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.
.@SportChek Player Alert: The @MapleLeafs have acquired defenceman Jake Muzzin from Los Angeles in exchange for forward Carl Grundstrom, the rights to Sean Durzi and Toronto’s first-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft.#LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/3DYt3w0dc1
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) January 29, 2019
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.