Today, the Leafs continued their tradition of making trades with teams whose former personnel are now under the employ of MLSE. The Anaheim Ducks have been a favoured trading partner for the Leafs ever since Brian Burke took the reigns as GM back in November of 2008, when he signed François Beauchemin to a multi-year deal, and made several other deals - including sending Beauchemin back to Anaheim - with that same team. The Leafs really seem to like Anaheim prospects.
Peter Holland is the most important piece in this deal for the Leafs, and he is expected to make his first appearance tonight against the Sabres in the second of two back-to-back games for the Leafs. Holland is nearly a point-per-game centre in the AHL, and is hopefully ready to make the jump to the NHL.
Just a few months younger than Nazem Kadri, his offensive outputs at the OHL levels and AHL levels look quite similar, which is promising. The fact that he is 6'2'' probably also appeals to a number of people, Randy Carlyle included. Of note, although Holland's weight is listed as 185 lbs. (which is pretty skinny for that height) player weight is notoriously inaccurate on these kinds of sites. Player weight can change a fair bit even in the span of a season, particularly when the player is young, and to top it off, stats sites often only get a player's draft info. Who knows how strong this kid is?
Hockey's Future had this to say:
Holland has begun to put his game together in the past couple of seasons. Where he was a player who could have been described as having all the tools but no tool box, Holland has evened out his effort and consistency. He is a big player with a soft touch. Although he is more of a shoot-first center, he has the vision and passing skills to be a respectable setup man.
Sounds great, right? The Leafs acquire a young C, full of potential. Here's a video of his 3 goals in the NHL:
Here is some really old footage of him playing with the Guelph Storm of the OHL:
Oh yeah, and Brad Staubitz? He's going straight to the Marlies and staying there until both Colton Orr and Fraser McLaren get hurt, which, given their line of work isn't altogether improbable. His salary of just over $600k means the Leafs can bury him with no cap penalty. No big deal.
So what did the Leafs give up?
Jesse Blacker? Well, he might well turn out to be a serviceable NHL defenceman, but his game might have to change. He's been billed as an offensive defenceman, and so far, he has yet to do much damage at the AHL level. HF says his defensive game is a work in progress, and this more or less aligns with what little I've seen of him. Right now, the Leafs' organization is full of defenders who fit this description well, so it totally makes sense to part with something they've got in spades for something they need right now.
Comparing apples to oranges has never been a problem for me - apples are clearly better - so I don't have much trouble saying that I'd rather have Holland than Blacker. The Leafs need C's and to top it off, he just looks like a better prospect.
The Leafs did give up a 7th round pick (that used to belong to the Ducks, acquired in the David Steckel deal) which doesn't phase me at all. They also gave up a conditional 3rd round pick, which could turn into a 2nd round pick "if certain conditions are met", as per the TSN article linked above. Meh. Seems like a good trade for the Leafs.
It will be interesting to see how long Holland can stick with the Leafs, whether or not he takes the injured Dave Bolland's spot in the lineup, or if he is sent down to the minors upon the return of Nazem Kadri and Tyler Bozak. It will be interesting to see what he does.