February 17, 2023
The St. Louis Blues have traded captain Ryan O’Reilly to the Toronto Maple Leafs
The St. Louis Blues continue to sell off their roster, sending captain Ryan O’Reilly to the Toronto Maple Leafs by way if the Minnesota Wild. The Blues also send Noel Acciari to Toronto, while the Wild ship Josh Pillar to the Maples Leafs as well. In exchange, Toronto sends a fourth round pick to Minnesota, Mikhail Abramov, Adam Gaudette, their 2023 first-round pick, Ottawa’s 2023 third-round pick and Toronto’s second-round pick in 2024.
Last week, the Blues shipped winger Vladimir Tarasenko and defenseman Niko Mikkola to the New York Rangers in exchange for forward Sammy Blais and prospect Hunter Skinner and a pair of conditional draft picks. The Blues are currently eight points behind the Colorado Avalanche with twenty-eight games left to play, and have decided to sell and rebound for the future.
See Also: Habs extend Harris for two more years
To facilitate the trade, St. Louis retains 50% of O’Reilly’s contract, while the Minnesota Wild retain a further 25%. This lowers his cap hit to$1.875 million down from $7.5 million.
Four years ago, O’Reilly, 32, lead the Blues to the Stanley Cup, while himself winning both the Selke and Conn Smythe trophies. Once regarded as one of the premier two-way centers in the league, O’Reilly’s numbers have been on the decline for the past two seasons. This season, in 40 games, he has scored 12 goals and 19 points. Last season, he scored 21 goals and 58 points in 78 games.
Noel Acciari, 31, has scored 10 goals and 18 points in 54 points while playing on the Blues third line. Tarasenko, O’Reilly and Acciari are all set to become unrestricted free agents come July. With Auston Mathews and John Tavares at center, it will be interesting where they slot O’Reilly in. While having O’Reilly center the Maple Leafs third line would give them quality down the middle, they conceivably also slot Acciari into that role, and play O’Reilly on the wing with either Tavares or Mathews.
>> Blues trade Tarasenko to the Rangers
>> Canucks trade captain Horvat to the Islanders
>> Several Habs could be on their way out come trade deadline
Now having acquired Toronto’s first round pick, and the New York Rangers first round pick last week – they now have three first round selections in this summers draft, which is said to be a talent-rich selection of young prospects.
The NHL trade deadline this year falls on March 3rd.