The Maple Leafs have traded Kasperi Kapanen, Pontus Aberg, and prospect Jesper Lindgren to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Evan Rodrigues, Filip Hallander, David Warsofsky and a first-round pick (15th overall) in the 2020 NHL Draft.
At 11:20 this morning Elliotte Friedman from Sportsnet tweeted that Kapanen was being traded to Pittsburgh.
He then followed that up with another tweet at 11:45, announcing that Maple Leafs prospect Jesper Lindgren was also involved in the deal.
Then finally at 11:57, the full trade was revealed by Rob Rossi from The Athletic.
The Maple Leafs Get
Rodrigues is 27 years old and has registered 27 goals and 45 assists for 72 points in 199 career NHL games with Pittsburgh and the Buffalo Sabres. The Toronto native recorded nine points in 38 games with Buffalo last season before he got traded to the Penguins on February 24th. He posted one goal in seven games with the Penguins. He originally signed with Buffalo as a free agent on April 22, 2015.
Hallander is 20 years old and has recorded 12 goals and 23 assists for 35 points in two SHL seasons. First with Lulea HF (2019-20) and then Timra IK (2018-19). The Sundsvall, Sweden native was selected by Pittsburgh in the second round (58th overall) of the 2018 NHL Draft.
Warsofsky is 30 years old and has recorded 10 goals and 23 assists for 33 points this season in the American Hockey League with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Since being selected by the St. Louis Blues in the fourth round (95th overall) of the 2008 NHL Draft, he has 11 points in 55 career NHL games and 233 points in 454 career AHL games. He was named to the AHL Second All-Star Team with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in 2016-17.
First Round Pick (15th Overall)
The Maple Leafs go from having no first-round pick to having one in the top 15 selections. This should allow the Maple Leafs to draft a decent prospect for the future. They might try to select a player like Braden Schneider, who is 6’2 and 209Lbs. He is also a right-shooting defenseman, something the Maple Leafs do not have much of in their system.
Final Thoughts on Kapanen Trade
Kasperi Kapanen is a good player. He is fast and started to add a bit of grit to his game, but the Maple Leafs needed to create cap space. The fact that the Maple Leafs also receive a first-round pick plus Hallander in this deal makes it a steal for general manager Kyle Dubas.