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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.

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Huberdeau 79 15 39 10 54
J. Jokinen 81 8 36 -2 44
N. Bjugstad 72 24 19 -7 43
A. Ekblad 81 12 27 12 39
B. Boyes 78 14 24 11 38
A. Barkov 71 16 20 -4 36
J. Hayes 72 19 16 -4 35
B. Campbell 82 3 24 4 27
B. Pirri 49 22 2 6 24
D. Bolland 53 6 17 4 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 28 19 12 .921 2.35
A. Montoya 6 7 2 .892 3.01
 
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