The Anaheim Ducks caused a ripple of NHL trade rumors after they removed Ilya Lyubushkin from their lineup shortly before their game against the San Jose Sharks. Now, word has come in that the Ducks and Toronto Maple Leafs have engaged in a trade that brings depth.

Maple Leafs bolster their center depth in decisive NHL trade

The Maple Leafs are acquiring seventh-year Ilya Lyubushkin from the Ducks, The Athletic's Chris Johnston reports. Toronto's move lands Lyubushkin at a cap hat of $687,000 with double retention, which is less than the league minimum salary. Thus, the Leafs still have room to make more moves before the March 8th deadline.

Toronto has had a strong first half of the 2023-24 NHL season. The team has accumulated 76 points, ranking them third in the Pacific Division standings. As a result, the Leafs seek to bolster the depth of their team before they attempt a deep postseason run.

Ilya Lyubushkin should help provide more support for the team. The 29-year-old amassed four goals and four points in 55 games played for the Ducks. His numbers are not eye-popping, but his presence helps Toronto both on the ice and financially.

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Maple Leafs players celebrating in joy.

Benjamin Adducchio ·

It will be interesting to see if the Leafs make any more moves before the NHL trade deadline. In the meantime, Auston Matthews and company will continue their march towards a Stanley Cup Playoffs berth.

Matthews spearheads Toronto's attack. He leads the NHL with 55 goals and ranks eighth in points with 77 through 57 games. Can he and the re-vamped Maple Leafs get over the hump in the Eastern Conference?