Newark, NJ - The New Jersey Devils today acquired defenseman Sami Vatanen and a conditional third-round pick in the 2019 or 2020 NHL Draft from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for forwards Adam Henrique, Joseph Blandisi and New Jersey's third-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft.
The conditions on the pick 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.
Quote from Devils Executive Vice President/General Manager Ray Shero:
"In acquiring Sami, we bring on a right shot, top-four defenseman who can play in all situations. This move also gives us contract certainty on the back end for the next two-plus years. When acquiring a defenseman like Vatanen, you have to give back quality assets or players in return. That is the case in this situation with Adam and Joe. Adam has been a key member of our organization for nearly ten years since he was drafted. His contributions both on and off the ice will always be appreciated by our organization and fans. For Joe, this is a great opportunity with a quality organization like Anaheim and I am happy for him.
"This also says a great deal about our other forwards in Binghamton and those who have taken the next step in New Jersey. I am excited they continue to push and provide us quality depth and competition from within."
Vatanen, 26, currently has one goal and three assists in 15 games with Anaheim. He missed the first nine games of the season recovering from off-season shoulder surgery. Vatanen finished second in scoring among Ducks defensemen last season, and led all Ducks defensemen the two years prior to that. In addition, he has finished third on the Ducks in time-on-ice each of the past four seasons. In 280 career NHL games, all in four-plus seasons with Anaheim, he scored 33 goals and 93 assists for 126 points. He has also accumulated 116 penalty minutes and a plus-22 rating. The 5'10", 185lb. blue-liner has skated in 40 Stanley Cup Playoff contests, notching five goals and 17 assists for 22 points and 18 penalty minutes. He is currently in the second year of a four year, $19.5 million dollar contract ($4,8750,000 AAV).
The native of Jyvaskyla, Finland, was Anaheim's fifth selection (fourth round), and the 106th overall choice in the 2009 NHL Draft. He was in the same Anaheim draft class as current Devils right wing Kyle Palmieri. Prior to the NHL, he played with JyP Jyvakyla in the Finnish professional league. Vatanen has represented his home country in international play at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, 2014 Olympic Winter Games, 2010 and 2011 World Junior Championships, and the 2010 World Championships.
Vatanen will meet the team in Colorado and wear jersey #45.