The Nashville Predators have traded forward Max Görtz to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for defenseman Andrew O’Brien. The move likely sees the two switch between AHL affiliates as both have yet to reach the NHL level. This should mean a switch of scenery for both between the Milwaukee Admirals and San Diego Gulls.
Press Release via Nashville Predators:
Nashville, TN – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced Thursday that the club has acquired defenseman Andrew O’Brien from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for forward Max Gortz.
O’Brien, 24 (11/21/92), has appeared in 10 games for the San Diego Gulls (AHL) this season and recorded two assists and 16 shots on goal. The Hamilton, Ontario, native set career AHL highs in goals (6) and plus/minus (+3) in 2015-16 with San Diego, and totaled 14 points (6g-8a) and 54 penalty minutes in 59 games.
O’Brien is a 6-foot-4, 208-pound blueliner who was drafted in the fourth round (108th overall) of the 2012 Entry Draft by Anaheim. He has appeared in 135 career AHL games and registered 30 points (10g-20a) and 180 penalty minutes.
This is likely one last blow to what has already been a tough sophomore season for Görtz. He was the Admirals second leading scorer last season when he produced 47 points (18 goals, 29 assists) in 72 games. He hasn’t just failed to replicate his offensive production this season but has also struggled to maintain a place in the lineup as a result. Görtz has been a healthy scratch for the Admirals eight times this season while producing just 4 points (1 goal, 3 assists).
I can only assume that O’Brien has been banged up this season as he has only played in the AHL for San Diego but had missed out on 22 games for them so far. His first pro season came in 2013-14 where he split time between the AHL and ECHL. The majority of his career to this point has been in the AHL under the Anaheim banner where he has logged 135 career games while recorded 30 points (10 goals, 20 assists), 180 penalty minutes, and a plus/minus rating of -19.
This could well be a case of swapping two struggling prospects in the hopes of finding a spark for both while getting that spark in a position of need. The Admirals have been banged up on defense the last month and a half. In their most recent game Adam Pardy crashed into the end boards favoring his left shoulder in the second period and did not return to the game.
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