After playing four seasons with the LA Kings, defenseman Austin Strand has found a new home in Anaheim, joining the Ducks.
Austin Strand #FlyTogether
1 year / 2-way deal
Minor: $200,000 ($235,000 guaranteed)
Strand was a Group 6 UFA.https://t.co/AR7gYasr6b
— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) July 14, 2022
Strand’s contract with the Anaheim Ducks is a one-year, two-way contract. Whether playing for the Ducks or their AHL team in San Diego Gulls, he’ll have plenty of chances to face his former LA Kings and Ontario Reign, teammates.
After going undrafted, Strand signed a three-year contract with the Kings in November of 2017 but didn’t play a game that season. In four seasons with the Ontario Reign, Strand recorded 19 goals, 26 assists, and 45 points in 135 games.
These past two seasons he played in 21 games and recorded 3 points when called up to the LA Kings.
— Anaheim Ducks (@AnaheimDucks) July 14, 2022
What happens to the defense in Ontario?
Unfortunately for Strand, there are too many right-handed defensemen in the Kings’ prospect pool and on the NHL roster. Currently, the NHL roster of right-handed defensemen consists of Drew Doughty, Matt Roy, Sean Walker, and Sean Durzi (RFA).
With too many right-handed defensemen on the NHL roster, Jordan Spence will most likely go back to Ontario as he is waiver-exempt.
The three defensemen to slot in on the right side for the Ontario Reign on opening will most likely be Jordan Spence, Helge Grans, and Frederic Allard.
With the right side of the defense set, there wasn’t a spot for Strand to play. Signing with the Ducks can give him an opportunity to maybe crack an NHL roster. Even if the chances are slim.
His physical presence on the blue line in Ontario will be missed. Wishing him nothing but the best in Anaheim, except when he plays against the Kings or the Reign.
(Photo credit: Juan Ocampo/Getty Images)