Leafs Upgrade the Blue Line

The Toronto Maple Leafs have acquired Jake Muzzin, a defenseman from the LA Kings, in exchange for Carl Grundstrom, Sean Durzi‘s rights, and a 2019 1st round draft pick.

Jake Muzzin

Muzzin, who won the Stanley Cup with the Kings in 2014, has played in 50 games this season with 4 goals, 17 assists, and a +10 while averaging 21:32 minutes of ice time a game.

Muzzin’s skill is going to boost this team’s defense tremendously. He’s a veteran (on his 8th season) that can help lead this young team into a long playoff run. It’s been announced that Muzzin will play alongside Morgan Rilley, another vet and (arguably) the unofficial captain. Muzzin usually plays the left side and does Reilly as well so Muzzin will be switching over to the right as his partner.

The Leafs get Muzzin for a steal as well because, according to Cap Friendly, they only have to pay $1,483,871 of his $4,000,000 AAV. Leaving the Leafs with $4,048,925 in projected cap space to keep a number of good players. This means that there is definitely going to be another big move on the horizon, be it before the trade deadline or after the season’s end.

A big name floating around in all this trade speculation is Jake Gardiner. Leaf’s GM Kyle Dubas talked about what might be happening with Gardiner and gave no indication on anything certain. Gardiner has a cap hit of $4.05 million and will be a UFA come July. This is causing the idea that this could be Gardiner’s last go around with the Toronto Maple Leafs, especially if they’ve just added a new key player into the fold.

Carl Grundstrom

Carl Grundstrom, a 21-year-old forward, is being sent to LA for Muzzin. Grundstrom has been playing for the AHL’s Toronto Marlies. In the 42 games he’s played, Grundstrom has 13 goals and 16 assists with a +8 rating. Grundstrom is a strong forward that is smart especially when it comes to hits, but on the Leaf’s line up there’s no room. LA can be good for him if he’s able to grow and play in the NHL.

Sean Durzi

Durzi is a 20-year-old defenseman playing in the OHL with the Guelph Storm. He’s played in 8 games with 5 goals and 6 assists. 

Overall, this trade was a steal. The Leafs get the defense they need in exchange that won’t cost them an arm and a leg. Moving forward, Toronto is going to get a little more deadly and a bigger threat in the run for the Cup.

Featured Image: NHL

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