The Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks have completed a swap of minor-league players. Anaheim is acquiring veteran forward Andrew Agozzino from San Jose in exchange for the negotiating rights to veteran defenseman Andrej Sustr, who is set to hit the unrestricted free-agent market on July 1st.
Sharks assistant general manager Joe Will issued the following statement regarding the transaction:
Andrew requested a trade after the season, citing personal reasons, and we wanted to facilitate his request. We thank Andrew for everything he did with the organization last year and we wish him the best of luck moving forward.”
In trading Agozzino, 32, the Sharks have dealt the captain of their AHL affiliate and a player who is under contract through next season at a $775k cap hit. An undrafted player, Agozzino has long been a quality scorer at the junior and AHL level, ever since his days with the OHL’s Niagara IceDogs.
He’s a three-time AHL All-Star who led the AHL’s San Jose Barracuda in scoring with 26 goals and 61 points in 63 games. In 664 career AHL games Agozzino has 516 points, and he’s worn a letter at pretty much every stop of his AHL career.
At the NHL level Agozzino has struggled to stick on a roster for an extended period, and he has just 12 points in 51 career games. He did manage to contribute three points in four NHL games this past year with the Sharks, but despite his impressive AHL form the Sharks gave him his first call-up in late March. Agozzino is likely hopeful he’ll get an increased NHL opportunity in Anaheim.
Ducks GM Pat Verbeek has looked to overhaul his AHL affiliate this offseason, and he started in April when he hired a new head coach. Now, he’s added a valued leader and potential top scorer to his farm team.
For the Sharks, the motivation behind this deal seems to be largely an effort to do right by a veteran player who had a strong season with their affiliate. There’s no word on whether the Sharks plan on signing the six-foot-seven Sustr, though the 32-year-old does bring a valuable 361 games of NHL experience.
Players and agents across the league take notice of trades like this, when a team goes out of its way to help a player. By trading Agozzino to a potentially more favorable opportunity they’ve done exactly that. It’s possible the true value in this trade for the Sharks lies there.