue is a two way, fast skating, skilled, high quality hockey player and Vatanen is a top 4 d-man…..

  9. Also Henrique is a battler . Will take on anyone and plays hard (with some scoring touch)
    Bozak is soft not bad offensively but soft.

  10. Vatanen doe snot fit leafs needs: he is too much like what they have. They need a stay at home, physical shut down guy, not Sami…and would you give up Kadri or Marner or Nylander?