The Blackhawks aren’t done. They’re back in the first round, acquiring the 25th overall pick from the Toronto Maple Leafs as well as goaltender Petr Mrazek in exchange for the 38th overall pick. The Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli first reported the trade, which has since been confirmed by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. The trade creates an additional $3.8MM in additional salary cap space for the Maple Leafs over each of the next two seasons.
For the Blackhawks, who are entering the next phase of a full-scale rebuild, the trade gives the team their third first-round pick of the evening after entering the day with zero picks in the round. The team used the pick to select Sam Rinzel, a Minnesota high school defenseman who was projected to go in the middle of the second round. The interesting wrinkle to this selection is that Chicago may have been able to simply utilize the 38th overall selection they traded away to select Rinzel, however draft-floor chatter may have made Chicago move quicker than they had intended.
The deal is a no-brainer for Toronto, who was already tight on salary cap space, giving them some breathing room, and doing so at the cost of sliding down just 13 spots in the draft order. Mrazek struggled greatly this season, posting a 3.38 goals-against average and .888 save-percentage in 20 games, dealing with injuries and even being placed on waivers. One issue with the deal is is it leaves the Maple Leafs without either of the goalies they started their season with, as All Star Jack Campbell is set to hit the UFA market. However, this trade opens up room for the team to take a run at keeping Campbell in the fold, or at least find a replacement.