A potential trade target for the Anaheim Ducks is officially off the market.
The Maple Leafs have acquired the Penguins' first round selection in the 2020 NHL Draft (15th overall), F Evan Rodrigues, F Filip Hallander and D David Warsofsky in exchange for F Kasperi Kapanen, F Pontus Aberg and D Jesper Lindgren. #LeafsForeverhttps://t.co/WRTQq4chd0— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) August 25, 2020
Toronto gets some much-needed cap relief in the trade, with Kapanen’s AAV set at $3.2 million for the next three seasons, something the Ducks could have taken on with Ryan Kesler expected to be on LTIR again next year.
The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun says Anaheim did have some discussions with Maple Leafs’ general manager Kyle Dubas about Kapanen:
According to sources, the Leafs spoke to the likes of New Jersey, Nashville, Anaheim, Minnesota, Chicago and Carolina about Kapanen ... The Ducks certainly weren’t going to deal away the sixth overall pick and I think that’s what the Leafs would have asked for.
Kapanen finished the 2019-20 season with 13 goals and 23 assists. The 24-year-old had a Corsi For of 52%, but although Toronto controlled the play more often than not with Kapanen on the ice, his -4.0 expected goals +/- leaves something to be desired.
There is no doubt the sixth-overall pick was too much for Kapanen, who looks like his ceiling in the NHL is as a third-liner. But, I do wonder if Murray would have considered moving the No. 6 pick to the Maple Leafs if Toronto owned its own first-rounder, which would have been 13th. The Ducks could have sent the sixth pick to the Leafs in exchange for Kapanen at No. 13.