Leafs Trade McKegg to Florida for Hyman, Conditional Draft Pick

Alright, hands up if you had Greg McKegg as the first trade domino to fall this off-season!  No one?

No but seriously, the Leafs have made their first trade of the summer, and I can pretty much guarantee it won’t be their last.  Today the team announced they have traded prospect Greg McKegg to the Florida Panthers in exchange for prospect Zach Hyman and a conditional 2017 7th-round pick.

Hyman is a 23-year-old center coming out of the University of Michigan and was drafted in the 5th round by the Florida Panthers in the 2010 draft.  He had just 35 points through his first 114 games there, but exploded for 54 points in 37 games for the Wolverines as a senior this past season.

McKegg, also 23, was drafted in the 3rd round by Toronto in 2010 and has had a pretty successful OHL and AHL career but has struggled to cement himself as a legitimate NHL player (he’s played just 4 games for the Maple Leafs thus far).

We wrote about Hyman back at the end of May when rumors first started to swirl that the Leafs might be interested in Hyman, and talk has been rampant that he would look to become an unrestricted free agent in mid-August so that he could choose his team of preference.  The conditional 7th-round pick is likely insurance for if Hyman walks, but as TSN’s Bob McKenzie notes, that’s unlikely to happen:


By the numbers, Hyman is given a 15.15% chance of reaching 200 NHL games played according to the PCS% tool and his historic comparables include the likes of Ryan Jones, Bobby Buttler, and Steve Pinizzotto.  McKegg is given an 18.01% chance of reaching 200 NHL games played using the same tool and his historic comparables include the likes of Jarrett Stoll, Patrick Dwyer, and Derek MacKenzie.  Hyman averaged 3.59 shots per game for Michigan this past season, while McKegg averaged 2.03 shots per game for the Marlies this past year.

I would suggest that while Hyman is a far, far bet from ever becoming an NHL regular, McKegg almost assuredly won’t ever become an NHL regular.  In this sense, the Leafs seem happy to give up on a player that they know won’t make the NHL for a player that they think might have a chance to make the NHL, albeit a small one.

It’s not likely to be a move of any significance for the Leafs at any point in time, but it is a shift in a new direction for the team.  Out with the old and in with the new, no matter how small the pieces.

It’s gonna be a fun off-season.

  • Brooksterman

    This also makes sense in terms of waiver status. McKegg would have had to clear waivers to go to the AHL next year which he probably wouldn’t have compared to Hyman who is waiver exempt like Casey Bailey.

  • MatsSundin#13

    Totally agree – even if they’re pretty comparable skillwise (I am going to miss saying Greg McKegg’s name), it is nice to get some fresh faces in Leafland, we definitely need them. Maybe he has faced Casey Bailey in the past and they know each other?

    …Congratulations to McKegg on being a 20-goal scorer in 2016-17!!

  • MatsSundin#13

    hymen had larkin to depend on. i hope he doesn’t sign with us so we get that 7th round pick. we need thommie bergmann to work his voodoo. i’d rather the pick than hymen to be honest.

  • Gary Empey

    hymen had larkin to depend on. i hope he doesn’t sign with us so we get that 7th round pick. we need thommie bergmann to work his voodoo. i’d rather the pick than hymen to be honest.

  • Douglas

    I think the changes to the Marlies roster will be almost as exciting as the leafs roster, the Nonis/Burke era players will be phased out so we can have some fresh minds for the new staff to mould. However I am not a fan of college free agents, I just haven’t seen much success especially within the leafs organization. BUT this can change with the new management team, who knows, I can’t wait to have talent in the system.

        • Gary Empey

          I’m not a fan of Bozak, but if hyman turns into a forward that can play in the top 6/top 9 (like Bozak) I’ll be very happy. Turning an asset out of Greg McKegg would be great.

          • Gary Empey

            Whether one is or is not a fan or of Bozak’s lets not forget we didn’t use a draft pick to get him and he has held an NHL job since we acquired him. He wins 50 percent of his face-offs. The fact that we decided to use him on the 1st line is hardly his fault.

          • STAN

            My reasons for disliking Bozak as a player (which are rooted in his porous advanced stats) are irrelevant to what I’m arguing. All I’m saying is that if Zach Hyman became an NHL player who can play top 9 or top 6 similar to that of bozak, that’d be a great thing.

  • Gary Empey

    Talent Analysis

    Hyman has above-average speed and is a smooth and shifty skater. He has good lateral quickness and excellent stability on his skates. Hyman has shown dramatic improvement in his defensive and physical play during his college career and plays a disciplined, hard hitting game in his own zone. He has become a quality possession player who takes a lot of defensive zone starts and converts them into up-ice pressure.

  • Gary Empey

    Decent little prospect, good trade. If it doesn’t work out, he is a good trade chip to get a bigger piece. If he does work out, he could be a solid 2 or 3rd line player.

  • STAN

    No harm, no foul. Plus, how many other NHL teams might have two Zachs on their roster?

    Bozak, which cost the Leafs nothing, has delivered some solid minutes and I still think Babcock will want a chance to use him as an effective part of his team. At least to start the coming season.

  • STAN

    No harm, no foul. Plus, how many other NHL teams might have two Zachs on their roster?

    Bozak, which cost the Leafs nothing, has delivered some solid minutes and I still think Babcock will want a chance to use him as an effective part of his team. At least to start the coming season.

  • STAN

    Love the move. Could be a late bloomer. Plus it just continues to add depth to the organization. Connor Brown, Casey Bailey, William Nylander, Zach Hyman, etc. makes for a nice little core group that can fill different roles. Add the fact that we are getting a top 5 talent in this draft plus another late in the first and all of a sudden the talent in the minors is starting to look a little deeper. Not all are going to fill top 6 roles, but certainly would be nice to have added depth in the bottom 6 and guys that can perform in certain roles.