The Leafs have acquired Joel Edmundson from the Capitals in exchange for two draft picks

Photo credit:© Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Mazzei
1 month ago
The Leafs have made another addition to their blueline as they have acquired Joel Edmundson from the Capitals.
In exchange, Toronto gave up the Islanders’ third-round pick in 2024 and the Blackhawks’ fifth-round pick in 2025. Washington agreed to retain half of Edmundson’s current contract meaning he comes to the Leafs accounting for a $875K cap hit at 75% of his salary. This is because the Canadiens already got to retain half his cap hit back in the summer when the Capitals initially acquired him, hence how he was able to come to the Leafs at this low number relative to his actual salary of $3.5 million.
The Canadian defenceman has appeared in 44 games so far this season and has picked up six points (one goal and five assists) in that span. He has also recorded 59 hits up to this point, good enough for sixth on the team and second among Washington defencemen. Edmundson missed some time at the start of the campaign to stabilize a fractured hand but has remained mostly healthy since making his season debut on November 18th.
Edmundson has experienced a lot of team success in his career so far, including winning the Stanley Cup with the Blues in 2019 and reaching the 2021 Finals while in Montreal. His experience in the playoffs and knowing what it takes to win is surely one of the reasons why the Leafs wanted to acquire his services, alongside his hardnosed play and being a big presence on the back end (he is 6’5″ and weighs 221 pounds).

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The one major caveat is that Edmundson is a left-shot defenceman arriving on a team that has already had to play multiple games with only lefties available. It does not make much sense on the surface to add another lefty unless there is another move being worked out that will bring in a righty (Colton Parayko perhaps?). Alternatively, the Leafs may have a better sense now of how much time Mark Giordano is going to be out with his head injury he suffered last week and this heightened the urgency to add some depth on the backend.
While this move won’t be a huge needle mover, getting Edmundson on retained salary leaves the Leafs enough room to make additional trades if needed. Combine this with the acquisition of Ilya Lyubushkin and Toronto’s defence has started to take on a new form.
We’ll see what else Brad Treliving has up his sleeve cause one can only hope he isn’t done making deals.
Stats from Hockey-Reference.com.
Salary information from CapFriendly.

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