The Toronto Maple Leafs dealt winger Kadperi Kapanen to the Penguins on Tuesday. After yet ANOTHER embarrassing and early exit in the playoffs by the Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas felt it was time to make a couple of changes to the roster. The Leafs sent Kapanen, defensemen Jesper Lindgren, and forward Pontus Aberg to Pittsburgh in exchange for the 15th pick in this years draft, forward Evan Rodrigues, forward Filip Hallander, and defensemen David Warsofsky. A six man trade and a first round pick is a doozy of a trade anytime of the year, but during the playoffs? Whoa mama that’s a big one. So how does this look for both teams?
Pittsburgh originally drafted Kapanen with their first round pick in 2014, but they ended up trading him to Toronto in the deal that brought hot dog Phil Kessel to the Penguins. Besides the fact that the Penguins won’t have a first round draft pick in a year where they are picking higher than they normally do, this is a great trade for them. The Penguins have a couple of solid players you might have heard of, Sidney Crosby for instance. You’ve heard of him. Well Crosby and Malkin aren’t getting any younger and Kapanen injects some youth into the lineup. Mike Sullivan, Penguins head coach believes that Kapanen will help fill out and solidify their top 6 forwards. Kapanen did play with some superstars in Toronto and still failed to put up big numbers, but his play could improve in Pittsburgh. It does help that players seem to do better once they’ve left Toronto, just look at Nazem Kadri with the Avalanche.
This trade brings young talent in Kapanen to Pittsburgh, talent the organization is already familiar with. Sure Pittsburgh won’t have a first round pick this year but it’s extremely unlikely that a forward they pick at 15 in the draft will contribute to the lineup as quickly as Kapanen will. Pittsburgh is in a must win now mentality. That’s pretty obvious since they’ve traded away all their first