Earlier today, the Maple Leafs announced that they traded winger Mason Marchment to Florida, receiving centre Denis Malgin in return.
Marchment, 24, had played a handful of games on the Leafs this season, not making a particularly strong impression. However, he was a strong AHL player on an otherwise mediocre Marlies team. Our own Hardev Lad wrote about him recently.
Malgin, 23, is a very different player to Marchment. For one, he’s about seven inches shorter. Marchment primarily differentiated himself among the Leafs prospects by being a potential option that added physicality and size to a Leafs forward lineup that doesn’t have a whole lot of either. Malgin goes the other way entirely, and much of the talk about this trade will be about Kyle Dubas going to his comfort blanket of a small forward with skill.
Malgin is listed as a centre, and on a Leafs team where Sheldon Keefe doesn’t appear to trust Alex Kerfoot in that role, he might prove useful and play higher than one would initially think. That said, he’s also played as a winger in his NHL career, and with his size and lack of faceoff skill, that’s probably where the smart money is on the Leafs too. Malgin’s NHL track record certainly supersedes Marchment’s and he’s actually younger than the former Leaf by nearly two full years. The Swiss has played 184 NHL games in his career thus far, collecting 60 points in that time, nearly evenly split between goals and assists (28 goals, 32 assists). You can see his entire NHL and pre-NHL track record below. Notably, he was the teammate of one Auston Matthews in Zurich, where Matthews played for a year prior to his getting drafted.
Turning our attention to Malgin’s play driving ability, Micah McCurdy’s Isolated Threat views him as a strong shot suppressor with shooting talent, which certainly looks nice from a high level.
That said, it’s worth noting that Malgin has done this in 3rd/4th line minutes, with the competition (and teammates) those minutes typically entail. It suggests he’s been successful in that role, but without further knowledge, I’m not incredibly confident of him being any more than that.
RAPM views him similarly, as a slightly below average offensive player who has some shot suppression ability. His power play impacts are pretty meh, but that’s not going to be a major role of his in Toronto anyways.
This isn’t an incredibly significant move, but it seems like the Leafs swapped a fringe NHLer for a depth NHLer. Both Marchment and Malgin are expiring RFAs making near the same amount of money this season. Malgin has arbitration rights this summer.
Let us know your thoughts on the deal!