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Panthers trade Gudbranson to Canucks for Forward, Picks

Tha Sports Junkies 101-Sports News Photo by Sarah A./via flickr.com

Florida Land Two Draft Picks, Vancouver Receives One in Surprising Swap

NHL

SUNRISE, FL-The Florida Panthers had a very memorable 2015-16 season. They set franchise records in wins and points, as well as winning the Atlantic Division. Their playoff run was cut short by the New York Islanders in the first round, but fans were left with hopes of a bright future. However, today, the team surprisingly traded away one of the pieces that many surely thought would be a key part of the team going forward.

The Panthers traded defenseman Erik Gudbranson to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for forward Jared McGann and two draft picks on Wednesday.

The 24-year-old posted two goals and nine points in 64 games this season with Florida. Despite not posting big offensive numbers, Gudbranson was seen as a key piece of the Panthers blue line, along with Aaron Eckblad, Dmitry Kulikov, and Brian Campbell.

Florida, in exchange, gets the 19-year-old McGann. The 24th overall pick in the 2014 Draft had a decent rookie season, tallying nine goals and 18 points in 69 games. Apart from McGann, the Panthers received two of Vancouver’s picks in this summer’s upcoming draft.

The Canucks also received a draft pick in this year’s draft, picking up Florida’s fifth-round pick.

Even though neither player is a well-established household name, the trade is surprising because of the timing of it.

Just two weeks ago, on May 9 to be exact, the Panthers signed Gudbranson to a one-year contract. The Ottawa native seemed excited about returning to the Sunshine State, stating, “I’m very excited for another year with the Panthers. We took great strides last season as a team and our group can only improve upon the success we had. It’s a great time for the organization and I look forward to getting back on the ice with the team.”

One can only wonder what would cause Florida to trade a guy they had high on their board, but one thing we do know is that the Canucks are sure happy to have him.

Panthers fan will surely hope this trade doesn’t end up biting the team in the butt as there are reports that Campbell is looking to test the free agent market this summer. Should he leave, that would be two of their top-4 gone in just a couple of months.

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