The Toronto Maple Leafs have traded forward Josh Leivo to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for forward Michael Carcone.
*Travis Dermott recalled.
— Daily Faceoff (@DailyFaceoff) December 3, 2018
The long-anticipated signing of William Nylander created a logjam on the Maple Leafs’ roster. Travis Dermott is the only Leaf that would be exempt from waivers if sent down, which is why Toronto temporarily sent him to the AHL’s Toronto Marlies on Sunday.
With Dermott becoming a crucial member of Toronto’s top-four defensemen, a more permanent move was required. The Leafs were more or less forced into moving one of Leivo or Frederik Gauthier in a trade, lest they risk losing one of them on waivers for nothing.
While he’s spent the entirety of the season on the Maple Leafs’ fourth line, Leivo has been heavily-featured on the team’s second power-play unit. He has four goals and two assists in 27 games this season with an ATOI of 10:32. He has 14 goals and 14 assists in 84 career games.
Signed as an undrafted free-agent by the Canucks in 2016, Carcone is in the midst of a breakout season with the AHL’s Utica Comets. The 22-year-old has six goals and 11 assists through the team’s first 20 games after totalling just 15 goals and 12 assists in 68 games last season.
While Carcone has impressed this year, he projects to be a fringe-NHLer, at best. Leivo has flashed plenty of upside in Toronto and has long been thought to be capable of handling a larger role. He’s an immediate candidate to play on the wing of Bo Horvat on the Canucks’ top line, spots previously occupied by the likes of Antoine Roussel, Jake Virtanen, Tyler Motte, and the recently-waived Brendan Leipsic. Simply put from the Canucks’ perspective, this trade makes sense.
Kind of trade you should be making. Leivo an intriguing player, worth a look. Carcone havibg a solid year in Utica but he was the first cut in camp so was way down Canucks’ depth chart. https://t.co/N6F49ExOPy
— Patrick Johnston (@risingaction) December 3, 2018
No word yet if Leivo will be available to play when the Canucks take on the Wild at home on Tuesday.