Carter Ashton Heading to KHL, Leafs Lose Conditional Pick

A former Leafs player and prospect is on his way to the KHL. From Sports-Express’ Igor Eronko…

Why are we talking about Carter Ashton? Well, his new contract has a minor impact on Toronto’s 2016 Draft plans. 

The Leafs dealt Ashton and David Broll to the Tampa Bay Lightning back in early February for a conditional seventh round pick in next year’s draft. Toronto would get the pick if Ashton played at least 15 games with the Lightning in this upcoming season. Now in Nizhny Novgorod, Ashton won’t be playing at all for Tampa Bay, and the condition will not be met. The trade now becomes Ashton and Broll for quite literally nothing in return.

Sound like a bad return? Well, Toronto did gain some valuable flexibility heading into last year’s trade deadline. From the original trade post

With the trade, the Leafs now sit at 48 contracts out of a maximum 50. That’s insanely important as we inch closer to the trade deadline, and will allow the Leafs to accept two-for-one deals that involve players on SPCs. In addition, the Leafs save $851K against the cap on Ashton’s deal, and $591K on Broll’s.

Ultimately, Toronto didn’t need the additional SPC slots. Every trade made shortly after was player-for-player, with a number of draft picks thrown in to help with the rebuild. Still, for that extra cap space and flexibility, all Toronto gave up was two warm bodies that had very, very limited AHL upside.

It’s hard to call the trade a loss, since the Leafs really didn’t lose anything of significance. The most important thing is Toronto won’t be receiving that extra late round draft pick. 

Even without the pick, Toronto currently holds nine confirmed selections in next year’s draft (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, two 5ths, two 6ths and a 7th). In addition, there are two more potential picks in Pittsburgh’s first rounder (lottery protected, came over in the Phil Kessel trade) and Toronto’s own third (which could go to Detroit to compensate for Mike Babcock’s hiring, at Toronto’s discretion). Don’t lose any sleep over that lost seventh.

  • Benjamin

    I like the (apparent) new draft philosophy of maximizing quantity of picks. But I think it also means the Leafs will have to start walking away from tweeners like Ashton and Broll earlier and more regularly. There’s only so many NHL deals, entry level included, allowed on the books.

    In other words, a bigger herd of incoming prospects needs to be thinned faster under the 50 SPC rule.

    • Benjamin

      Ashton was a tough kid to pass on, 1st rounder with speed and size who put up point per game+ in the AHL. Ultimately he just couldn’t do anything meaningful in the NHL.

      It’s easy to say we should have traded him earlier now but would you have traded him a couple years ago when he was a young prospect?

  • Bertly83

    Wrong it was a bad return. This talk of flexibility are like those apologists saying well at least we got a 4th pick and some cap room for Colbourne.

    #Potato Asset Management 101

  • Bertly83

    If only he had been good at hockey. We didn’t lose anything here, Broll is not likely to be an NHL’er, and we would have cut Ashton loose had he still been here. Mmmm, that’s twice that TB has let him go. An RFA turned UFA has little chance of playing here, it’s a good move for him to go to Europe, maybe he’ll score a goal. Making 10x what he would make here on an AHL deal.

    P.S. We didn’t save any cap on Broll, he was in the A, so he didn’t factor in the Leafs cap.

    • Benjamin

      I doubt we’d getting anything because he was actually relieved of duty and I also don’t think we get anything unless he is hired to a high position. I could be wrong but I think this has to literally be as a head coach or GM (I don’t even think we’d get anything if it was an assistant) and I think Nonis was only hired on as a high level scout or something along those lines. Again, could be wrong…

    • Nonis was fired by the Leafs, and they granted Anaheim permission to talk to him.

      The rules were still a little hazy when Babcock came to Toronto, but by the time Nonis went to Anaheim it was made pretty clear that the Ducks wouldn’t owe anything.

      • Benjamin

        And if I’m correct Todd McLellan (San Jose to Edmonton) and Peter Cherelli (Boston to Edmonton) were also relieved of their duties as well and both granted permission to seek other opportunities, whats the difference?

        @ Benjamin

        Nonis was the Leafs GM at the time of his firing…

        • Benjamin

          Sorry, as in they’re hired into a GM or head coach position.

          Say Carlyle goes somewhere in the NHL as an assistant coach, the Leafs don’t get a pick. But if he (somehow) gets a job in the league as a head coach, they do.

        • Like I said, the rules were hazy. They weren’t defined properly and it lead to a lot of shenanigans and confusion. The rules are fixed by the NHL before Nonis went to Anaheim, so no compensation.

          It never made sense for teams to receive compensation for fired coaches and executives.