The St. Louis Blues have acquired the rights to 23-year old forward Dakota Joshua from the Toronto Maple Leafs, and quickly agreed to a two-year entry-level contract with him. The deal is only for future considerations, likely meaning that Joshua was not going to sign a contract with the Maple Leafs for one reason or another and would have become an unrestricted free agent in August.
Selected in the fifth round of the 2014 draft, Joshua first played a year in the USHL before attending Ohio State University for four seasons. The 6’3″ forward amassed 100 points in 128 games at Ohio State and will make the leap to professional hockey with a well-rounded game. It’s hard to imagine him winning an NHL job at training camp, but a strong showing with the San Antonio Rampage could have him on track to make an impact in the near future. That impact would likely come as a bottom-six forward, but there is still time for him to grow even more into his power game on offense.
For the Maple Leafs, any number of reasons could have led to the team not being able to sign Joshua. One of the considerations would have likely been their number of contracts, which currently sits at 45 even with Mitch Marner still to sign. Though the Maple Leafs could have used one of those slots for Joshua, they are often involved in other college and international free agents throughout the year and would need room to sign them.
Obviously this move is low-risk for the Blues, since the team has given up basically nothing to add another depth piece. It’s not clear what considerations they will afford Toronto in the future.