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The Anaheim Ducks bolstered their defense Friday by acquiring Erik Gudbranson in a trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
In return for Gudbranson, a 27-year-old former first-round pick who has played 474 career NHL games with three teams, the Ducks sent Andreas Martinsen and a 2021 seventh-round pick to Pittsburgh.
The Gudbranson addition comes a day after fellow Ducks defenseman Josh Manson left Thursday’s game with a lower body injury. In the first period of the team’s 2-1 loss to the Dallas Stars — the team’s third-straight defeat after a 6-3-0 start to the season — Manson’s left leg appeared to get caught awkwardly in the boards during a collision.
According to a team official, the Ducks had been discussing the Gudbranson trade before Manson’s injury, which will keep him out for at least the remainder of the Ducks’ road trip this weekend. Ducks forward Ondrej Kase will also miss the remaining two games of the trip — Saturday at the Colorado Avalanche and Sunday at the Vegas Golden Knights — with an upper-body injury.
Manson has three assists and a plus-three rating in 11 games this season. Kase has one goal, four assists and a plus-five rating in 11 games this season.
Gudbranson joins the Ducks after seven scoreless games with the Penguins. Last season, the 6-foot-5, 217-pound right-handed shot recorded 10 points in 76 games combined the Penguins and Vancouver Canucks. A native of Ottawa who was drafted third overall in 2010 by the Florida Panthers, Gudbranson’s only other double-digit point season came in 2014-15 with the Panthers.
According to CapFriendly.com, Gudbranson has two years remaining on his contact of $4 million in annual average value.