It’s now been two years and a month since the Toronto Maple Leafs traded Phil Kessel to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Toronto Maple Leafs traded Phil Kessel, Tyler Biggs, Tim Erixon, and a second round pick who turned out to be Kasper Bjorkqvist. In return, they got Kasperi Kapanen, Scott Harrington, Nick Spaling, a first round pick, and a third round pick.
The Leafs then traded most of these pieces. They were left with Kerby Rychel, Kasperi Kapanen, Raffi Torres, Frederik Andersen, a 2018 second round pick, and a 2016 third round pick who turned out to be J.D. Greenway.
Let’s see what pieces the Leafs got out of this trade.
Kerby Rychel is a great prospect who is a major player on the Toronto Marlies. He had the most points on the Marlies, with 52 points in 73 games. Admittedly, a lot of the star players on the Marlies such as Leipsic were injured, but this gave a chance for Rychel to prove his worth. Rychel is an expendable piece who can be packaged for a right handed defensemen.
Kasperi Kapanen is one of the top prospects of the Leafs right now, and had an amazing opportunity to prove his worth in the late season with the Leafs. He scored when the Leafs really need it, such as his first NHL goal in the playoff clincher versus the Pittsburgh Penguins. With five minutes left and the Leafs down 3-2, Kapanen scored which could have been the difference between making the playoffs or not. And even more, when Kapanen scored the double-ot winner against the Washington Capitals. Kapanen is an amazing prospect and could really turn out to be a core piece on the Leafs in the future.
Frederik Andersen was the answer to the Leafs’ goaltending problem. When the Leafs traded Reimer and Bernier, the Leafs needed a reliable netminder who was more consistent than Reimer or Bernier. The Leafs acquired him from the Anaheim Ducks for the 30th overall pick from Pittsburgh and a second round pick. Andersen was a great solution for the Leafs and was reliable when the Leafs needed him most. Not a star goalie, but he’s an above average goalie who will do the job.
So was it worth it?
These are the core pieces that the Leafs acquired. Other than that, Raffi Torres was acquired, who is not likened in the NHL. As a result, the Leafs got rid of him. J.D. Greenway was also acquired. He was added to the US Roster for the cheap jerseys authentic World Juniors Showcase recently. Greenway is an overlooked prospect.
But most importantly, by trading Kessel, the Toronto Maple Leafs dropped to the bottom of the standings, getting them Matthews. The trade isn’t worth it at all if you don’t consider Matthews, but once you do, it’s a great trade.