The Anaheim Ducks bolstered their offense Friday by acquiring Patrick Eaves from the Dallas Stars in a trade for a conditional second-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft.
"Your world gets put upside real quick. I'm excited though," Eaves said before flying to Southern California. "I want to get out there as soon as possible and, fortunately we have an afternoon game tomorrow [at the Los Angeles Kings], so I'll be ready for that."
Eaves, 32, was tied for the Stars lead with 21 goals, including 11 on the power play, which ranked fourth in the NHL. His 37 points in 59 games are an NHL career high.
"He's been able to put up offensive numbers with good players, and he can be a guy who can fit in with anybody," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said.
Anaheim (32-20-10) was tied for second in the Pacific Division with the Edmonton Oilers, three points behind the San Jose Sharks with two games in hand.
Video: Patrick Eaves Traded to Anaheim
The Ducks are hopeful Eaves will boost an offense that ranks 20th in the NHL and 10th in the West at 2.56 goals per game. After leading the NHL in power-play percentage last season (23.1), the Ducks are 14th at 19.5.
"I've gotten a lot of good opportunities this year, being on the power play and playing a lot of minutes, good minutes," he said. "Fortunately, I haven't been hit by any pucks this year that have done any damage. I've been getting some good bounces, so I think all those things together have helped me put up the numbers that I have this year. Hopefully, I can continue on the path I'm on with the Ducks."
Eaves, who can become an unrestricted free agent after this season, has an NHL salary cap charge of $1 miilion, according to capfriendly.com.
"Started talking with Anaheim in the last week, they kind of targeted him," Dallas general manager Jim Nill said. "He's a low cap hit, and the way he plays the game -- he can play up and down the lineup -- they started pursuing him pretty hard. It got to the point where the price they were willing to pay to get him was something we had to do."
Eaves will join a Ducks forward group that includes six players 26 or younger.
"This gives us a better chance of winning; and of going farther," Anaheim general manager Bob Murray said. "It's a tough league, and in no way, shape or form am I complaining about our young guys' efforts this year. I think they've been pretty good. But in saying that, we've put a bunch of young guys in our lineup this year, which people haven't noticed. We've turned that over a bit, but it's tough to go much farther with young players in your lineup. It's a tough league, so Patrick helps us in that way."
READ: Fantasy impact of Eaves trade
Eaves said he's particularly excited to join the race for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Dallas (23-27-10) entered its game Friday against the Arizona Coyotes 10 points behind the Calgary Flames for the second wild card from the Western Conference.
"You just know you're going to have a tough time every time you play against the Ducks," he said. "It's a team I'm joining and I'm really excited about that, just because the way they play and the way they're positioned in the playoff hunt."
Eaves played with Anaheim forward Ryan Kesler when the United States won the 2004 World Junior Championship. Eaves said he started playing with Kesler when they were 16 years old.
"It'll be nice to see a face that I know right away," he said.
Eaves has 227 points (120 goals, 107 assists) in 604 NHL games, and 19 points (nine goals, 10 assists) in 76 Stanley Cup Playoff games.
"When you can make a move to add to your team, and not subtract anything, like we did today, it's huge," Kesler said.
The conditional pick going to Dallas was acquired by Anaheim from the Toronto Maple Leafs in the trade that involved goaltender Frederik Andersen made June 20. If Anaheim advances to the Western Conference Final, and Eaves plays in at least half of their games in the first two rounds of the playoffs, the Stars get the Ducks' first-round pick in the 2017 draft.
"We were targeting a second-round pick and maybe a prospect," Nill said. "And then we got closer to it, there were other teams involved, and when they were willing to make it a possible first-round pick, that kind of was the last part of the trade."