Initial rection from hockey writers seems positive as the Toronto Maple Leafs announced today that the hockey club has completed a trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins, acquiring the Penguins’ first round selection in the 2020 NHL Draft (15th overall), forward Evan Rodrigues, forward Filip Hallander and defenceman David Warsofsky in exchange for forward Kasperi Kapanen, forward Pontus Aberg and defenceman Jesper Lindgren.
Observers liked the fact that the Leafs picked up a first round draft pick without giving up a lot of talent. /They had surrendered their first round draft pick in order to dump Patrick Marleau’s salary.
Rodrigues, 27, has registered 72 points (27 goals, 45 assists) 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 a February 24 trade sent him to Pittsburgh, where he posted one goal in seven games with the Penguins. He originally signed with Buffalo as a free agent on April 22, 2015.
Hallander, was a player that the Leafs had apparently been watching closely. The 20-year=old has recorded 35 points (12 goals, 23 assists) in two SHL seasons with Lulea HF (2019-20) and Timra IK (2018-19). Hallander played for Sweden at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship and missed the 2020 tournament due to injury. The Sundsvall, Sweden native was selected by Pittsburgh in the second round (58th overall) of the 2018 NHL Draft. He says he was surprised and delighted to join the Leafs
Warsofsky, 30, collected 33 points (10 goals, 23 assists) with the American Hockey League’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in 2019-20. Since being selected by St. Louis in the fourth round (95th overall) of the 2008 NHL Draft, the Marshfield, Massachusetts native has registered 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.