In order for the Toronto Maple Leafs to figure out the salary cap gymnastics of their acquisition of Mark Giordano and Colin Blackwell, they have opened up some space and honored a trade request by sending young defenseman Travis Dermott to the Vancouver Canucks. TSN’s Darren Dreger was the first to report the deal, with colleague Pierre LeBrun adding that the return is a 2022 third-round pick, a pick originally belonging to the Winnipeg Jets. Both clubs have confirmed the deal.
After trading Travis Hamonic earlier today for a third-round pick, the Canucks essentially made a Travis-for-Travis swap after receiving and sending similar draft selections. However, it is difficult to call that anything but a win for Vancouver. Dermott, 25, is much younger and at this point in his career a more dynamic player than Hamonic and likely has his best days ahead of him. Yet, he also costs half as much at $1.5MM through next season compared to Hamonic’s $3MM, something highly valuable to the cap-strapped Canucks. Vancouver will also maintain control of Dermott after the 2022-23 season, as he will be a restricted free agent.
Dermott requested a trade out of Toronto seeking greater opportunity and he will find that in Vancouver. The Canucks’ defense corps is led by young Quinn Hughes and includes veterans Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Tyler Myers, but Dermott could wind up as the final piece of the top four. Tucker Poolman and Luke Schenn are both signed through at least next season while Jack Rathbone and others could make a push from the AHL, but this is less stiff competition than what Dermott faced with the Leafs. A player who flashed greater ability earlier in his career than he has in recent years, Dermott could find his way back to the player he was expected to be, which would make this an excellent deal for the Canucks.