Hurricanes, Ducks swap defensemen before NHL trade deadline

Carolina Hurricanes/NHL

Jani Hakanpaa, right (AP photo)

RALEIGH, NC. (AP) — The Carolina Hurricanes have traded defenseman Haydn Fleury to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for defenseman Jani Hakanpaa and a sixth-round draft pick in 2022.

Hurricanes president and general manager Don Waddell pointed to Hakanpaa’s 6-foot-5, 218-pound frame as a physical boost to the blue line.

The 29-year-old Hakanpaa is third in the league this year with 168 hits. He has one goal and one assist in 47 career NHL games with Anaheim. He was also a teammate of current Hurricanes star center Sebastian Aho in Finland several years ago.

The Hurricanes parted with a former first-round pick Fleury, the No. 7 overall selection in 2014. The 24-year-old Fleury had one goal in 35 games this season.

The Hurricanes kept goaltenders Petr Mrazek, Alex Nedeljkovic and James Reimer. Waddell said the team was “comfortable” with keeping all three, while the team’s roster and cap space meant the Hurricanes “weren’t put in a position where we felt we had to make a trade.”

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