Bob Murray made his first trade of the 2020 deadline season earlier this afternoon, as he traded Ondrej Kase to the Boston Bruins in exchange for 35-year old David Backes, defenseman prospect Axel Andersson, and Boston’s 2020 1st round pick. Boston will also retain 25% of David Backes’ salary, as he carries a $6 million cap hit for the remainder of this season and next season.
Ondrej Kase might have been the Ducks’ most valuable asset. In our three seasons of data we have on him, Kase has posted positive seasons in all of them, including a Top 20 league-wide score of +6.66 in 2017-2018. Kase’s career AB score is an outstanding +2.91, and also has impressive taken/drawn and giveaway/takeaway ratios of 5:16 and 26:37 respectively. Kase has a $2.6 million salary as a 24-year old forward and has 1 year remaining on his current deal. Kase will fit in beautifully in Boston, as he will most likely play on a line centered by David Krejci (+2.6 Career AB score), and with Jake DeBrusk on his opposite wing (+14.55 Career AB score).
David Backes actually makes a lot of sense for the Anaheim Ducks in this trade. He has a career AB score of +0.51 and has never registered below a -2.75 AB score for an individual season in his career. Despite his struggles in Boston, Backes had his best individual AB season last year with a +2.5 score since the 2011-2012 season, where he registered a +3.76 score. This season, in the limited games Backes has played with the Bruins, he had a 3:1 penalty taken/draw ratio, a 2:4 giveaway/takeaway ratio, -2 +/- number, and tallied 3 points in 16 games. Perhaps he was just in the wrong situation, and a change of scenery could be a positive thing in revitalizing his career. If he gets a chance to play with the Ducks, we could see him being a very good mentor to the many young Ducks currently on the roster, as Backes does have 82 games of playoff experience under his belt. At a decent discounted salary, maybe Backes could be valuable to the Ducks over the next season and a half.
Axel Andersson was the Bruins’ 2nd round pick in the 2018 NHL draft and currently has 22 points in 41 games with Moncton of the QMJHL. The 1st becomes Anaheim’s second 1st rounder this season. They have a legit chance for their own pick to fall within the Top 5, as they currently sit at a 24-29-7 record with 55 points in 60 games, which is 2nd to last place in the Western Conference as of today.