Fantasy Impact: The Devils Acquire Vatanen from the Ducks for Henrique

steve laidlaw


Fantasy Impact: The Devils have acquired Sami Vatanen from the Ducks for Adam Henrique, Joseph Blandisi and a 2018 third-round pick.


The Devils get: A legitimate top-four defenseman with some history of point production. Vatanen burst onto the scene with 21 points in 48 games as a rookie in 2013-14. He quickly established himself as the top defenseman option in Anaheim, flirting with 40 points a couple of times, but never quite hitting that mark.

Vatanen’s numbers have dropped off the past couple of seasons, with just 28 points in his last 86 games. His possession numbers have also fallen off, but this is likely the result of switching from Bruce Boudreau to Randy Carlyle. Vatanen has also had a ton of competition for minutes getting beaten out by Cam Fowler and Brandon Montour recently.

Vatanen is also injury prone having never suited up for more than 71 games in a season.


The Ducks get: A speedy top-six forward in Henrique, who is capable of playing in all three phases, and one flexible enough to play on the wing and at center. They desperately need this flexibility with their best three center options in Ryan Getzlaf, Ryan Kesler and Rickard Rakell all on the shelf, along with injuries to Ondrej Kase and Patrick Eaves.


Fantasy Players Impacted: We no longer have to play the guessing game as to who will be the Ducks’ top defenseman options. They have rolled with a two-defenseman look on the power play with Montour and Vatanen for the past few games, but Fowler has loomed as a Carlyle favourite. There is now room for both Fowler and Montour to thrive.

This is big news for Montour’s breakout potential. While he is currently banged up with an elbow injury, it shouldn’t cost him much time. Montour’s going to be fantasy relevant everywhere.

At some point this makes room for young defenders Jacob Larsson, but that’s a year or two away. The Ducks have the depth to survive the loss of Vatanen now that their D corps is healthy. Look for Francois Beauchemin to draw back into the lineup regularly and provide some value to folks in deep leagues counting hits and blocked shots.

This may also open up some breathing room for Josh Manson to expand his game. It probably won’t be enough to make Mason relevant outside of deep multi-cat leagues, but the big