Kyle Dubas and the Toronto Maple Leafs were quiet on NHL Trade Deadline Day, but with the additions of Nic Petan and Nicholas Baptiste they got marginally better as an organization. Let’s see why:
Let’s get the minor league deal out of the way first. The Leafs swapped prospects with Nashville, bringing in right-winger Nicholas Baptiste for Newfoundland Growlers left-winger Emerson Clark.
The deal bolsters the Marlies for ECHLer Clark, who was unlikely to make an impact with the Leafs AHL affiliate. At 26 years-old and tallying just one goal in a six-game stretch for the Marlies, Clark was an expiring asset.
As for the incumbent, the Marlies get Nicholas Baptiste to help fill out their team and replace Trevor Moore who will likely factor into the Leafs playoff push. Baptite brings with him a resume filled with multi-level experience, including 43 NHL games with the Sabres since 2016. This season he has played 55 games with the Milwaukee Admirals where he’s amassed 22 points.
The upside for the Leafs is that Baptiste is that is young and has experience. With him currently on a minor-league deal and factoring in Toronto’s projected cap issues, he has a real chance to get a chance next season as a depth winger.
The “big” trade for Toronto came from they Leafs moving on from fourth line versatile winger/centre Par Lindholm in exchange for Winnipeg Jets forward Nic Petan.
Petan’s potential in Winnipeg was strangled by their team’s depth. Now, with the Leafs picking him up and sending him directly to the NHL team, Petan will get a chance. He can fill Lindholm’s place and will be challenging Trevor Moore, Tyler Ennis, and Frederick Gauthier for regular 4th line minutes.
The upside of bringing in Petan is that he potentially could challenge for Connor Brown’s third line position, too. Apparently, Brown was made available to teams today but nothing materialized. If Petan is wanted by the Leafs past this season (which he has arbitration RFA rights for), then Connor Brown is as good as gone. It’s a hell of a try out for Petan, with high-reward upside for Toronto.
The Leafs did get slightly better today, but just barely. They didn’t need to bust the bank on a marquee player, especially with inflated player value at the pressure-packed trade deadline. Instead, there was a push for organizational depth. Staying the course with speed and skill, Toronto is ready to try and break the mold on Stanley Cup contenders.
Welcome aboard, Petan!