Toronto Maple Leafs trade Ben Harpur for Miikka Salomaki

The Toronto Maple Leafs have announced a trade that sees them acquire Mikka Salomaki from the Nashville Predators in exchange for Ben Harpur.

The NHL trade deadline is almost upon us and the Toronto Maple Leafs continue to be active, though largely making minor-league moves.

The Leafs have acquired Finnish forward Mikka Salomaki from the Predators in exchange for defenceman Ben Harpur, who has spent the entire season with the Toronto Marlies.

After failing to secure a spot on the Maple Leafs roster, having arrived in the Cody Ceci trade from the Ottawa Senators, Harpur registered one goal and 11 total points in 34 regular-season appearances in the AHL.

In exchange for the 6-foot-6, 22lbs Hamilton, Ontario native, the Leafs have acquired a defensive-minded forward that interestingly has played virtually the same number of games in the NHL as he has in the AHL.

Salomaki was a second-round (52nd overall) selection of the Predators at the 2011 NHL Draft, continuing his development with Karpat in the Finnish Liiga for a few more seasons before being brought over to play for the Milwaukee Admirals in the AHL in 2013.

A 50-point (20G, 30A) season in 75 regular-season games followed and it looked as if the Predators had a sure-thing with the versatile Finn.

Since turning pro, Salomaki has made 165 appearances in the minor league, registering 35 goals and 88 total points – just 38 points more since his rookie season.

Maple Leafs Get
Mikka Salomaki
Predators Get
Ben Harpur

In the NHL, Salomaki has been used primarily as a defensive, physical bottom-six forward, registering an average of just 11:04 of ice time in 167 regular-season games, with 12 goals and 27 total points.

The previous four seasons before 2019/20 saw Salomaki play in the NHL more often than the AHL, reaching a career-high 61 regular-season games in 2015/16 and 58 in 2017/18.

Despite his limited usage, Salomaki actually possesses decent possession numbers. Despite starting in the defensive zone 69.1% of the time during his NHL career, he has an average Corsi rating of 49.8% – with the past three seasons seeing him top 50% consecutively.

His physical presence could help him play a key role for the ailing Marlies, but his performances in the NHL sees the Toronto Maple Leafs acquire a guy that could potentially fill a spot on the fourth line should injuries cause them more issues.

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What do you think of this trade Leafs fans? Are you pleased with the return for Harpur, who was never going to get a shot with the NHL club? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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