The Toronto Maple Leafs traded Jhonas Enroth to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for a seventh-round draft pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. The trade was announced around 1:00 am on Jan. 11, 2017, and came shortly after the Maple Leafs made a claim to acquire Curtis McElhinney off waivers from the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday.
For the Maple Leafs, Enroth became expendable with the claiming of McElhinney. The team already had Garrett Sparks and Antoine Bibeau manning the ship with the Marlies. The veteran netminder will join the San Diego Gulls, the AHL affiliate for the Ducks. With injuries to both Dustin Tokarski and Matt Hackett, the depth in net for the Ducks was severely lacking – hence the move to acquire Enroth who’s signed to a very team-friendly one-year deal worth $750,000 for the 2016-17 season.
This season has been a trying one for Enroth who signed with the Maple Leafs in late August to provide depth behind newly acquired starter Frederik Andersen. In just six appearances and four starts with the Maple Leafs, Enroth posted a 3.94 goals against average and a .872 save percentage and went 0-3-1. His time with the Toronto Marlies didn’t go much better, recording a 2-1 record with a 3.03 goals against average and a .904 save percentage in three games.
Still, Enroth is a better goalie than his most recent games will show. In all fairness to the 28-year-old, he was given a total of nine appearances between the NHL and AHL to make his mark. Statistically, Enroth is a much better goalie than what he displayed in Toronto this season, and he will get a chance to prove that in Anaheim – whether it be with the Gulls, or the Ducks should that opportunity arise. Prior to joining the Maple Leafs, Enroth did see success in the state of California as a member of the Los Angeles Kings. In 16 games in Los Angeles, Enroth went 7-5-1 with a 2.17 goals against average and a .922 save percentage. There is certainly talent there, and a change of scenery could be exactly what Enroth needs to turn his season around and make a return to the NHL.
Jamie Oleksiak Leaves Stars’ Game Injured
The Dallas stars lost defenseman Jamie Oleksiak to injury in their game against the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday. The former 14th overall draft pick from 2011 has played in 20 games this season with Dallas and has recorded five goals and six points. As Mark Stepneski reported, Stars’ head coach Lindy Ruff said that Oleksiak was expected to miss some time with the injury.
Oleksiak has had a tough time making the transition to the NHL after being drafted in the first round a few years ago. At 6 foot 7 and 260 pounds, he clearly has the size to play in the league, and he’s demonstrated at times that the ability is certainly there. Still, the 24-year-old has had trouble establishing himself as a regular-NHL player at this point in his career. This season, he’s seemed to have found his stride with some timely offensive contributions – though that doesn’t tell the entire tale defensively as he’s failed to be a consistent positive contributor in other aspects of the game.
Still young, Oleksiak has time to finally put it all together. Oleksiak becomes a free agent at the end of the 2016-17 season, and the Stars could look to move in a different direction should the Toronto-native fail to figure things out with the upcoming NHL expansion draft looming over the heads of every NHL franchise. With tough decisions to make at the end of this season, players are fighting for their jobs with NHL clubs to prove that they deserve protection – should a player fail to do so, they may leave their respective general managers’ no choice but to leave them unprotected for the expansion draft. Being selected by the Vegas franchise isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but being uprooted without any say in the matter is certainly something most players would look to avoid.
Odds & Ends
– Calle Jarnkrok became the first Nashville Predators’ player in history to score a short-handed goal in overtime Tuesday night against the Vancouver Canucks. The 25-year-old did so with just 1.5 seconds remaining on the clock in overtime to give his team the 2-1 victory.
– Pavel Datsyuk’s agent confirmed that the Russian forward will be in attendance in Los Angeles at the upcoming NHL All-Star weekend. Datsyuk left the NHL last offseason and returned home to Russia where he currently plays with St. Petersburg SKA of the KHL