The Anaheim Ducks Franchise Is In A Time of Change

The Anaheim Ducks made a significant add this week while also losing a key player to injury.
Anaheim Ducks v Florida Panthers
Anaheim Ducks v Florida Panthers / Joel Auerbach/GettyImages

The trade that sent Cutter Gauthier from the Philadelphia Flyers to the Anaheim Ducks for Jamie Drysdale was one that made my jaw drop the second I saw it. Two top ten picks two years apart were swapped for each other, which is something you almost never see.

Sure, the stereotypical definition of a hockey trade is a trade that involves one player going to one team for another single player, and it usually fills a need that both teams need. The NHL is rarely a league where "blockbuster" trades occur.

Philadelphia got a young offensively minded defenseman in Drysdale, and Anaheim is getting a potential stud center in Gauthier, although that might be premature to say since he has yet to play an NHL game.

What does this trade mean for Anaheim going forward?

Adding Gauthier alongside Leo Carlsson is going to make Anaheim's center depth crazy good whenever the two are up at the same time together. Carlsson already has some NHL experience this season, scoring 15 points in 23 games. The future at center is bright for this team.

The big question is Trevor Zegras. The 22 year old has only played in 20 games this season and has four goals, three assists, and seven points. It got worse for the young center, as the Ducks announced that he would be out six to eight weeks with a broken ankle.

The addition of Gauthier can mean one of two things for the franchise going forward. Either Gauthier and Carlsson live up to their potential and Zegras gets back to his normal numbers forming an elite center group, or Zegras continues to regress and the Ducks rebuild might take longer than expected.

Even if Zegras doesn't reach the superstar potential we all thought he would, he is still a guy that can give you 15-20 goal production and score 50-60 points a season.

The Ducks should be proud of what they did here.

As I talked about above, the Ducks should be proud of the elite center group they've gathered. It has to be one of the most exciting young centre groups in the league. The potential is off the charts.

The Ducks stlll have some areas they need to figure out before they become a true contender, but there is a lot of good piece to this team to look forward to.