FanPost

Updated: Analyzing the Kessel Trade

Hey guys, my second fan post. Since we haven't looked at the Kessel trade at all on this site, I thought I'd have a look. As you all know, Brian Burke traded Phil Kessel for Toronto's 2010 1st, 2010 2nd, and 2011 1st round pick. Since the 2010 draft is over, this is what we know:

Toronto finished in 29th place, so they drafted 2nd. Drafting second allowed Boston to choose Tyler Seguin in the 1st, and Jared Knight with the 32nd pick. The only unknown left in the trade is the 2011 first, which is 9th overall.

Here is the current Kessel trade breakdown. Who's gotten what production?

In 2009/2010:
Jared Knight: 0GP, 0G, 0A, 0P
Tyler Seguin: 0GP, 0G, 0A, 0P
Unknown player: 0GP, 0G, 0A, 0P
Phil Kessel: 70GP, 30G, 25A, 55P

So far in 2010/2011:
Jared Knight: 0GP, 0G, 0A, 0P
Tyler Seguin: 74GP, 11G, 11A, 22P
Unknown player: 0GP, 0G, 0A, 0P
Phil Kessel: 82GP, 32G, 32A, 64P

Current breakdown:

Boston has had 74 Games played, 11 Goals, 11 Assists, for a total of 22 Points from the package received in exchange for Kessel. On the other hand, Toronto has had 152 Games played, 62 Goals, and 57 assists for a total of 119 points from Phil Kessel. Toronto is currently winning the trade.

Let's take it a step further though.
It is obvious that Tyler Seguin hasn't reached his ceiling yet. Kessel has arguably not reached his ceiling either, however, despite putting up similar numbers for the last few seasons. Seguin is playing on a much stronger team that Kessel, so has the advantage of strong linemates, but the disadvantage of less ice time.
One way we can look at the value of players is to compare Kessel and Seguin's first years in the NHL. Both played for Boston, and both spent time with Marc Savard.

Seguin's rookie year
74GP, 11G, 11A, 22P

Kessel's rookie year (completed)
70GP, 11G, 18A = 29Pts

So what can we learn from this? Despite the abundance of articles exclaiming how Toronto has mortgaged the future for a streaky winger, we still got a very good player. Despite Kessel being Mr.Irrelevant in the All-Star game, he's tied for 14th for Goals Scored (with Alex Ovechkin, Rick Nash,and Sidney Crosby... 3 #1 Overall Picks), and has had two lengthly cold streaks. Seguin will likely also become a great player, but is neither outperforming Kessel to date, or will he really outperform Kessel's rookie season with his own.

The real deal-breaker is the unknown player that Boston will be drafting in 2011. If Toronto can improve closer to the playoff bubble, the deal won't be as bad as everyone has been making out. However if Toronto stays in 12th in the east, we may be in trouble. The future of Jared Knight also plays a role.

For now though, just remember: we got an extra year of 70GP, 30G, 25A, 55P, and Kessel's point production is triple Seguin's this year. I understand that we're sacrificing a lot of cap space to Kessel, but we're currently sitting with lots of room below the cap ceiling... we clearly don't need the space.

PensionPlanPuppets.com is a fan community that allows members to post their own thoughts and opinions on the Toronto Maple Leafs and hockey in general. These views and thoughts may not be shared by the editor of PensionPlanPuppets.com.

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