Did Leafs Get Good Value for Franson, Santorelli?

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As you’ve probably already heard, the Toronto Maple Leafs have traded Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli to the Nashville Predators for a 2015 first round pick, prospect Brendan Leipsic and veteran forward Olli Jokinen.

While the trade deadline is still a couple weeks away, today’s as good a day as any to make the first move in a “scorched earth” rebuild. And while it’d be irresponsible – nay, stupid – to discuss who won or who lost this trade this early, we certainly can discuss whether the Leafs got fair value back for their biggest trade deadline chip and, arguably, their second-biggest trade deadline chip. 

After all, if you’re going to have any success in rebuilding your miserable on-ice product, you better make damn sure you set a good price on your trade pieces, and hold steady until someone is willing to pay it.

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We spoke about what kinds of assets you could get back for Cody Franson at the beginning of February, when the asking price was reportedly a second round pick. In under 14 days, that price rose to a first round pick – Franson must have been garnering quite a bit of interest.

So, did the Leafs get what they asked for? I’d say so. They got pretty much exactly what they wanted.

Let’s break the deal down this way: the Predators gave up a first round pick for Franson, a prospect (Leipsic) for Santorelli, and the Leafs took on Jokinen to help balance the dollars and cents.

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You can’t argue with a first round pick in return for a pending UFA who you had absolutely no way to resign. You’re actually trading from a position of weakness – it’s a good thing the demand for a defenceman was high enough that the Leafs couldn’t get squeezed.

A mid-level prospect for Santorelli, another pending UFA, seems like fair value as well. If the asking price on Santorelli had originally been a second round pick, then getting a talented, already-established-and-doing-pretty-well-so-far prospect is a nice trade off. 

The X-factor is Jokinen, who’s well past his prime and about to become a free agent himself. There’s no harm in the Leafs taking on his salary in the short term, but it doesn’t sound like he’ll be staying in Toronto for very long anyway. Despite him being, well, pretty bad, Jokinen is still an asset. If he can be flipped in the next two weeks for even a late round pick, that’s still a win for the Leafs.

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Of course, with taking on picks and prospects, nothing is a sure thing. Still, picks and prospects are “futures”, and that’s the most important thing the Leafs can be focusing on. Bring in as many futures as you can, and develop them properly – that’s the only way to rebuild a franchise. 

The Leafs did pretty well today. Who knows what other offers they had on the table, or if they could have landed more value closer to the deadline, but they set a price and they got what they wanted. That’s a good deal.

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  • CMpuck

    Yes they got a 1st round pick but it will likely
    be a late first round pick.
    I know the stanley cup winner picks last but I’m not sure how the rest of the order of picks goes
    if Nashville finishes with the most points do they pick second last?

    prospect Brendan Leipsic looks like he is ready to supplement the Marlies roster. The Marlies should be
    the biggest winners resulting from a Leaf teardown in the immediate future.

    But he sounds a little undersized- but time will tell his value to the organization.

    • From Wiki… I think this is unchanged in 2015 Draft.

      Whichever team wins the Stanley Cup is awarded the 30th and last pick, while the runner-up is given the 29th pick. The teams eliminated in the conference finals are awarded the 28th and 27th picks, with the 28th pick going to the team with the better regular season record. Remaining division winners are then sorted by points, then the rest of the field are ranked next, filling in the 26th through 15th picks. In both cases, better records result in later picks.

  • STAN

    Jokinen could be off to Pittsburgh or the Rangers, two teams looking for some forward insurance for the playoffs.

    As for value… I’d say the Leafs did just fine, considering the cap bind in which Nonis placed this team.

    And good for Franson and Santorelli. Both deserve a shot with a contender.


    Great trade, really happy to get a 1st in this draft, and Leipsic looks like a really intriguing prospect – put up a lot of points in junior, and is doing very well in his first year in the AHL (was leading the Admirals in assists). Also plays with a lot of intensity and physicality; hopefully he could turn out to be a Brendan Gallagher type player….

  • Jeremy Ian

    Hey Justin — yes, I’d say, provisionally it’s a good deal. The scouts have their work cut out now that we are picking up parts all over the draft. Whether we draft well determines the value of the deal. But since we were losing both Franson and Santo anyway, it’s a change from inertia of previous years.

    • Jeremy Ian

      “The scouts have their work cut out for them now. HAHAHAHHAHAHAH. The same architects of disaster scouts who have royally screwed this team for a decade, the Watts, the Penneys, the Morrisons will be feeding Mark Hunter their zero knowledge of scouting in the up coming draft. Do you work for the leafs front office. Just asking.

      • If people are right that this draft is as deep as 2003, it looks a lot more hopeful. Below pick 15 we find: (17) Zach Parise (!), (19) Ryan Gezlaf, (20) Brent Burns, (23) Kesler, (24) Mike Richards, (28) Corey Perry. Funny thing: Toronto didn’t have a first round pick this year…

        Info from: http://www.nhl.com/ice/draftsearch.htm?year=2003&team=&position=&round=.

        But that was a crazy draft, so I’m inclined to think this will not be as deep. Suppose it’s more like the 2005 draft, which was deep, but much less than 2003. Then it is less hopful, but we still have: (21) Tukka Rask, (24) TJ Oshie, (25) Cogliano, (29) Steve Downie (but James Neal went at 33!).

        So there is a chance of this being a franchise player if the Leafs draft well; but I would say chances are you will get an average 2nd-line forward.

        • Jeremy Ian

          “The scouts have their work cut out for them now. HAHAHAHHAHAHAH. The same architects of disaster scouts who have royally screwed this team for a decade, the Watts, the Penneys, the Morrisons will be feeding Mark Hunter their zero knowledge of scouting in the up coming draft. Do you work for the leafs front office. Just asking.

        • Jeremy Ian

          Juan you seem to be one of the few people in here who hasn'[t flunked his i.q. test. As you pointed out some drafts have indeed gone deep into the second round or at least late in the first round. Case in point was the leafs drafting Rask who was the M.V.P. of the World Junior tournament in Vancouver.

          The insane, inane, intellectually challenged morons who have run the leafs into the freaking ground never gave this future star one stinking start in a regular season after drafting him 21st. People grab a brain you really, really wonder why the leafs are the laughing joke of the N.H.L.

  • Jeremy Ian

    Of course to take advantage of the draft pick is that you have to draft right and I think that is where guys like Hunter and Dubas come in, they are from hockey factories, I just hope they can mine a real gem at that spot.

  • Jeremy Ian

    Trade half the team for draft picks. 😉

    Then go to talk to Jagr, Fetisov, Forsberg, etc. to work out a deal to keep an eye out for some up and coming sound youngsters.

    Seems to have worked for Boston…probably because they have Kreji and Chara.