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Ducks Acquire Gudbranson from Pittsburgh

by Anaheim Ducks /

The Ducks have acquired defenseman Erik Gudbranson from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for left wing Andreas Martinsen and a 2021 seventh-round draft pick.

Gudbranson, 27 (1/7/92), has played in 474 career games with Florida, Vancouver and Pittsburgh, earning 16-48=64 points. The 6-5, 217-pound defenseman has also appeared in 17 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, scoring one goal with 12 penalty minutes (PIM). This season with Pittsburgh, Gudbranson appeared in seven games, going scoreless with two PIM.

A native of Ottawa, ON, Gudbranson was selected by the Florida Panthers in the first round (third overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft. He split the 2018-19 season between Vancouver and Pittsburgh, recording 2-8=10 points in 76 games. Gudbranson led Pittsburgh with a +7 rating in the 19 games following his acquisition Feb. 25, 2019.

A veteran of nine NHL seasons, Gudbranson has recorded over 100 hits in seven of those seasons along with 488 career PIM. He won a silver medal with Team Canada at the 2011 World Junior Championship while leading all blueliners with three goals. He also represented Team Canada at the World Championship (2014) and World Under-18 Junior Championship (2009, 2010).

Martinsen, 29 (6/13/90), appeared in one game for the San Diego Gulls of the American Hockey League (AHL) this season, going scoreless. He originally signed with Anaheim as a free agent on July 5, 2019.

Shortly after the trade, Gudbranson spoke with members of the media before departing for Denver, Colorado.

Are you excited to be joining the Ducks?
Definitely. I knew something was potentially up, but didn't know who. We were in Dallas, so I just came back from practice, sat down in my hotel room and got the call. It's obviously bittersweet because you create these friendships in a certain place, and you have to leave those guys. I've heard nothing but great things about Anaheim. The organization and everything that comes with it speaks for itself. I'm very excited to be there and be part of a good group.

How do you think you'll fit in with the Ducks, style wise?
The game of hockey is about speed now. It's about creating waves and layers, and taking away time and space. One thing I'm going to try to work extremely hard on is my skating. I play more of a defensive game. I always have. I see the game that way. In terms of moving the puck and closing the distance on guys, that's what I do. I'm excited to come do it.

What kind of adjustment period are you expecting going from one team to another?
I've played in a few different systems. The league nowadays is very much a copycat league. Most teams are doing very similar things, but on any given night, it's about who can do those better. I'm excited to get with the team and learn exactly how they want to play the game and how they want me to fit in. Really just go from there. Trades that happen midseason, you kind of have to hit the ground running and start playing. There is no real time to think about it. I'm very excited to get out there and get to work.

Are you familiar with any current Ducks?
I'm good buddies with Michael Del Zotto. I played with Ryan Miller in Vancouver. I worked out with Adam Henrique for a few summers, as well as Granter [Derek Grant]. I know a few of them. I've played against many of them for a number of years. I'm excited to meet all of them and get going.

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