Joe Colborne is going home.
The six-foot-five Calgary, Alberta native has been traded from the Toronto Maple Leafs to the Calgary Flames for a 4th round pick in 2014. A former 1st rounder, Colborne couldn’t quite nail down a roster spot during the Leafs’ preseason.
At first glance, it’s a head scratcher. Colborne was one of the key pieces in the Toronto-Boston trade that sent Tomas Kaberle to the Bruins, and put up some solid numbers in the AHL, while looking a little out of place in the NHL. Regardless, to give up on a young center with size and offensive upside, on a $600K, one year contract no less, is nothing short of confusing.
In 211 AHL games split between Providence and Toronto, Colborne scored 50 goals and 125 points. In 16 NHL games, only one goal and five assists. Still, Colborne ranked #2 on The Leafs Nation’s Top Twenty Leafs Prospects feature that ran earlier this month.
No matter which way you look at it, this is a big win for Calgary. It’s entirely possible Colborne could top out as a middling professional hockey player, but the likelihood of him being worse than who would have been Calgary’s 4th round pick in 2014 is slim.
The Leafs get a mid-round pick and a little bit of cap relief.
The Flames move futures for a still young, NHL-ready player. Welcome to Brian Burke’s accelerated rebuild, Calgary.
The pick is a conditional 4th rounder…
#Flames traded conditional 4th-rounder for Colborne. It becomes a 3rd-rounder if he gets 10 G or 35 P this season and Flames make playoffs.
— Wes Gilbertson (@SUNGilbertson) September 29, 2013