The Toronto Maple Leafs have acquired D Cody Ceci, D Ben Harpur, F Aaron Luchuk and a 2020 3rd round pick from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for D Nikita Zaitsevm F Connor Brown and F Michael Carcone. The third round pick was originally from Columbus.
The Leafs need to free cap space for Mitch Marner, who is an RFA. They currently have $11.4 million in cap space, though Nathan Horton and his $5.3 million cap hit can be put on LTIR. That lets the Maple Leafs go $5.3 million over the cap. Ceci is also an RFA, and could potentially get more than Zaitsev. On a terrible Senators team, Ceci has posted bad +/- numbers. Over the last three seasons, Ceci is a -60 defender. Harpur is a gritty 7th defenseman who also has a bad +/- in his career (-34). Luchuk is a young forward who played in the minors last year, his first pro season. They clear a lot of cap space, which is their priority right now.
Ceci, 25, scored seven goals with 19 assists for 26 points in 74 games for the Senators this year. In his NHL career, all in Ottawa, the 15th overall pick in 2012 has scored 32 goals with 86 assists for 118 points in 440 games.
Harpur, 24, scored one goal with four assists for five points in 51 games for the Senators this past season. In his NHL career, all in Ottawa, Harpur has scored one goal with six assists for seven points in 103 games.
Luchuk, 22, scored scored four goals with five assists for nine points in 27 games for the AHL\’s Belleville Senators this past season. He also scored 10 goals with 12 assists for 22 points in 32 games for the ECHL\’s Brampton Beast.
The Senators have loads of cap space, just over $27 million, in fact, and $9.5 million on LTIR between Clarke MacArthur and Marian Gaborik. They can afford to take on Zaitsev\’s contract, since they won\’t be contending for awhile. Zaitsev has five more years left at $4.5 million a season, and the Senators might not contend while Zaitsev is under contract. Unless they make a run for it in the last two seasons. Brown is a good third line scoring winger who scored 20 goals three seasons ago but struggled to score this year with the rise of Andreas Johnsson and Kasperi Kapanen. Carcone is an RFA, though is likely just an AHL forward. He is better than Luchuk.
Zaitsev, 27, scored three goals with 11 assists for 14 points in 81 games for the Leafs this past season. In his three year NHL career, all in Toronto, Zaitsev has scored 12 goals with 51 assists for 63 points in 223 games.
Brown, 25, scored eight goals with 21 assists for 29 points in 82 games for the Leafs this past season. In his NHL career, all in Toronto, Brown has scored 43 goals with 56 assists for 99 points in 253 games.
Carcone, 23, scored 14 goals with 13 assists for 27 points in 42 games for the AHL\’s Toronto Marlies this season. In his AHL career for the Marlies and Utica Comets, Carcone has scored 40 goals with 49 assists for 89 points in 191 games.