The Kaberle saga has finally come to a conclusion, as the Toronto Maple Leafs traded their offensive defenseman to the Boston Bruins in exchange for prospect center Joe Colborne, the Bruins' first round pick in 2011 and a conditional draft pick that becomes a second round pick if Kaberle resigns with Boston.
In Kaberle, the Bruins get the slick puck-moving defensive quarterback that they need to play alongside Zdeno Chara.
Brian Burke scored a pretty substantial package in return. Colborne, native of Calgary, Alberta, is a highly-touted prospect who plays with the Providence Bruins in the AHL. This season he has recorded 26 points in 55 games with Providence.
He stands at 6’5” and has tremendous playmaking abilities that saw him get selected 16th overall in the first round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.
The scouting report on Colborne projects him to be a top six centre for years to come. At 21 years of age, he has yet to fill out his large frame, but given time and proper guidance, he is expected to become a two-way power forward with quick hands and finish.
It should also be noted that Colborne played one season with Tyler Bozak at Denver. For more information on Colborne, check out the link at the bottom of the article.
The Leafs also received Botson’s first round draft pick in the upcoming draft, as well as a conditional pick. It is yet to be determined the position of the draft pick that Toronto received, as this will be dependent on Boston’s position in the NHL standings come season’s end. However, the Leafs now hold two first round picks in the upcoming draft.
Although Burke was not able to trade for a significant impact player that is ready to jump into the Leafs roster, he was successful in turning Kaberle into two first round draft picks, which is a substantial amount considering the fact that Kaberle has yet to negotiate a contract extension and could conceivably leave Boston come July 1.
The deal also adds to the amount of picks that the Leafs hold for the upcoming draft. So don’t be surprised to see Burke create a package on the draft floor to trade up and take a higher selection.
Kaberle's offensive production will be greatly missed on the backend and his veteran presence cannot be replaced. He is the final member of the Muskoka Five to leave the Leafs and his departure marks the end of Burke’s house cleaning—no player on the Leafs roster remains from three years ago.
Only time will tell if this latest Burke trade was the right move. For my money, the Leafs received a substantial amount for great player who had run his course in Toronto.
On that note, Leafs Nation should be thanking Tomas Kaberle. He is a stand-up citizen, a quality player and he will surely be missed!
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