Just prior to today’s 3pm trade freeze, GM Kyle Dubas arranged a trade that sees the Leafs acquiring C/LW Jared McCann from Pittsburgh. In return the Penguins receive Filip Hallander and a 2023 7th round pick.
Hallander was a former Penguins draft pick, taken in the 2nd round of the 2018 draft and was part of the return the Leafs received in the Kasperi Kapanen trade.
McCann is a former first round pick of the Vancouver Canucks. He was traded to the Florida Panthers in 2016 as part of the return for Erik Gudbranson. He struggled to produce in Florida and spent some time in the AHL during his time as a Panther. He was then traded to the Penguins in 2019. He finally seemed to find his game in Pittsburgh, putting up 35 points in 66 games in 2019-20 and 32 points in 43 games this past season. He appears to be a fit on the 3rd line of the Leafs, used much in the same fashion as Alex Kerfoot was. That means some time at center, some time on the wing. This has led to speculation that Kerfoot is likely the player that will be taken by Seattle in the expansion draft, possibly as a consideration from the Leafs releasing Dave Hakstol so he could sign on as Seattle’s 1st head coach. McCann will have to be either protected or exposed in the draft, he is not exempt. He also has one season remaining in his current contract that pays him $2.94 million and is a RFA after that. So it would seem that Dubas has found a replacement for Kerfoot at a cap savings of $600k or so. Not a bad deal as long as McCann continues to improve.
In other news, the team re-signed goalie prospect Joseph Woll to a 1 year deal today.
There’s still hope for Woll to become an NHLer and with a lack of goalie prospects in the system this looks like a good deal for both team and player.