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Leafs acquire Jake Muzzin from the Los Angeles Kings

The Toronto Maple Leafs management is surely not taking any breaks during the team’s bye week – acquiring defenceman Jake Muzzin from the Los Angeles Kings for a package of future assets.

Forward Carl Grundstrom and defenceman Sean Durzi are the prospects the Kings are acquiring in exchange for Muzzin.

Grundstrom, a 21-year-old winger currently with the Marlies, was drafted in the second round of the 2016 NHL Draft. This season, he has 13 goals and 16 assists in 42 games for the Marlies.

Currently with the Guelph Storm of the OHL, Durzi, 20, was a second-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft and has put up a total of 8 goals and 20 assists in 26 games this season.

Both of these prospects were projected to be solid, but not outstanding, NHL players at best. Grundstrom is known for his physicality and his ability to rifle the puck into the back of the net. While Durzi has solid mobility and is a right-handed shot, so you know some teams love that.

The Leafs also gave up their first-round pick for the upcoming 2019 NHL Draft. Likely to be closer to the end of the round anyways, it was not a big price to pay for a top-pairing defenceman like Muzzin.

There are also reports from Darren Dreger of TSN, that Muzzin will instantly be slotted in beside Morgan Rielly on the top pairing. Meaning that Ron Hainsey will slide down to the third pairing and be beside Travis Dermott.

This trade has certainly made the Leafs extremely balanced both offensively and defensively throughout their roster. To give up just two “maybe” prospects and a late first-round pick is surely a cheap price to pay for a player that they have been searching for more than a year now.

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  • Bob Canuck

    I think this is a good acquisition for the Leafs at a fair price. Using the A3Z Comparison Tool, Muzzin is better than Hainsey and Muzzin in the Entry, Exit, and Entry Defense metrics. Per the SKATR Comparison Tool, Muzzin surpasses both Zaitsev and Hainsey in xG Share, Points, and other metrics. I think he is a legitimate Top 4 D-man.

    This allows the Leafs to move Hainsey down to the third pair where he will likely benefit from fewer minutes and lesser competition. At a USD 4 million cap hit, that is of value for a Top 4 D-Man.

      • Bob Canuck

        That is a good point. Not only should Dermott benefit from Hainsey’s experience but also from better on-ice communication with his D-partner. I imagine Ozhiganov’s limited English is more difficult to understand than Hainsey’s Connecticut accent. 🙂

        • Leefer16

          I kinda wish Hainsey would pair up with Gards for the rest of the year and do for him what he did for Reilly. I would be ok with Hainsey finishing the year with Gards and then re-signing for 1.5mil next year to pair up with Dermie for the whole year.

  • Kings2cups

    Whoa now ease up on parade there lol! I’ve watched Muzzin play his whole career in LA and I’mso glad hes gone! Hes a brutal defender that had Jonathan Quick baling him out game after game! Thanks for the 1st round pick!!