The Toronto Maple Leafs have acquired forward Nicholas Baptiste from the Nashville Predators ahead of Monday’s trade deadline.
Baptiste is predominantly an AHL player, with 212 regular season games under his belt at that level – registering 109 points (57 goals and 52 assists).
The Leafs have assigned Baptiste to the reigning Calder Cup champions the Toronto Marlies, where he will provide valuable depth in their hunt for the playoffs.
In return for Baptiste’s services, the Leafs will give the Predators future considerations – though the details on what those considerations are have not yet been revealed.
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Baptiste provides the Marlies with some valuable experience, with the 2013 third round (69th overall) selection of the Buffalo Sabres also having played some games in the NHL.
In 47 regular season games, all coming with the Sabres, Baptiste earned seven goals and 10 total points – playing primarily as a fourth liner, averaging just 9:45 while on the ice.
Baptiste is on an expiring contract this season, holding a cap hit of just $787,500 if he plays with the NHL club, though that is highly unlikely.
The 23-year-old right-handed winger is an impending restricted free agent this summer and could be retained by the Leafs if they view him as a player who can continue to develop and help out their AHL affiliates beyond this season.
It’s not the blockbuster trade some fans may be hoping to see, but this deal does help the Leafs’ farm team at what could be an exceptionally low cost – with future considerations not usually costing a team too much down the road.
What do you think of the Leafs’ acquisition of Baptiste? Will you be interested to see how he progresses with the Marlies? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.