The past few weeks have been chaotic in the hockey world with all the trades. Many big names have been dealt, including superstar Phil Kessel. In this article I will be giving my opinion on the Kessel trade as well as a brief analysis.
To Pittsburgh: Phil Kessel, 2016 2nd round pick (conditional), Tim Erixon, Tyler Biggs
To Toronto: Kasperi Kapanen, Scott Harrington, Nick Spaling, 2016 1st round pick (conditional), 2016 3rd round pick
I think everyone was looking forward to this trade, but did the Leafs get enough back for their 1st line sniper ? I don’t think so. Since he came into the league, Kessel has been a consistent 30-goal scorer (Except for this past season and the 2012-2013 lockout season). Keep in mind that he put up excellent numbers with Tyler Bozak as his center. Now, with Pittsburgh, he will be playing with Sidney Crosby, a huge upgrade from Bozak. In the upcoming season, Kessel could easily put up 45 goals if he remains healthy (Which shouldn’t be an issue considering he has never missed a game since 2010-2011). In addition to Kessel, Pittsburgh also adds 24 year old Tim Erixon, who could be used as a good bottom pair defenseman, and Tyler Biggs, who can almost be considered a bust despite being a first round draft pick. He could still be used in their bottom-6, which is in great need of depth.
Now Toronto managed to get Kasperi Kapanen, a 22nd overall pick in the 2014 NHL entry draft. Kapanen is a very small forward, but he is fast and skilled, which is something necessary in the NHL today. But is his value enough ? He hasn’t played in the NHL yet and he doesn’t seem to have the potential of becoming a superstar in the NHL. Only time will tell. As for Scott Harrington, he is a former 2nd-round pick and probably won’t amount to anything above a top-4 defenseman. Toronto also adds a few draft picks, but I do not believe Kapanen and Harrington were worth enough for Kessel. Had Toronto acquired Olli Maatta or Derrick Pouliot, then I believe the trade would have been fair, but the fact that Pittsburgh managed to keep their young guns on defense is what makes them win this trade.
Brandon Murphy – @2murphy8