Hearing Rasmus Sandin to WASH— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) February 28, 2023
Sandin TO WASH for Erik Gustafsson and a first-rounder (Boston's)— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) February 28, 2023
We’ve acquired defenceman Erik Gustafsson & Boston’s first round selection in the 2023 NHL Draft from the Washington Capitals in exchange for defenceman Rasmus Sandin— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) February 28, 2023
Erik Gustafsson is a 30 year old left shot defender with a cap hit of $800,000 which expires this summer. This is his first and only season with the Capitals, he was formerly with Chicago, then Calgary, Philadelphia and Montréal before trying Chicago again.
He has 38 points in 61 games this season, and has been their fourth-most used defender, third with John Carson out. He has played significant top-pair minutes but was on the third pair before the injuries hit the team. His coach doesn’t trust him with much defence-heavy usage or when the lead needs to be held.
We should expect him to play a depth role.
This pair of moves removes only $600,000 from the Maple Leafs LTIR pool usage, and keeps them at 49 SPCs and 23 on the current roster. This does not solve the question of how to activate Matt Murray.
The first-round pick is the Boston pick the Capitals received in the Orlov trade. It’s clearly the Leafs’ job to make that pick as high up the draft order as they can.