Teemu Selanne will play for Ducks next season
While teams stockpiled prospects in the last six rounds of the NHL entry draft, the Kings traded former first-round pick Brian Boyle and the Ducks got a boost when winger Teemu Selanne told them he will fulfill the final season of his contract.
Selanne, who will turn 39 next week, had hesitated to commit until he saw whether General Manager Bob Murray would gut the team or go for another Stanley Cup.
The return of defenseman Scott Niedermayer “made my decision easier,” Selanne said by phone from his home in Helsinki, Finland. Murray’s acquisition of winger Joffrey Lupul in the Chris Pronger trade Friday made it easier still.
“It’s clear that we want to win this year and not five years from now,” said Selanne, who’s 18th on the NHL’s all-time goals list with 579 and 41st in scoring with 1,212 points in 1,132 games. “If they wanted to start rebuilding, I wouldn’t be interested.
“It was tough to see Pronger go because he was our friend and he was a big part of our team, but I think we needed more offense. We found out in the playoffs that one line can’t win.”
The Kings sent Boyle, the 26th overall pick in 2003, to the New York Rangers for a third-round pick in 2010.
Boyle, intriguing because of his 6-foot-7 frame and flashes of skill, was surpassed by Wayne Simmonds and Oscar Moller.
“I wasn’t certain he was going to do it this time and get it,” General Manager Dean Lombardi said from Montreal. “I think it’s a fair risk for the Rangers.”
Most of the nine players the Kings took Saturday are longshots, but Lombardi said he likes the fire of second-round pick Kyle Clifford, a left wing who had 16 goals and 133 penalty minutes for Barrie of the Ontario Hockey League.
“We’ve certainly got no questions about the first two guys as competitors,” Lombardi said, also referring to top pick Brayden Schenn. “Clifford is in the Matt Greene mold, where he’ll take a puck in the face. He’s really tough.”
The Ducks chose five players Saturday, including 6-foot-3, 205-pound defenseman Matthew Clark of Brampton of the OHL in the second round and Russian goaltender Igor Bobkov in the third round. Bobkov was named the best goalie at the world under-18 championships.
“The Russian goalie is a good goaltender,” Murray said, “and I really like our second-round pick. When you get to a certain point, so much of it is projection.”
In other NHL news, the Florida Panthers traded the rights to defenseman Jay Bouwmeester to Calgary for Jordan Leopold and a third-round pick.
That’s a high price for Bouwmeester, who intends to become an unrestricted free agent Wednesday.