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Florida Deals D Ballard To Vancouver

Friday, 06.25.2010 / 11:49 PM ET / News
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Florida Deals D Ballard To Vancouver
Draft day is once again busy for defenseman Keith Ballard, the biggest name player traded on a slow first day of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

Just before the start of the draft here at Staples Center, the Florida Panthers traded Ballard and prospect Victor Oreskovich to Vancouver for forwards Steve Bernier and Michael Grabner, plus the No. 25 pick in Friday's first round, a selection used on Quinton Howden.

As a result, first-year Florida GM Dale Tallon had picks No. 3, No. 15 and No. 25 in Friday's first round.

Tallon moved the No. 15 to Los Angeles for the No. 19 pick and No. 59, then took a big center, Nick Bjugstad, with the No. 19 selection. Bjugstad, an American whose father Scott played in the NHL, will play college hockey for the University of Minnesota this fall.

At No. 25, Tallon selected Howden, who a center from Moose Jaw of the Western Hockey League who scored 65 points in 65 games with the Warriors last season.

Ironically, Ballard was traded to Florida from Phoenix two years ago, also on Draft night. This season, Ballard finished with 28 points while playing in all 82 games. He was among the team leader in blocked shots and hits, providing a physical presence on the blue line. In fact, his 201 blocked shots were third in the League.

But Ballard, a first-round pick back in 2002, was due $4.2 million in each of the next five seasons and Tallon is trying to remake the team with younger talent. Earlier this week, he moved forwards Nathan Horton and Gregory Campbell to the Boston Bruins in exchange for defenseman Dennis Wideman, the No. 15 pick this year, and a third-round pick in 2011.

The Panthers also took physical defenseman Erik Gudbranson of the Ontario Hockey League's Kingston Frontenacs with the No. 3 selection in Friday's Draft. The 6-foot-4, 195-Gudbranson could quickly develop into the shot-blocking, hard-hitting force Florida dealt away in Ballard.

Bernier, who scored 11 goals with 11 assists in 59 games for the Canucks last season, will be a restricted free agent in 2011. Grabner, meanwhile, was a first-round pick in 2006 and had 11 points in 20 games with Vancouver this season. He also had 48 points with Manitoba in the American Hockey League.

Oreskovich had just 6 points in 50 games with Florida this year, his first NHL action since going in the second round in 2004.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - MTL 76 47 21 8 200 169 102
2 x - NYR 75 47 21 7 228 177 101
3 TBL 76 46 23 7 244 198 99
4 PIT 76 42 23 11 210 190 95
5 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
6 DET 75 40 23 12 220 206 92
7 WSH 76 41 25 10 223 188 92
8 BOS 76 38 25 13 201 196 89
9 OTT 75 37 26 12 218 203 86
10 FLA 76 35 26 15 190 207 85
11 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
12 CBJ 75 36 35 4 207 232 76
13 NJD 76 31 33 12 168 194 74
14 CAR 75 28 36 11 174 204 67
15 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
16 BUF 75 20 47 8 144 254 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Huberdeau 73 13 36 9 49
N. Bjugstad 72 24 19 -7 43
J. Jagr 71 15 26 -2 41
J. Jokinen 75 8 33 -2 41
B. Boyes 73 12 23 10 35
A. Ekblad 75 11 24 11 35
J. Hayes 66 18 13 -5 31
A. Barkov 65 14 17 -1 31
B. Campbell 76 3 22 2 25
B. Pirri 43 20 2 5 22
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 26 17 12 .921 2.33
A. Montoya 5 7 2 .888 3.08
 
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