Ducks acquire RW Patrick Eaves in trade with Stars

The Anaheim Ducks added scoring punch ahead of next week's NHL trade deadline, acquiring right wing Patrick Eaves from the Dallas Stars on Friday for a conditional second-round draft pick.

Eaves, who is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent, has already set a career high for goals this season, scoring his 21st on Feb. 11 against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Eaves' 21 goals are more than every Anaheim player this season exceptRickard Rakell.

"Your world gets put upside-down real quick, but I'm excited," Eaves said in a phone interview. "I want to get out there as soon as possible, and fortunately we've got an afternoon game (Saturday at Los Angeles), so I'll be ready for that."

Anaheim gave up its rights to a 2017 second-round draft pick acquired in its trade of goalieFrederik Andersento Toronto last summer. But the Stars said they would get Anaheim's first-round selection this summer instead if the Ducks reach the Western Conference finals and Eaves plays in 50 percent or more of their games in the first two postseason rounds.

Eaves also has 11 power-play goals, tied for fourth most in the league, and 16 assists this season. He has a $1 million cap hit this season. The 32-year-old Eaves has played for the Ottawa Senators, Hurricanes, Detroit Red Wings, Nashville Predators and Stars in a 12-season career.

"I've gotten a lot of good opportunity this year with being on the power play and playing a lot of good minutes 5-on-5," said Eaves, a frequent linemate of stars Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin. "Fortunately, I haven't been hit by a puck this year that's done any damage, and I've been getting some good bounces, so all those things together have helped me put up the numbers that I have this year. Hopefully I can continue to pass them on with the Ducks."

Anaheim is in need of goal-scoring threats and veteran tenacity, particularly while Antoine Vermette is under a 10-game suspension.

Eaves has a career-high 21 goals and 16 assists in 59 games this season for the Stars. His 37 points also are already a career-high in his 12 NHL seasons. Eaves played with Vermette in Ottawa several seasons ago, and he played on a U.S. national junior team with Ducks center Ryan Kesler.

"I'm really excited about it, just because of the way (the Ducks) are playing and the way they're positioned in the playoff hunt," Eaves said. "It's exciting, and I think all the nerves and everything that I'm experiencing right now will go away once the games start."

The Ducks (32-20-10) enter Friday with 74 points, three behind the San Jose Sharks for first place in the Pacific Division.

Anaheim begins its bye week after the weekend. The Ducks returned rookie forward Nic Kerdiles to their AHL affiliate in San Diego to make room for Eaves on their roster.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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