With the trade deadline approaching, the Vancouver Canucks have acquired defenseman Travis Dermott from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for a third-round pick, according to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun. The pick is reported to be in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft.
Earlier in the day, the Vancouver Canucks traded defenseman Travis Harmonic. This move was set as a precursor for the deal as the Canucks moved on from Hamonic’s $3 million contract. Dermott was selected in the second-round in 2015, going 34th overall. In five seasons with the Maple Leafs, he has tallied 52 points in 251 games played. He is in the final year of his contract with a cap hit of $1.5 million.
Dermott’s name has been in the rumour mill for some time. Late this week, there were talks that the game he suited up for against the Nashville Predators would be his last as a Maple Leaf. Post game, he recalled the moment he was selected on draft day by his hometown team and all the memories he had with the team.
Change of Scenery for Dermott
Before the deal was finalized, The Fourth Period’s David Pagnotta reported that Dermott had requested a trade at the beginning of this season. Once displaying top-four potential as a defenseman, he has had a hard time to try and vault himself further up into the lineup and separate himself from others. With Rasmus Sandin and Timothy Liljegren finding regular minutes and staying in the lineup, it was hard for Dermott to try and crack the roster and find any meaningful minutes. He’s been a healthy scratch many times this season as he’s only played in 43 games.
It was obvious that Dermott needed a change of scenery. By going to the Canucks, he has more of an opportunity to work his way up into the lineup and reach his true potential as a possible top-four option. He’s great in transition and has a little bit of a bite to his game, while also being able to play either the left or right side. He definitely has an opportunity to thrive in a new system where they can use some more mobility.
Maple Leafs Clear Space, Add Pick
Given how the Maple Leafs are so close to the cap, moving on from his contract helps them out, even though it’s just under $2 million. There’s also the addition of Mark Giordano earlier in the day before this deal was made official.
The Maple Leafs didn’t have a third-round pick in 2022 as they gave theirs up in the trade for David Rittich. By bringing in another pick, they have another asset at their disposal, while also continuing to grow their prospect depth. The third-round pick that they received originally belonged to the Winnipeg Jets that was involved in a trade for Nate Schmidt.
In the end, both teams managed to address a need. Dermott is getting the chance to further his career with the Canucks while the Maple Leafs still to add a piece that could be beneficial for their future or part of another deal down the line.
Peter is in his third year with The Hockey Writers, covering the Toronto Maple Leafs and heading the Draft and Prospects section. He has previously interned at The Hockey News and worked on Toronto Marlies broadcasts for Rogers TV. He currently is the co-host of the podcast Sticks in the 6ix and a frequent guest on Maple Leafs Lounge. Aside from hockey, he also enjoys drumming, animation and impressions/ voices.