The Colorado Avalanche, still looking for some scoring depth, have acquired Denis Malgin from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for Dryden Hunt. The move is the second time Hunt has switched teams this season after being claimed off waivers from the New York Rangers in October.
Malgin, 25, returned to North America this season after spending the last two years in Switzerland, where he dominated the National League for both Lausanne and Zurich. In 2021-22 he scored 21 goals and 52 points in 48 regular season games, then put up 18 points in 17 postseason matches. It appeared as though he might get an extended opportunity next to John Tavares and Mitch Marner with Toronto, but after scoring just four points in 23 games so far, the team has moved on.
Colorado has recalled Martin Kaut today, likely as Malgin sorts out travel plans to join the club.
Hunt, meanwhile, is a more traditional bottom-six forward and has just two goals in 28 games split between Colorado and New York. Though he’s not a huge player, he does bring a lot more physicality than Malgin, and can potentially give Toronto an extra fourth-line option to work with.
Notably, Maple Leafs forward Calle Jarnkrok was spotted at practice today in a regular sweater. His return from injury would have likely pushed Malgin down, if not entirely out of the lineup, and likely means there won’t be an immediate spot for Hunt. That could mean Hunt will end up on waivers again at some point, though the Maple Leafs do have an extra roster spot right now for Jarnkrok’s activation.
A swap of playstyle from two underperforming depth forwards, this may end up not meaning much for either organization. It certainly will, however, cause some more painful memories for Maple Leafs fans who watched the team trade Mason Marchment for Malgin in 2020. While Marchment has established himself as a force in the league, Malgin provided the Maple Leafs with four points in 31 total games.