The Ottawa Senators have flipped another depth defenseman, trading Erik Gudbranson to the Nashville Predators for a 2023 seventh-round pick and minor league defenseman Brandon Fortunato according to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet.
It wouldn’t have been a trade deadline if Gudbranson didn’t move. The 29-year-old defender has now been dealt for the fifth time, including four times since his current contract began at the start of the 2018-19 season. With that deal about to expire, it was all but certain that the Senators would move Gudbranson before the deadline, the second such time he has been moved on the last day to do so.
Unfortunately, Gudbranson’s play this season didn’t warrant much of a return. Gudbranson has just three points and is a -13 so far this season, looking slow and ineffective on the ice. While he started to show signs of slowing down last season in Anaheim, it was very apparent in Ottawa this season. As a result, a player who was traded straight up for Tanner Pearson just two years ago and cost a fifth-round pick for Ottawa to acquire this summer, the Senators were only able to land a seventh-rounder and an unheralded prospect for a short stretch of Gudbranson. Fortunato, 24, has done little in the pros since signing with Nashville in 2019 and does not appear to be a legitimate NHL prospect.
Perhaps the low cost is why the Predators took a shot at the veteran. Nashville was expected to be a major seller not long ago and even after climbing back into the Central Division playoff picture, they were not thought to be a buyer. However, adding some depth and experience on the blue line for next to nothing is not a bad move for GM David Poile and company if they do indeed qualify for the postseason.