Ducks acquire Carl Hagelin from Rangers; get Anton Khudobin via Hurricanes

In moves connected to their current free-agency standing and next season’s salary cap situation, the Ducks on Saturday dealt young forward Emerson Etem to the New York Rangers for forward Carl Hagelin and veteran defenseman James Wisniewski to Carolina for goalie Anton Khudobin.

Etem, 23, of Long Beach, was packaged with the 41st pick in Saturday’s NHL draft for Hagelin and picks No. 59 and 179.

Hagelin, 26, gives the Ducks a fast, productive left wing (17 goals, 35 points last season) to fill the void coming when unrestricted free agent forward Matt Beleskey (22 goals, 32 points) leaves Anaheim next week.

Anaheim General Manager Bob Murray assesses Hagelin to be one of the top penalty killers in the NHL, giving the big, physical Ducks a valuable speed component.

Hagelin, who helped the Rangers reach the 2013-14 Stanley Cup Final and this past season’s Eastern Conference finals, is a restricted free agent and the Ducks will work to sign him to a multiyear deal.

Etem scored five goals last season while playing in only 45 regular-season games in Anaheim. His inability to finish hurt his cause to become an everyday player. The Rangers made left wing Ryan Gropp the 41st pick in the draft Saturday morning.

The Ducks took Finnish center Julius Nattinen with the 59th pick.

Anaheim opened the day by dealing Wisniewski.

The defenseman, considered their premier trade-deadline acquisition in March, was a healthy scratch throughout a playoff run that took the Ducks to Game 7 of the Western Conference finals.

Another trade-deadline acquisition, Simon Despres, moved past Wisniewski on the depth chart and played alongside Cam Fowler on the Ducks’ second defensive pairing.

More influential to the Ducks as they aim to extend the contracts of second-line center Ryan Kesler and young defensemen Hampus Lindholm and Sami Vatanen before the 2016-17 season is the $8-million-plus total they owed Wisniewski over the next two seasons.

Those savings, along with the $1.6 million saved for the coming season when the team traded forward Kyle Palmieri for two draft picks on Friday, will help Murray’s cause to retain what he views to be the heart of his team.

Wisniewski’s trade additionally indicates that the Ducks feel better about their effort to sign their unrestricted free-agent defenseman Francois Beauchemin. Murray will meet with Beauchemin next week, The Times learned.

As for the acquisition of 29-year-old Khudobin, set up by Carolina’s early Saturday trade for Vancouver goalie Eddie Lack, it isn’t seen as a step toward dealing young Ducks goalie John Gibson.

Khudobin provides flexibility for a team that saw both Gibson and starter Frederik Andersen sidelined by injuries last season.

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