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Lightning acquire Mitch Hults from Anaheim Ducks for future considerations

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Good ol’ future considerations is traded once again.

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NHL: Preseason-Los Angeles Kings at Anaheim Ducks Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Lightning announced that they have acquired minor league center Mitch Hults from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for future considerations. The good ‘ole future considerations asset. According to ProSportsTransactions.com, the Lightning have traded future considerations eight times previously and acquired future considerations 18 times. They certainly have plenty more future considerations in their pocket to trade with.

What does it mean? Nobody knows. Julien BriseBois may be obligated to take Ducks general manager Bob Murray to Bern’s Steakhouse when the Ducks come to town just after Thanksgiving. He might have to send them an Edible Arrangements fruit bouquet even. We’re not sure. What we do know, is that the Lightning don’t have to give up anything for him right now.

More seriously, it means that the Ducks may ask for a player, a pick, or cash down the road or nothing at all. When Evgeni Nabokov decided he was ready to retire, the Lightning sent him to the San Jose Sharks for future considerations, i.e. nothing, so that he could retire with the Sharks. The last player the Lightning acquired for future considerations was goaltender Edward Pasquale last January.

Mitch Hults is listed at 6’3” and 218 pounds. A left handed center, the 23 year-old Hults was undrafted. He spent pasts of three seasons in the USHL with the Indiana Ice and Madison Capitols putting up 23 goals and 58 points in 119 games. He then spent two years playing NCAA hockey with Lake Superior State University. He scored nine goals and 20 points in 40 games as a freshman. He followed it up with an impressive sophomore season with 11 goals and 34 points in 36 games earning him a two-year entry level contract with Anaheim.

After completing his collegiate career, Hults played in six games for the San Diego Gulls in the AHL with four points. He followed that up with 10 goals and 24 points in 53 games as a rookie AHLer. He also spent five games in the ECHL with the Utah Grizzlies with two goals and seven points. He has played in two games this year for the Gulls recording a single assist.

It’s interesting that the Lightning have gone out and acquired him. While the Crunch are still dealing with a number of injuries up front, some of those players are expected to be back sooner rather than later. They also just received Cory Conacher back from the Lightning and will have Danick Martel for up to the next four games on a conditioning loan.

It’s hard to see much of an NHL upside for Hults. As a 22 year-old in the AHL, he would need to be producing much better than the sub half-point per game offensive output he had last year. Perhaps the Lightning see him as being a big body that can provide some grit for Syracuse. Maybe eventually he can blossom and turn into a reliable fourth liner in the NHL. That would seem to be his highest possible upside, but even that looks like a hard goal for him to reach.