Canucks, Rangers swap forwards

The Vancouver Canucks, the NHL affiliate of the Manitoba Moose, announced today they have acquired forward Jozef Balej and a conditional draft pick in 2006 from the New York Rangers, NHL affiliate of the Hartford Wolf Pack, in exchange for forward Fedor Fedorov.

The Canucks then assigned Balej to the Manitoba Moose.

Balej, 23, was an AHL All-Star in 2004. Last season, he played in 69 games with Hartford, where he scored 20 goals and added 22 assists for 42 points.

The native of Myjava, Slovakia, has played in 185 career American Hockey League games with Hamilton and Hartford. In that time, he has scored 51 goals and 73 assists for 124 points, and helped the Bulldogs reach the Calder Cup Finals in 2003.

Fedor Fedorov scored a career-best 23 goals for Manitoba in 2003-04.

Balej, originally Montreal’s third-round choice in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, has also played in 17 career games in the NHL with Montreal and the Rangers, scoring a goal and adding four assists for five career NHL points.

Fedorov, 24, spent the 2004-05 season playing in Russia. He has appeared in 116 career AHL games with the Moose, totaling 35 goals and 30 assists. His best season came in 2003-04, when he tallied 23 goals and 16 assists for 39 points in 58 contests.

A native of Moscow, Russia, Fedorov also has 15 games of NHL experience to his credit, registering two assists with Vancouver. He was a third-round draft pick by the Canucks in 2001.