Leafs Acquire Taylor Beck from Predators

The Toronto Maple Leafs made a minor and totally nice trade this afternoon with the Nashville Predators, acquiring forward Taylor Beck in exchange for Jamie Devane.

Beck, drafted just two spots behind Devane in the third round of the 2009 Draft, is a 6’2, 207lb right winger from St. Catherines, Ontario. In 62 games with the Predators last season, Beck scored eight goals and 16 points. Drafted out of OHL Guelph, Beck was a former linemate of current Leafs centre Peter Holland.

This is, in every conceivable way, an excellent move for the Leafs.

Devane is widely considered a bust prospect, drafted far too high, at a time when every NHL team was looking for the “next Milan Lucic.” Devane never touched a point-per-game pace during his four seasons with the Plymouth Whalers, and has scored only 15 points in 118 AHL games to date. He also went pointless in two games with Leafs two seasons ago. 

It’s highly unlikely that Devane suddenly turns things around and develops into a regular NHL player, whereas Beck already has a full season under his belt.

Beck is one of 20 NHL players still eligible for salary arbitration, which figures to be a big reason why the Predators chose to move him now; Nashville still has two hearings set with Craig Smith and Colin Wilson. Currently a restricted free agent, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Toronto signs him to a new contract fairly quickly. That is, unless they want to intentionally go to arbitration with Beck in order to open up another buyout window for themselves.

If an NHL teams goes to arbitration with one of its players, they will be allowed a second opportunity to buy out a contract. That said, Toronto cannot trade for a bad contract now, get a ‘sweetener’ asset with it, and buy it out in a couple weeks – the contract and player must have been on the team’s reserve list at the previous trade deadline.

There are few contracts on Toronto’s payroll that really merit a buy-out, considering how much cap flexibility they currently enjoy. Still, it’s an interesting footnote to this trade.

Where Beck fits into the Leafs’ lineup next season is a mystery at this point. Point totals aside, Beck was a regular on one of the NHL’s top teams, so it’d be a surprise to see him back in the AHL this coming year. That said, Toronto is stacked with middling forwards on short contracts; if Beck doesn’t impress, he’d likely become one of the Marlies’ most dangerous top-six weapons.

  • Gary Empey

    Can we declare the Leafs fixed after this and the kessel move (getting rid of soupcan biggs is the big hidden surprise of the kessel trade).

    Many of burke’s mistakes are being erased – just a few more left (bozak, phaneuf, lupul….)
    #plan the parade

  • Brooksterman

    Nashville seems to be a good trading partner for the Leafs.
    It would be nice if Beck reunited with Holland puts up numbers similar to his junior career, as the Leafs really need scoring depth.

    By september it looks like a lot of the forwards on the Leafs will be new….which should be very interesting to see how they mesh.

    And I hope this is the end of playing so much of the game in the defensive zone.

    I predict Bernier will have a much better year this year.

    • Gary Empey

      Yes it sure seems that way.

      Burke was building team USA with truculence.
      Hunter is building team OHL with skill.

      The skill over truculence element is positive but the penchant for OHL talent is worrisome especially from Hunter. Too bad Scooby dubas doesn’t offer a more orthogonal perspective to Hunter’s

  • V

    @leafer2000

    Not to be that guy, but you’re forgetting the Russian signings and drafting many international players who have played in multiple leagues around the world. We also traded for Kapanen.

    Then there’s also no problem with having a penchant for OHL talent. The kings had 11 OHL Alum on their 2014 cup team. It also happens that the rangers had another 8 that year.

    I’m not saying the team with the most OHL guys wins the cup. The Black Hawks only had 6, Tampa Bay 3 this year. Meanwhile the Islanders and Jets had the most at 10.

    Besides, if it keeps Don Cherry from going on a rant, why not add a few OHL guys. 😉

    • V

      Because Robidas was signed as a 35+ contract, there is ZERO cap relief from buying him out. Even if he retires today, his cap is still on the book for two years.

      Thanks Nonis.

      • dougie88

        I’m not sure if you know this, or if someone else does, but if Robidas is bought out does his contract count against the 50 limit, or would it just be the Cap Hit? The Leafs aren’t in cap trouble, but are looking to take on a bad contract plus an asset. Can’t do that if they’re at 50 contracts as many have speculated. Just a thought.

  • V

    the 2009-2011 truculence draft is being erased as if it never happened lol. only a few guys left from the Burke drafts before 2012 remain… if only the Burke signings would be erased too… those are even worse (phaneuf, bozak, lupul)

    • V

      Why do you write trash like this?

      1) Phaneuf was an alleged Nonis worked trade and it was Nonis that resigned him for 7 years.

      2)If I’m correct, Bozak was also resigned by Nonis. Regardless Bozak isn’t bad, just miscast. And the contract isn’t even that bad either.

      3) Much like Grabovski, Kulemin, MacArthur etc etc, the Leafs didn’t sell high on these guys so it was logical to resign Lupul. A healthy Lupul is worth his contract, debate if you want but you have blinders on. He is a legitimate top 6 winger. The problem was he had terrible luck this season and got injuried several times, never really 100% and always playing catch up.

      The second problem is Lupul is a shooter and both Carlyle and Horachek thought because he is 6’1″ and 206 that he should be a PWF to Kessel and Bozak.

      Lupul can play a PWF game but that doesn’t mean he should be parked infront of the net. Just let him find open ice to snipe it or let him drive the net with the puck, he shouldn’t be forced to play net presence, that’s not his game or how he was a consistent 40-50 point guy (sometimes using avgs of pts/gp ratio).

  • V

    Speaking of offense, I really liked what Babcock apparently said to his players in Detroit. In the Defensive and neutral zones you play my way in the offensive zone you can be creative. That should give a number of these guys good opportunities to show what they can do scoring wise. The addition of Beck is a really good move and it would give the Leafs some size for the third and fourth lines when you add Holland Panik and Mathias in there.

  • SEER

    Well.., well, well..!! I hadn’t really watched a lot of this guy before.., but I sure had a hard time narrowing down which of his 2013-14 season goals with Milwaukee, that I was going to add to the 2014-15 Nashville Predators goals..! It was the Leafs trade of the summer.., so far, for me..!

    WOO-HOO-HOO…!!! I think this might be my favorite off-season signing..! Under the radar, or what..! And to think it was a trade for Devane.., just blows me away..!! Dubas is indeed.. “Young Einstein”, to pull this one off.. Have they legalized marijuana in Nashville, or something..? I can’t believe that we got this kid, for Devane.. LOL!

    Have a look, guys… You might feel the same way as I do about him..

    BLOWN AWAY! : TAYLOR BECK MONTAGE

    —> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dsCwmWB_LI