It is prediction time as the trade deadline draws near, last week I talked about who will stay and who goes in leaf land. This week I’m going to predict some trades that could happen on or before March 4.
To The Minnesota Wild For
Fifth round draft pick
Alexei’s name has popped up in trade rumors with the Wild and the Wild are in need of a big bodied player who is a decent scorer. Alexei has been thrown under the bus a lot this season but he still has 17 goals and 20 assists in 56 games this season. Meanwhile Burke is in the search for draft picks and prospects.
Voloshenko is an average prospect scoring 30 points in 76 games with the Houston Aeros of the AHL. At 22 Roman could develop into a strong offensive presence. Although he left the Aeros to go back to play in Russia he may be persuaded to come to the Leafs and play with fellow Belarusian Mikhail Grabovski.
To the Pittsburgh Penguins for
The Pens signed Satan hoping he could play along side Sidney Crosby, but that experiment didn’t pan out. So the Pens will trade Satan to the Leafs for Blake. The two both have large contracts and will cancel each other out when it comes to salaries. The Pens however get a guy who is on pace for 30 plus goals.
Blake could be the guy to work along side Crosby and for this the Leafs will also acquire prospect Luca Caputi as well. The Leafs also won’t be stuck with the struggling Satan as his contract is up at the end of this season.
To the Edmonton Oilers for
Although this is a minor deal and you might think it’s stupid to predict a trade like this, I really think this is a very possible trade. Edmonton is believed to be the front runner to land Jay Bouwmeester but even if they do get Jay there is a need for another defenseman with Grebeshkov going down with an ankle sprain. In Stralman the Oilers get a cheap fifth or sixth defenseman who still has growing potential.
Also as soon as Grebeshkov gets healthy they have the option of sending Anton to the AHL. Burke would probably want a draft pick but due to cap restrictions on the Oilers part he would have to settle with a prospect like O’Marra. Stralman has fallen well out of favor in the Leafs organization.
To the Columbus Blue Jackets for
Third round draft pick
Besides a Thomas Kaberle trade I believe this could be a trade that really defines the Toronto rebuild. Columbus is in need of a number two center and a number one defenseman. They’ll get this in Antropov and Kubina.
In return the Leafs get two roster players who have had some struggles but have loads of potential. They also get an outstanding prospect in Voracek, which is why the Jackets will want Tlusty to some what restock their prospect flow.
To the New Jersey Devils for
First Round draft pick
The deal everybody’s waiting for is the one involving Thomas Kaberle. Last year the Flyers almost got Kaberle for Jeff Carter (who is on pace for 90 points) and a first round draft pick. So it is not crazy to assume that Zajac (on pace for 68 points) would be traded with a prospect and first round pick.
The first round pick is a must for Brian Burke and Halischuck is the high end prospect expected in return for Thomas. As well the Devils are in need of a defenseman to shore up their blue line, so the deal fits perfectly.
Some may think a few or all of these predictions are crazy but I believe these are very plausible trades. No matter what though, these next two weeks should be exciting times for Leaf fans.