The Toronto Maple Leafs have acquired Ryan O’Reilly from the St. Louis Blues, along with Noel Acciari, in exchange for their first round pick in 2023, second round pick in 2024, third round pick in 2023 (Ottawa’s), prospect Mikhail Abramov, and free agent signee Adam Gaudette. The Minnesota Wild also receive the Leafs fourth round pick in 2025 for retaining salary on O’Reilly.
We have acquired Ryan O’Reilly & Noel Acciari in a three-team trade with St. Louis & Minnesota.— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) February 18, 2023
STL receives Mikhail Abramov & Adam Gaudette, TOR's 1st round pick in '23, OTT's 3rd round pick in '23 & TOR's 2nd round pick in '24. MIN receives TOR's 4th round pick in '25. pic.twitter.com/QAOUZvUZfH
As expected, the Leafs will get O’Reilly at $1.875 million against the cap. He originally had a $7.5 million cap hit. Noel Acciari makes $1.25 million against the cap.
St. Louis will retain 50% and Minnesota will retain 25% of O’Reilly’s salary as part of the trade.— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) February 18, 2023
The Leafs also got a guy from Minnesota, actually he’s an overager from Saskatoon.
We also receive Josh Pillar from the Minnesota Wild as part of the transaction— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) February 18, 2023
Here are some charts. Dom knows what consistency and ability gets you, Micah sees the two-way value, and JFresh is using some microstats to separate production from play.
Ryan O'Reilly has not been at his best this season, but he has a lengthy history of being one of the game's best two-way centers. pic.twitter.com/Q44rdiGWvX— dom ️ (@domluszczyszyn) February 18, 2023
Ryan O'Reilly (traded to Toronto) is a strong creator of offence, useful in front of goal, helps defensively. Very strong all-round. pic.twitter.com/tYLNcT1sTJ— Micah Blake McCurdy (@IneffectiveMath) February 18, 2023
Ryan O'Reilly, acquired by TOR, is a top six two-way playmaking centre who typically has a very strong defensive impact. His production is down this year but he's still creating chances at a high rate. Big statement for the Leafs. #LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/hsQU5qzmGK— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) February 18, 2023
This move is interesting, because Ryan O’Reilly has a reputation as an immensely good two-way forward, who won the Selke, Conn Smythe, and Stanley Cup four years ago. But his results in the last couple hasn’t quite been to the same level, namely this year.
If you dig into the numbers, specifically his deployment and on-ice results, the Blues have been using ROR in the defensive zone significantly more than when they were winning. This is a result of the team bringing in young scoring talent that needs to be sheltered more than O’Reilly’s line could normally take. That, along with an .874 save percentage at 5v5 from Binnington and Griess, and O’Reilly’s been fighting uphill all season just to play to evens.
In a season when O’Reilly is last on his team in offensive zone starts (and bottom 8% in the league), he’s third on his team in expected goals share.
As for Noel Acciari, he’s been a third liner for the Blues, playing both centre and right wing. He and O’Reilly have 53% and 54% faceoff percentages, respectively.
My bold prediction for the Leafs lineup is putting ROR either at centre or on the wing next to Matthews or Tavares, with Acciari on the fourth line either at centre or on the wing opposite ZAR and maybe Pontus Holmberg.
At the present moment, the Leafs have 23 players on their roster with Matt Murray on IR, Wayne Simmonds, Conor Timmins, and Jordie Benn as extras. With ROR and Acciari set to join the Leafs on Saturday in Montreal, they will need to make roster space for the two. Any two can leave the roster, with Simmonds and Holmberg the easiest of the lot to get sent down. As far as I know, Joey Anderson would need waivers to be sent down at this point.
As I understand it, Acciari/O’Reilly are scheduled to arrive for tomorrow’s game vs MON— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) February 18, 2023