The Toronto Maple Leafs kicked off their off-season in style with a deal that many have speculated for quite some time.
The Leafs acquired goaltender Frederik Andersen from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for the 30th pick in this year’s NHL Entry Draft as well as a second round pick in next year’s draft. Andersen, 26, played in 43 games going 22-9-7 posting a .919 save percentage and a 2.30 goals against average. In three seasons with the Ducks, Andersen has compiled a 77-26-12 record with a .918 saver percentage and a 2.33 goals against average.
The Leafs were able to sign Andersen right away to a five-year deal.
AAV for Andersen's five-year deal in TOR should be in the low to mid $5M range, that is $5.5M or a little less than that.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 20, 2016
The Leafs needed to address their situation in net as Jonathan Bernier has yet to make a statement to management that he is their go to guy between the pipes. They have addressed it with this deal and now Jonathan Bernier’s time in Toronto may be coming to an end. Now with the possibility of an expansion draft coming up, this puts Bernier on the market. Or they have option trading him between now and the trade deadline. Bernier is 59-68-23 in a Leafs uniform.
The Leafs philosophy of stockpiling draft picks has paid off. They were able to part ways with a few of them as a result of this deal and were able to land a quality goaltender. The Leafs originally received the 30th pick from the Pittsburgh Penguins in their deal with Phil Kessel. The second round pick was originally acquired from the San Jose Sharks when the Leafs traded Roman Polak and Nick Spaling.
Like last year, the Leafs parted ways with their later first round pick. They managed to do the same again to help the rebuilding process.
All in all this is a huge win for the Maple Leafs. They added a quality goaltender that is able to take up a good chunk of the net (six-foot-four, 220 pounds) for next to nothing. Those picks could pan out well for the Ducks, and the Leafs desperately needed help in net. And with Mark Hunter heading the draft team, I’m not worried about his ability to draft with the current picks that we have. In essence, one of the Leafs main needs heading into the off-season was a goaltender. Bernier wasn’t going to cut it and the play of Garret Sparks and Antoine Bibeau in the American Hockey League was questionable.
Leafs general manager Lou Lamoriello stated, “Acquiring him was the most important thing, the price was secondary.”
After today’s events, it’s safe to say that the Leafs aren’t done. Not by a long shot.