Maple Leafs trade 25th overall pick for Chicago’s 38th overall pick to offload Petr Mrazek’s contract
It’s never a surprise when Kyle Dubas’ Maple Leafs trade in draft order, though that decision isn’t about additional draft picks: They’ve offloaded the last two years of the AAV contract from 3, $8 million from Petr Mrazek to Chicago going from pick #25 to pick #38 in the 2022 draft order.
You never want to have to erase mistakes if you can avoid it (obviously), but dropping 13 choices in the draft order is a very acceptable price to pay to create a lot more cap flexibility under the 82 cap, $5 million this year as well as wiping Mrazek’s $3.8 million off the books in 2023-24. There was no retention applied to Mrazek’s contract in the trade.
Dom Luszczyszyn places the Game Score Added Value (GSVA) of a 25th overall pick at 3.4 and a 38th overall draft pick at 2.2 GSVA; the difference between the two is about the value of a 60th draft pick. For a cap-strapped team chasing the Cup, paying that price to clear $3.8 million in cap space for two seasons is a no-brainer.
Dubas also confirmed tonight that there was a prospect they were considering at No. 25, but the player was off the board by the time the pick rolled, setting the wheels in motion on the trade with Chicago.
Moving the $3.8 million 2-year-old down 13 spots is a no-brainer victory.
—Anthony Petrielli (@APetrielli) July 8, 2022
In the draft, the Oilers moved their 29th overall, a 2025 second-round pick and a 2024 third-round pick to Arizona in order to offload two years of Zack Kassian’s $3.2 million AAV contract, the 32nd from Colorado coming back. . Dropping just 13 spots and not giving up any additional picks, the Leafs paid far less to out Mrazek, who cost more on the cap and arguably had a worse season.
That leaves the Leafs with a totally blank slate in net; they don’t have any goaltenders with significant NHL experience currently signed beyond July 13. Whether that is a move to pursue Darcy Kuemper – who we learned today will test the market and who is rumored to be a target of significant interest for the Leafs – remains to be seen. , but the Leafs now have about $10 million in cap space with 17 players on the roster by CapFriendly.
Mrazek’s hellish year began on his very first start for the team when he came down injured with a groin problem, which he worsened several times during the season. He never gained ground in 2021-22, posting above .900 in just seven of the 20 games he appeared in and finishing the season with a career-worst .888 save percentage.
Kyle Dubas said confidently yesterday that he was betting on Mrazek’s career record rather than the small sample of his tumultuous 2021-22; it may have just been a case of inflating a negative value contract that he was looking to offload at minimal cost, but it’s also possible that he escalated his aggressiveness about the money transfer once that it became clear Colorado was heading in a different direction without Kuemper in the crease. Time will tell if Kuemper is the primary target, but the books are wiped out for the The Leafs are completely overhauling their goalie, which ranked 27th in the NHL in 5-5 save percentage last season.
Kuemper is reportedly looking for a contract in the neighborhood of Phillip Grubauer’s long-term, $5.9 million AAV deal signed with Seattle last offseason. He was known to be a trade target for the Leafs last summer before the Avalance stepped in and traded with Arizona and Dubas eventually signed Mrazek in free agency.
This theoretically adds the flexibility to the cap to perhaps keep Jack Campbell in place – he is rumored to be looking for something closer to $5 million with 4-5 years in office – but discussions between the parties would have been deprived of meaningful negotiations for some time now. Perhaps this decision changes the temperature of these contract talks.
Kyle Dubas says the #leaves now possess enough heading space to run over any available goalie. That includes pending UFA Jack Campbell, who Dubas plans to meet in the coming days.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) July 8, 2022