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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 - NYR 74 47 20 7 226 172 101
2 MTL 75 46 21 8 197 167 100
3 TBL 76 46 23 7 244 198 99
4 PIT 75 41 23 11 207 188 93
5 NYI 76 44 27 5 230 211 93
6 DET 74 40 22 12 216 201 92
7 WSH 75 40 25 10 218 186 90
8 BOS 75 37 25 13 199 195 87
9 OTT 73 37 25 11 213 195 85
10 FLA 74 34 26 14 184 202 82
11 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
12 CBJ 74 35 35 4 203 230 74
13 NJD 74 31 31 12 166 189 74
14 CAR 73 27 36 10 170 201 64
15 TOR 75 27 42 6 194 241 60
16 BUF 74 20 46 8 141 249 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Huberdeau 71 13 32 7 45
N. Bjugstad 72 24 19 -7 43
J. Jokinen 73 7 33 -1 40
J. Jagr 69 13 25 -4 38
B. Boyes 72 12 23 10 35
A. Ekblad 73 11 24 10 35
J. Hayes 64 18 13 -4 31
A. Barkov 63 12 17 -2 29
B. Campbell 74 3 21 1 24
B. Pirri 41 20 2 5 22
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 26 17 11 .922 2.32
A. Montoya 5 7 2 .888 3.08
 
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