The Leafs traded forward Daniel Winnik and Anaheim’s fifth round 2016 draft pick to the Washington Capitals for forward Brooks Laich, defensive prospect Connor Carrick and a second round pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.
Winnik goes from a team that is towards the bottom of the league to a team that is the best in the National Hockey League. In 56 games played this season, he has four goals, 10 assists, 14 points was a minus three and averaged 14:16 of ice time per game. The forward had 41 hits, 35 blocked shots, 30 takeaways and seven giveaways. In 625 games played in his career, Winnik has scored 62 goals, 136 assists, 198 points, is a plus 25 while averaging 15:16 of ice time per game. He also has 14 shorthanded points to go with 431 blocks and 321 takeaways.
Winnik is a versatile forward that can play any of the three forward spots. The forward is very good defensively and he has good size. He never gives up on the puck but he is not very physical. He is also prone to long scoring droughts. He will have one year left on his contract and will be an unrestricted free agent. Winnik can be used on the penalty kill where he logs most of his ice time per game. He can play on either the third or fourth line for the stretch run. He is also a guy that can be used in pivotal situations during the playoffs.
On the flip side, Brooks Laich will be going from the top team in the NHL to one of the worst. In 60 games played for the Capital this season, he has one goal, six assists, seven points, is a minus seven and is averaging 10:33 of ice time per game. He one game-winning goal to go with 12 takeaways and nine giveaways. In 743 games played, Laich has 133 goals, 191 assists, 324 points, is a minus eight and has averaged 15:30 of ice time per game. He also has 42 power play goals, 88 power play points and 24 game-winning goals.
Laich is a veteran that will add leadership to a very young Leafs locker room. He can be effective in front of the net blocking the vision of the goalie or to dig for the loose puck. He can play on the power play and has played on the penalty kill in his career too. He can block shots, but he can be injury prone. The forward is streaky in his point production, but will be able to be leaned on down the stretch. He has one year left on his contract after this season at a $4.5 million cap hit.
Connor Carrick has spent most of his season with the Hershey Bears, the Capitals’ American Hockey League Affiliate (AHL). In 47 AHL games played, he has 10 goals, 16 assists, 26 points, a plus 23 and has 104 shots on goal. The 26 points were the best among the Bears’ defenseman. Carrick can move the puck and is mobile on the back-end. He has the ability to quarterback the power play, but can make mistakes with and without the puck. In 133 AHL games, he has 18 goals, 54 assists, 72 points and is a +12.
The Leafs also got the Capitals second round draft pick in the upcoming draft.