Unable to crack the Anaheim line-up, the Ducks traded center Peter Holland to the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Ducks also sent right wing Brad Staubitz, who played in Norfolk all season.
In exchange, the Ducks received defenseman Jesse Blacker and the third-round and seventh-round selections in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. The third-round pick becomes a second-round selection should certain conditions be met. The seventh-round pick returns to Anaheim after originally being sent to Toronto with right wing Ryan Lasch in exchange for center David Steckel.
Blacker, 22, has been playing with the Leafs AHL team all season and will be sent to Norfolk. He has six goals and 29 points in 130 career AHL games.
Holland, 22, appeared in four games with Anaheim this season, scoring one goal. He was a first round selection (15th overall) in 2009.
The Ducks have significant depth at center with Ryan Getzlaf, Saku Koivu, Mathieu Perreault, Andrew Cogliano, and Nick Bonino. Rickard Rakell has also played a few games for Anaheim and has been doing well in that position. Unfortunately that left Holland as odd man out.
For the Leafs, an injury to Nazem Kadri has left Toronto thin up the middle, so Holland should be able to fill that gap for them and get the NHL ice time that he deserves.
By moving both Holland and Staubitz, Anaheim also clears about $1.5 million in salary, giving them a little more breathing room with their cap space.
Although it is hard to say goodbye to a first round draft pick, Holland was truly stuck in no man's land. Too good to be in the AHL, but not really strong enough to beat out other guys on the roster in the center position. Even if Koivu retires after this season (which is likely to happen), there is still a logjam at that position. Now with the Leafs, he can take advantage of that opportunity and make the most of it.
Personally, I wish him very well in his new home!