Trading fan-favorite Bobby Ryan for a young Swedish player from the Ottawa Senators didn't appear to be a move that would strengthen the Ducks.
But Jakob Silfverberg, 22, has four goals through the team's first four games, and his two-goal performance Thursday in the Ducks' 6-0 home-opener rout of the New York Rangers at Honda Center is changing the perception of a deal that looked like a pure salary dump.
Silfverberg is around the net and shoots hard, as he showed in the first period by taking a pass crossed to him by Ducks legend Teemu Selanne and blasting a close-range shot past the New York Rangers' Vezina Trophy finalist Henrik Lundqvist.
“I've been fortunate to play with two great players, Mathieu [Perreault] and Teemu. They're so good at one-on-one battles, it's a matter of me finding open spots, and they're so good at finding me. I just try to shoot it,” Silfverberg said.
Silfverberg struck again on a rush that brought Lundqvist out of the net. A Selanne shot hit the post to Lundqvist's left position, and careened out to Silfverberg on the opposite side as he slapped in a shot that gave the Ducks (3-1) a 4-0 lead just 1:27 into the second period.
“You always want to score goals,” Silfverberg said. “I've been lucky so far. It's a matter of just shooting the puck.”
The only other Ducks in the team's 20 years to score four times in the first four games are Selanne (1996) and Daniel Winnik (last season).
Good exchange so far given Ryan's $5.5-million salary versus Silfverberg's $900,000. Ryan had four 30-goal seasons for the Ducks.
Selanne, retiring after this season, was greeted by an extended roaring ovation from the sold-out crowd of 17,179.
Winnik scored as the Ducks produced a dominant opening period, outshooting the Rangers, 17-3, to lead 3-0.
“I had a good seat for an exciting game,” Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller said en route to stopping 34 shots for his 17th career shutout.
Ducks defensemen Sami Vatanen and Bryan Allen each matched a team record plus-five goal differential while on the ice.
The Rangers (1-3) are opening the season on a nine-game trip before returning to Madison Square Garden on Oct. 28. The building is undergoing a final phase of renovation.
They lost at San Jose on Tuesday, 9-2, lost star wing Rick Nash to a head injury, and were subjected to the deafening sounds of six goal horns in the first 40 minutes.
Saku Koivu scored on a Winnik assist and Dustin Penner followed a sharp pass from Corey Perry by scoring on Lundqvist. Perry also assisted captain Ryan Getzlaf on the game's first goal.
The only negative was injuries.
Perreault left the game with an upper body injury. Penner and Ducks center Nick Bonino left in the third with lower body injuries. The Ducks played without right wing Kyle Palmieri (head) and left wing Matt Beleskey (broken left thumb).