Home ... again.
It took forward Kyle Palmieri parts of five seasons and 198 NHL regular-season games, all with the Ducks, for it to happen. On Friday, he was traded by Anaheim to the New Jersey Devils. Palmieri, 24, was raised in New Jersey.
His 14 goals this season tied a career high. His career high of 31 points came in 2013-14. It was unclear whether he knew about the trade since apparently he was out of the country Friday, and the deal is expected to be officially announced Saturday.
Palmieri's inconsistency evidently was an issue in the trade. He was moved not solely to create salary-cap room, but rather to make space for prospects.
The deal happened near the end of the first round of the NHL’s entry draft at Sunrise, Fla., not long after the Ducks had selected 18-year-old Swedish defenseman Jacob Larsson at No. 27. Last season, Larsson split his time between the junior and senior team for Frolunda of the Swedish Hockey League.
“Jacob is a puck-moving defenseman, mobile and smart on the ice,” said Martin Madden, the Ducks' director of professional/amateur scouting. “It’s exciting to know he is still developing into the player we believe he will become."
The Ducks have had an incredible run of success in the draft with Swedish players, starting with defenseman Hampus Lindholm.
“I know them all. I’m really looking forward to meeting them,” Larsson said.
He was interviewed by the Ducks and had several sessions with the staff of the Toronto Maple Leafs during the run-up to the draft, and the Maple Leafs happened to be his favorite team when he was growing up.
Larsson made sure to issue an update.
“Not anymore,” he said. “It’s Anaheim now.”