Panthers acquire Grabner; Oreskovich to VAN

The Vancouver Canucks, parent club of the AHL’s Manitoba Moose, acquired defenseman Keith Ballard and forward Victor Oreskovich from the Florida Panthers, parent club of the Rochester Americans, on Friday in exchange for forwards Steve Bernier and Michael Grabner.

As part of the deal, the Panthers also received Vancouver’s 25th overall selection in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

Oreskovich, 23, played 50 games in his rookie season with the Panthers in 2009-10, recording six points (2-4-6) and 26 penalty minutes, and he contributed 15 points (6-9-15) in 34 regular-season AHL games for Rochester before appearing in six Calder Cup Playoff contests.

The Whitby, ON native was originally selected 55th overall in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.

Ballard, 27, finished second among Panthers defensemen in scoring, recording eight goals, 20 assists (8-20-28) and 88 penalty minutes in 82 games with the Panthers in 2009-10.

An AHL All-Star in 2005, Ballard made his NHL debut in 2005-06 with the Phoenix Coyotes where he collected 39 points (8-31-39) in his rookie season. In 397 NHL games with the Phoenix Coyotes and Florida Panthers he has collected 149 points (33-116-149) and 403 penalty minutes.

Drafted 14th overall by Vancouver in 2006, Grabner split last season between the AHL and NHL, recording 26 points (15-11-26) in 38 games for the Moose and 11 points (5-6-11) in 20 games for the Canucks.

The 22-year-old native of Villach, Austria, tallied a career-best 30 goals and 48 points for Manitoba in 2008-09 and added 17 more points (10-7-17) in 20 playoff tilts as the Moose reached the Calder Cup Finals.

Bernier, 25, contributed 11 goals and 22 points in 59 regular-season games for Vancouver last season, his third full campaign in the NHL. The Quebec native, who was drafted 16th overall by San Jose in 2003, also shows 50 points (23-27-50) in 59 career AHL outings for Cleveland and Worcester.