The Ottawa Senators have traded bruising defenceman Erik Gudbranson prior to the trade deadline as part of their extensive rebuild. This move should not surprise anyone who thought the initial trade for Gudbranson was an odd move for the Sens. In return, Ottawa acquires a 2023 seventh-round pick and Brandon Fortunato from Nashville. Elliotte Friedman broke the deal Monday afternoon.
Gudbranson to NASH
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) April 12, 2021
Senators Trade Erik Gudbranson
Gudbranson has not been particularly effective in 2020-21. The 29-year-old has just one goal and three points in 33 games along with 84 hits and 47 blocks. He remains a negative offensive factor with a Corsi For of 48.8 percent and a relative Corsi of -2.0. Both of those numbers are fairly close to his career marks. His only real role is that of a forechecking penalty killer, which makes sense given his 6’5″, 217-pound frame.
The Florida Panthers originally drafted Gudbranson third overall in the 2010 Draft. That moves looks terrible in hindsight, but it was still an era where bigger defenders had far more value than they do now. He debuted in 2011-12 and skated with the team until a trade sent him to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for Jared McCann and draft picks. It’s been a busy time for the big Canadian as he’s been traded three times since February 2019. He’s not particularly good, but it’s also hard to be comfortable without a stable home. Perhaps the veteran bruiser will realize some measure of his potential with this latest transaction.
What This Means For The Future
Gudbranson should be an anchor on special teams for his new organization with his size and physical presence. He won’t score or drive offence, but he’s worth adding for hit toughness as the postseason approaches.
For Ottawa, this sheds at least part of Gudbranson’s remaining cap hit and brings back something that will help build for the future. This return won’t make a huge difference, but every little bit helps when trying to rebuild a franchise.
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