Maple Leafs acquire defenceman Jake Muzzin from Los Angeles

29 Janvier, 2019, 06:04 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
  • Jake Muzzin

Toronto has acquired defenceman Jake Muzzin from Los Angeles in exchange for forward Carl Grundstrom, the rights to Sean Durzi and Toronto's first-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. On top of that, Dubas managed to land Muzzin, considered one of the top prizes in the league's annual trading frenzy, one month before the February 25 trade deadline.

The deal is an important one for the Maple Leafs in more ways than one.

The coach, who obviously really liked Muzzin, continued. This will provide a veteran influence for Dermott, who is considered a talent on the rise, and bump Igor Ozhiganov to the press box. With winger Tyler Ennis on injured reserve nursing a broken ankle, the Leafs can carry all three of their defencemen now, but once Ennis is back, they will have to either send Ozhiganov to the American Hockey League's Toronto Marlies or waive one of either Marincin or Holl.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have added some championship experience to their blue line.

Nothing is guaranteed in the package the Leafs moved, but the Kings saw others behind the big names on Toronto's depth chart that made them feel good about jumping at an early offer.

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Muzzin's arrival could allow Babcock to play Hainsey a bit less - he's still the Leafs' main penalty killer, even at age 37, but has struggled in 5-on-5 play.

In 50 games this season, the Woodstock, Ont., native has scored four goals and added 17 assists and was a plus-10 on a last-place Kings team that has the worst goal differential in the league.

But also importantly, Muzzin remains under contract for a reasonable $4 million next season, and is insurance on the left side of the ice if Jake Gardiner leaves the team as an unrestricted free agent in the summer.

"I think the consternation regarding our prospect pool is just a little bit ill-informed", Leafs GM Kyle Dubas told the media just before the all-star break. Aside from Ozhiganov, the Leafs have highly regarded youngsters such as Timothy Liljegren, Rasmus Sandin and Calle Rosen moving up quickly.

No disrespect to Grundstrom and Durzi, but the Leafs don't lose a lot here. Grundstrom, 21, was a second-round selection in 2016 and has 13 goals and 29 points in 42 games with the AHL's Toronto Marlies this season. But there are no guarantees on either and the price for Muzzin was reasonable since the Leafs obviously believe the future is now when it comes to the Stanley Cup.

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