NHL trade deadline: Leafs trade Rasmus Sandin to Capitals for Erik Gustafsson, pick
The Toronto Maple Leafs traded defenseman Rasmus Sandin to the Washington Capitals for defenseman Eric Gustafsson and a 2023 first-round pick originally held by the Boston Bruins. the team announced on Tuesday.
Gustafsson has seven goals and 38 points in 61 games for the Capitals this season, while Sandin has four goals and 20 points in 51 games for the Maple Leafs.
After a series of moves made before the deadline, including the acquisition of Ryan O’Reilly, Noel Accari, Jake McCabe and Sam Lafferty, Toronto needed to comply with the restrictions. Gustafsson is joining the Maple Leafs on an expiring $800,000 contract before becoming an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season.
According to the Natural Stat Trick, Washington has controlled 53.7 percent of expected goals with Gustafsson on the ice this season, and the 30-year-old is in the middle of a resurgent campaign. Gustafsson is likely to be in Toronto’s third pair, although we’re curious to see how Sheldon Keefe adjusts his lines ahead of Wednesday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers, especially after acquiring McCabe – another left-back – on Monday.
McCabe worked out with T.J. Brody on Tuesday, so Gustafsson is likely to be number seven on the team’s defensive end, at least in the first few games of the Maple Leafs’ current road trip.
Toronto selected Sandin 29th overall in 2018 and he was in the middle of a breakout season, playing the best hockey of his career in December 2022. Sandin is a mobile defender with a puck who has adapted to the modern rhythm of the NHL. He can be used in any situation, and he began to improve as a powerplay quarterback with limited opportunities.
It’s a big win for the Capitals to get a rising star while they figure out which direction they’re going after the 2022-23 season.
Sandin and John Carlson are the Capitals’ only defensemen. under contract for the 2023-24 season.