Kapanen era comes to an end
The most significant piece in this deal is Kapanen, who the Penguins drafted 22nd overall in 2014. Kapanen originally came to Toronto in the Phil Kessel trade.
In his first full season with the Maple Leafs in 2018-29, Kapanen recorded 20 goals and 44 points in 78 games played, while also adding a plus-12 rating. Last season, in 69 games, the Finn had 13 goals and 36 points.
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Kapanen is still just 24 years of age and is owed $3.2 million for each of the next two seasons before becoming a restricted free agent. Pittsburgh is trying to squeeze everything they can out of the Sidney Crosby/Evgeni Malkin era.
Also going to the Penguins is defenceman Jesper Lindgren, whom the Maple Leafs selected in the fourth round of the 2015 NHL Draft. Lindgren has mostly played overseas but appeared in 31 games with the Marlies last season, where he recorded 9 points in 31 games.
According to Elite Prospects, Lindgren has “an impressive blend of skill, speed, determination, and intelligence is the one player you don’t want to see carrying the puck if you are his adversary.”
Finally, Pontus Aberg is the last piece of the deal for Pittsburgh. After being drafted in the second round by Nashville in 2012, Aberg has bounced around the league. He has played 132 career games and has just 17 NHL goals, to go with 27 assists. He is nothing more than a throw-in to the deal.
What do you think of the Kapanen trade for Toronto? What else do the Maple Leafs need to do this offseason? Let us know in the comments below!