THE FIRST two pieces of St Kilda's trade puzzle are in place.
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The Saints have landed Port Adelaide pair Dougal Howard, Paddy Ryder, pick 10 and a future fourth-round selection in exchange for selections 12 and 18 and a future third-round pick.
The clubs were originally engaged in talks about a three-way deal that would result in star Fremantle wingman Bradley Hill crossing to St Kilda.
However, the Dockers and Saints are still haggling over the finer details of that swap – although pick 10 will form the basis of it – and that will now be a separate trade.
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Howard's agent, David Trotter, of Hemisphere Management Group, confirmed his client had penned a five-year contract with St Kilda.
"It's great that we got the deal done. Port and St Kilda were both really good throughout the whole process," Trotter told AFL.com.au.
"'Dougs' loved his time at Port. The move to the Saints, who see him as a genuine key defender and are bringing him in in that role, really excites him with the young list.
"He's got a couple of good mates there in Jack Steele and Logan Austin who he's excited to be joining, and he's looking forward to hopefully, some more players coming in over the next 24 hours and building from there."
AFL.com.au reported last week that Howard had nominated St Kilda over North Melbourne and Essendon but the complication from that point was how the deal was going to be done.
The Power instantly said they wanted a first-round pick in return, with the Saints' decision to part with selections six and 59 for the Giants' 12 and 18 paving the way for the eventual deal.
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Howard made his name at Port as a key defender and expert spoiler but fell behind co-captain Tom Jonas and Tom Clurey this year and was sent into attack.
The 23-year-old kicked multiple goals four times but was dropped after round 19 and spent the final month of the season in the SANFL.
Power officials then informed Howard, who was contracted at Alberton until 2022, in his post-season exit meeting that his future at the club was as a forward.
St Kilda list manager James Gallagher told Telstra AFL Trade Radio that despite being contracted to the Power, Howard's name was one that he'd kept an eye on this season.
"He played a terrific game as a forward against us in China (this year), and when he was left out of the side a few times late in the year, it seemed as though he'd fallen down the pecking order at Port with their key defenders," he said.
"It was one that came up later in the peace (of the Trade Period) but was one that we had on the radar for a little while.
"We're really conscience at our footy club that we need to stiffen up and improve areas like our leadership, and bringing in someone of Dougal's character, we're ecstatic."
Ryder chose St Kilda over his old club Essendon after Port Adelaide was willing to offer him just a one-year deal.
Former Eagle Scott Lycett and emerging big man Peter Ladhams will lead the Power's ruck division in 2020, while Ryder will partner impressive young Saint Rowan Marshall.
St Kilda is also hoping to acquire Sydney's Zak Jones and Tiger Dan Butler, as well as Howard, Ryder and Hill, by Wednesday's trade deadline.