Ducks trading Brandon Montour to Sabres for 1st-round pick, prospect

The Anaheim Ducks traded defenseman Brandon Montour to the Buffalo Sabres for a first-round pick and prospect Brendan Guhle.

The Sabres have three first-round picks in the 2019 draft, and Anaheim gets a choice of the first-rounders Buffalo obtained in past trades with San Jose and St. Louis.

Montour, 24, has a $3.3875 million cap hit and is under contract through the 2019-20 season. The right-handed-shooting defenseman has five goals and 20 assist in 62 games this season while averaging a career-high 22 minutes, 40 seconds per game.

The Ducks are in transition after firing coach Randy Carlyle earlier this month; general manager Bob Murray has taken over coaching on an interim basis for the rest of the season. Murray said he needed to be around the team every day to diagnose why the Ducks had gone into a tailspin. Anaheim had lost 19 of 21 games when Carlyle was fired Feb. 10. At 24-29-6, Anaheim is currently out of a playoff spot, while its .460 points percentage is the fifth-worst in the league.

Buffalo, meanwhile, has not made the playoffs in seven seasons, the second-longest drought in the league. After riding a 10-game winning streak in November that put Buffalo atop the NHL standings, the Sabres have tumbled. Since that streak was snapped Nov. 29, the Sabres have gone 12-18-6. Only the Red Wings, Ducks and Senators have worst records in that span.

The Sabres are currently six points out of the second wild card in the East.

Guhle, 21, is a defenseman who was drafted 51st overall by the Sabres in 2015. He has played mostly in the AHL this season, but has appeared in 23 NHL games over the past three seasons.