The rebuild of the Toronto Maple Leafs never sleeps, not even on the team’s bye-week.
Just after midnight, the Maple Leafs traded Jhonas Enroth to the Anaheim Ducks for a 7th-round pick in 2018. Unlike the Jonathan Bernier trade, there is no conditional nature to the pick, according to Chris Johnston of Sportsnet. The deal comes just hours after the Maple Leafs claimed Curtis McElhinney on waivers.
McElhinney is considered a big upgrade over Enroth, at least by this season’s numbers. In seven games this season, McElhinney has a 0.924 save percentage, much better than Enroth’s 0.872 SV% in six appearances. However, six or seven games is not much to judge a goaltender by, as Enroth’s career SV% is slightly higher (0.909 vs 0.905). Enroth failed to gain the confidence of head coach Mike Babcock, and that’s not a good sign for any player on the rebuilding Leafs.
The trade is relatively small but a win-win overall. The Maple Leafs are able to move on from Enroth and move a contract from their 50-man list, while Enroth will give the Ducks some insurance as both of their AHL goaltenders, Dustin Tokarski and Matt Hackett, are currently battling injuries. Enroth and his $750K contract will report to the San Diego Gulls.
Back in Toronto, their minor-league goaltenders will get a chance to develop further. Antoine Bibeau has been solid in his two NHL starts with a 0.927 SV% and a GAA below two, but he’s better served by playing games in the AHL instead of sitting on the bench. Garret Sparks has yet to be given a chance at the NHL level this season.
The Leafs had previously explored the possibility of signing Karri Ramo, but he suffered a setback in his recovery and was forced to undergo another surgery last month. He’s expected to be ready to go in February, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger.