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Photo Credit: © Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Andreas Johnsson has been traded to New Jersey for Joey Anderson

Okay, so this isn’t exactly a blockbuster, but rather the Leafs clearing out some cap space for a player who is 22 years old, and has done quite well in the AHL. I guess you could call him a bit of a prospect.

Johnsson is a cap casualty, and the Leafs aren’t walking away from this deal in a great situation, though Andreas was injured much of last season and wasn’t great when he was in the lineup. Still he’ll be missed and this is a downgrade.

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SEASON TEAM GP G A P
2015-16 USA U18 7 7 2 9
USNTDP Juniors 25 10 10 20
U.S. National U18 Team 64 27 30 57
2016-17 USA U20 7 0 2 2
Univ. of Minnesota-Duluth 39 12 25 37
2017-18 USA U20 7 4 3 7
Univ. of Minnesota-Duluth 36 11 16 27
2018-19 New Jersey Devils 34 4 3 7
Binghamton Devils 13 2 4 6
2019-20 New Jersey Devils 18 4 2 6
Binghamton Devils 44 15 19 34

Anderson was a third round pick in 2016, and as you can see he’s World Juniors regular and has played over 50 games in the NHL so far. He’s a 5’11 winger, who could slot in to the bottom six. He’s presently a restricted free agent.

Anderson might be another step towards a more defensively difficult team to play against, although he was quite sheltered. He’s averaged around 13 minutes a night and just over a hit per game in his appearances in New Jersey, but again he gives them something to build off of.

Contract predictions from Evolving Hockey put Anderson at likely to earn $854k per season, and that definitely frees up some cap space, although he’s potentially more of a call up at this point than a surefire NHLer at the start of the season.

Like the Travis Boyd signing, Anderson is going to get a chance to compete for a bottom six role, and the Leafs will see if they can put together a lineup more imposing on the opposition with defensively stingy forwards.

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As for Andreas Johnsson, he was just too expensive. The Leafs seem to have reasonable affordable replacements in Barabanov, Robertson, and Korshkov ready to compete for his role, but as a regular in the top six, it seems the Leafs may be asking a lot of Ilya Mikheyev to step up.

This is quite clearly a roster subtraction move, but one we knew was coming when TJ Brodie was signed. Unfortunately not all salary dump situations are going to be Kasperi Kapanen trades and we’ll have to settle for a player that shows some promise but maybe not the upside we desire. I’m sure we’ll have more on Anderson in the coming days.