The Toronto Maple Leafs announced today that the hockey club has acquired forward Ryan Dzingel and defenceman Ilya Lyubushkin in exchange for forward Nick Ritchie and Arizona’s choice of Toronto’s third round selection in the 2023 NHL Draft or Toronto’s second round selection in 2025 NHL Draft.
Dzingel, 29, has skated in 26 games for Arizona this season, registering four goals and three assists. In 398 NHL games between Ottawa, Columbus, Carolina and Arizona, the Wheaton, IL native has recorded 187 points (86 goals, 101 assists). Dzingel was originally selected by Ottawa in the seventh round (204th overall) of the 2011 NHL Draft.
Lyubushkin, 27, has appeared in 46 games for Arizona this season, recording nine assists. The Moscow, Russia native has skated in 180 games, all for Arizona, registering 19 points (one goal, 18 assists). Lyubushkin joined the Coyotes as a free agent in May of 2018.
The mistake has finally been rectified. Nick Ritchie who was brought in to add size and grit onto the Maple Leafs top line was a failure and the Leafs organization has corrected that mistake.
This trade is nothing seismic. This transaction doesn’t move the needle much if at all for the Maple Leafs, but it does accomplish a few things that needed to be addressed.
Ryan Dzingel is a tenacious player. Has been a thorn in the side of the Maple Leafs in many games that I have watched. He can play all three forward positions and can score goals at the NHL level. He is a legit NHL player than provide depth for the Leafs.
Ilya Lyubushkin is a bigger 6’2″ defensemen that has played with Oliver Ekman Larsson and Jacob Chykrun in the past. Lyubushkin is a defensive defenseman, so his move to the Maple Leafs won’t have much of an impact in fantasy. The 27-year-old has nine assists, 94 hits, 60 blocked shots and a minus-6 rating in 46 appearances this season. He’ll likely play in a third-pairing role and should challenge Travis Dermott and Timothy Liljegren for playing time.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have created $2.5 million in cap space in the offseason by moving Nick Ritchie’s contract. In an offseason where Kase, Mikheyev, Engvall, Spezza, Sandin, Liljegren, and Campbell need new contracts. The Leafs cap situation is tight to say the least and every dollar counts for a team that is contending to do big things in the playoffs.
Kyle Dubas has managed to add depth at forward, defense, and create cap space in one move. Something that most people in the hockey media thought it would be very difficult to do.
Once again, the Leafs General Manager has found a way to silence his critics and pull off the almost impossible.
TRADE: We’ve acquired forward Ryan Dzingel & defenceman Ilya Lyubushkin from Arizona in exchange for forward Nick Ritchie & choice of our third-round selection in ’23 or second-round selection in ’25. #LeafsForever
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) February 20, 2022
This trade requires that the Leafs make a secondary move.
Taking on $1.075M in cap hit would take them above the upper limit.
Another move is required to remain complaint. Possibilities include sending down Liljegren or Sandin, who are both exempt from waivers. https://t.co/nYirMkToyh
— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) February 20, 2022
There was no salary retained in the #coyotes/#leafs trade.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) February 20, 2022
Condition is Arizona’s choice of 3rd round pick in 2023 or 2nd round pick in 2025.
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) February 20, 2022