Days after acquiring Will Acton from the Edmonton Oilers, GM Jim Benning went out and made that deal look like a veritable blockbuster by dealing Alex Mallet and a 3rd round pick in 2016 to the New York Islanders in exchange for 21-year old 6’4 defenseman Andrey Pedan.
I don’t know a damn thing about Andrey Pedan, so join me after the jump where we’ll find out all about the AHL version of Luca Sbisa that the Canucks seem to have acquired.
Here’s what we know about Pedan: he was drafted out of the OHL 63rd overall in 2011, one pick before promising Panthers rookie forward Vince Trocheck. He scored 12 points in 51 games as a 17-year old, before improving to a very respectable 40 and 44 points 63 and 60 games as a draft+1 and draft+2 player with Guelph. He was also the most penalized player in the OHL in 2012-2013, leading the league with 145 PIMs in 60 games.
Only 25 of these PIMs were fights though, but a large chunk were instigators and misconducts according to his Hockeyfights page. As a side note, Pedan was Bo Horvat’s opponent in Horvat’s only fight of his hockey career (he beat the tar out of poor Bo):
Since leaving junior, Pedan has struggled to gain footing in professional hockey, playing only 41 games split between the AHL and ECHL in the past two seasons. Part of this is because the Islanders have really bolstered their young D prospect group recently, but at the same time, you’d think that he’d be able force guys like Jesse Graham, Scooter Vaughan, and Scott Mayfield on a more consistent basis if he was really going anywhere in pro hockey.
On the bright side, Corey Pronman still thinks there’s something there with Pedan:
@ThomasDrance he needs a lot of work still, not as high as I was, say 2 years ago, but he’s a prospect with upside.
— Corey Pronman (@coreypronman) November 25, 2014
Alex Mallet, despite a very strong overage junior season, was a waste of a draft pick back in 2012. Daniel Wagner found that the absolute best case scenario for Dane Fox, a similar case to Mallet, is turning in to Chad LaRose. Similarly, the recipe for entry draft success is to concentrate on 17-year olds. The odds were always stacked against Mallet, simply because when he was in direct competition with his peer group, he showed that he wasn’t very good (unlike, say, Damon Severson). His addition is basically just to balance out the number of contracts, and his loss is negligible to the organization.
Contractually, Pedan has one more year left on his entry level deal after this season, while Mallet is a free agent at the end of 2014-15. Still, as RFAs, Vancouver would own the rights to the player anyways, so it’s not as if they’re securing an asset for notably longer. I guess it adds some meat and potatoes to Utica, but I question how much that’s needed with the Comets sitting in 2nd place in the AHL behind a streaking Rockford team.
It’s still far too early to make a determination on what a 3rd round pick in 2016 will look like, and chances are this deal turns out to involve a grand total of zero NHL assets. Andrey Pedan looks like he could be the more promising asset, but as he’s been unable to carve out a spot in the AHL, that even seems unlikely. At the end of the day, I would have liked to take my chances with the 3rd round pick.