The NHL’s trade deadline came and went. Some teams made some excellent moves that will help bolster their playoff chances. Others made some trades that saw them load up on draft picks and prospects for the future.
The Maple Leafs were a team that fell into the latter category. This being a rebuilding year, they decided to sell off their assets and worked to acquire as many picks and prospects as they could for the future. For the 2016 draft alone, they currently hold 12 selections through the seven rounds.
They were also able to acquire some solid prospects as part of deals. Tobias Lindberg is a talented forward and was part of the deal that sent Dion Phaneuf to Ottawa. Connor Carrick is a tenacious defenseman who came over to Toronto with Brooks Laich. He’s gotten into a few games with the Maple Leafs and has looked solid. Let’s take a look at how the former Maple Leafs are doing on their new teams.
Shawn Matthias, Colorado Avalanche
Matthias has been a solid contributor for the Avalanche as they make a push for the playoffs. He has put up three goals and an assist for four points in seven games. Matthias is a big body and has also contributed a physical presence when he plays. Playing with Carl Soderberg has definitely helped to ignite some of the offence that Matthias is capable of providing.
No. 18 scoring for No. 18?https://t.co/5QU1vkdqX6
— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) March 8, 2016
Roman Polak, San Jose Sharks
Polak isn’t a flashy name. Maple Leaf fans knew that he was more of a steady and stay at home type of defenseman as opposed to a point producer. He’s been paired with Brendan Dillion on the third pairing and has assumed more of a shutdown role for the club.
Polak was recently in the news for a different reason, however. He was jumped by Oilers rookie Darnell Nurse, who was trying to exact some form of revenge after Polak hit Oilers forward, Matt Hendricks, into the boards. Polak was bloodied but, he would be okay.
James Reimer, San Jose Sharks
Many Leaf fans were sad to see Reimer go. He gave his all for the franchise and was always seen as a fierce and competitive player who always had a positive attitude in the dressing room.
— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) March 9, 2016
Now with the San Jose Sharks, Reimer is making the adjustment from a losing team to one that is in playoff contention with legitimate aspirations to reach the conference finals and beyond. He recently posted a 3-0 shutout over the Edmont0n Oilers and appears much more confident in net.
Dion Phaneuf, Ottawa Senators
The biggest name traded in the massive deal with Ottawa, Dion Phaneuf, has made the transition to Senators defenseman. It was a good move for the former captain, as he enters a Senators team that is run by Erik Karlsson. This means that he will no longer have to shoulder the burden of leadership all on his own.
He has seven points in the 15 games he’s played for Ottawa and head coach, Dave Cameron, has said only positive things about the former Leaf defender.
Daniel Winnik, Washington Capitals
Winnik was sent to the first place Washington Capitals, a team that has a legitimate shot at winning the Stanley Cup in the coming months.
Small sample size, but what a difference Daniel Winnik makes on the 4th line. #CapitalsTalk
— JJ Regan (@JJReganNBCS) March 5, 2016
Winnik was never the type of player to score a ton of goals or points, rather he plays hard and tough in all zones on the ice. He’s great on the forecheck and has taken penalty killing pressure off Justin Williams, T.J. Oshie and Niklas Backstrom. He makes a Capitals team even deeper. He is signed for another year which provides the Caps with a bit of stability.