The Florida Panthers traded defenseman Keith Ballard to Vancouver in a four-player deal that included the Canucks’ first-round pick.
New Florida general manager Dale Tallon sent Ballard and forward Victor Oreskovich to the Canucks for well-traveled forward Steve Bernier, forward Michael Grabner, and the 25th overall pick in last night’s draft in Los Angeles. Florida used the pick to select Moose Jaw center Quinton Howden.
Ballard had 28 points last season for the Panthers, but is under contract for the next five years at $21 million. The Canucks hope he will fill Willie Mitchell’s spot, who can become an unrestricted free agent next week.
Later, the Penguins acquired the rights to defenseman Dan Hamhuis from the Flyers for a third-round pick today. The Flyers acquired Hamhuis from the Predators last weekend, but couldn’t reach an agreement on a long-term contract, and he will become a free agent next week.
Hall, who played for the Windsor Spitfires, follows Patrick Kane, Steven Stamkos, and John Tavares. Those three picks are working out quite well — and Hall believes he can join the Oilers’ young core to return respectability to the struggling club.
“I feel honored with all the players that have gone No. 1,’’ Hall said. “When I came into this year, that was one of my goals, was to go No. 1. In saying that, there’s still a lot of work to do out here.’’
The league-worst Oilers chose Hall over fellow OHL forward Tyler Seguin (Plymouth), whom the Bruins took with the second pick. And the Florida Panthers made it three straight OHL players when they selected Kingston defenseman Erik Gudbranson.
Columbus ended the OHL’s run when it took center Ryan Johansen of Portland in the Western Hockey League.