The Leafs Send Rasmus Sandin To Washington For Erik Gustafsson & A First Round Pick

Photo by Kevin Sousa/NHLI via Getty Images

The Toronto Maple Leafs have traded defenceman Rasmus Sandin to the Washington Capitals in exchange for Erik Gustafsson and Boston’s 2023 first-round pick. The Capital’s previously acquired Boston’s 2023 first-round pick in the Dmitry Orlov and Garnett Hathaway trade with the Bruins. 

The Leafs get an experienced offensive defenceman in Gustafsson. The 30-year-old appeared in 61 games with the Capitals this season. In those 61 games, he scored seven goals and added 31 assists for 38 points. Fun fact, he instantly becomes the Leafs top scoring defenceman. Gustafsson has appeared in 31 playoff games throughout his career, his latest run, 16 games, was with the Montreal Canadiens, who went all the way to the cup final in 2020/21—getting him, plus a 2023 first-round pick for Rasmus Sandin? That’s some tidy work by Leafs GM Kyle Dubas. 

The Capitals get a young offensive defenceman with a nasty side to his game who loves to lay the body when the opportunity presents itself. Sandin, who is just 22 years old, skated in 52 games with the blue and white this year, where he scored four goals and 16 assists for a total of 20 points. For a guy who has been in and out of the lineup due to injuries and being a healthy scratch, those are some solid numbers for the kid. 

While it may have been tough news for some Leafs fans to hear that the organization moved on from a 22-year-old defenceman who was drafted by the team and who seemed to have a very promising future, Dubas is in it to win now. This move makes the Leafs a better team right now. Plus, they get a first-round pick that they can use to add someone else before the deadline, or they can keep the pick and use it at the draft.

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