For the second year in a row, the Nashville Predators are using the trade deadline to bolster their blueline.
The Predators have acquired Erik Gudbranson from the Ottawa Senators. In exchange, the Preds are sending minor league prospect Brandon Fortunato and a 2023 7th-round pick to Ottawa. The deal was first reported by TSN’s Bruce Garrioch and Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman and confirmed by the team Monday afternoon.
Gudbranson is a stay-at-home defender in every sense of the word. He has 3 points (1 G, 2 A) in 36 games with Ottawa this year. He has been a routine contributor to the Sens’ penalty kill, but with the depth of the defense corps in Nashville (when healthy), Gudbranson will likely be little more than an insurance policy for the Preds’ blueline. He’s in the third and final deal of a $12 million deal he signed with the Canucks in 2018. The Preds will be the fifth team he’s played for since signing that deal.
Erik Gudbranson (to Nashville, inexplicably) is an extremely poor defender. pic.twitter.com/s7qanvAzl9— Micah Blake McCurdy (@IneffectiveMath) April 12, 2021
Fortunato is a defensive prospect who the Predators had loaned to the AHL’s Cleveland Monsters this season. He had no points in 9 games with the Monsters this season. Our prospect guru, Eric Dunay, provided his two cents on what the Preds are giving up:
Small but quick defender who moves the puck well and has a nice offensive upside — in the minors. Was excellent in the ECHL in 2019-20 but has struggled to find consistent ice time in the AHL this year. Can be a power play weapon but is prone to turnovers when he gets too cocky moving the puck in transition. Ceiling is a bottom four AHL defender most likely.
Thoughts on the trade?