Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau on Tuesday raved about the trade that landed Ryan Kesler from the Vancouver Canucks last month.
"Obviously, as a coach, you're sitting there saying, 'That's a great deal,'" Boudreau told the Ducks website at development camp.
The Ducks acquired Kesler and a third-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft on June 27, sending center Nick Bonino, defenseman Luca Sbisa and a first-round and third-round pick in the 2014 draft to the Canucks.
"I loved Nick Bonino and [Sbisa], but you're getting a top-flight guy that can give [Ryan Getzlaf] a rest every now and then," Boudreau said. "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."
Kesler had 25 goals and 43 points in 77 games for Vancouver last season. He missed 31 games in 2012-13 because of injuries to his shoulder, wrist and ankle. He won the Selke Trophy in 2010-11, when he scored a career-best 41 goals and 73 points, and had a plus-24 rating.
Kesler was acquired, in part, to help Anaheim match up against Western Conference contenders, which are strong at center. The Los Angeles Kings, with Anze Kopitar and Jeff Carter, eliminated the Ducks in seven games in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, after Anaheim won the Pacific Division.
"In the last couple of years, we thought we were a threat," Boudreau said. "This makes us a bona fide threat to become an elite team."