Phil Kessel: Anatomy Of A Leafs Trade

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What exactly is Phil Kessel worth? Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

What Is Phil Kessel Worth?

Now to get to the age-old, will be talked to death until the moment he gets moved and then over-analyzed to death for years afterwards… What is Phil Kessel worth?

First we’ll take a look at earlier trades of star players with comparable situations with Kessel. So we have some com parables to play with.

Let’s establish some ground rules;

  1. Has to be within a few years of Kessel in age
  2. Has to be a Star Winger
  3. Preferably long-term, high cap hit commitment

Prolific goal scorer with a bit of a one-dimensional game, he was a few years older than Kessel at the time of the trade but otherwise very similar player. Now Vanek was going to be a UFA so that is a hit to the comparisons here. An older vet 30 goal scorer who admittedly benefited from playing with Tavares, a 1st round pick in a VERY deep draft and a 2nd round pick for a player with similar skill sets to Kessel gives us a framework to begin to see a trade happening.

One of the better returns that we can hope for. Silfverberg is a 200ft player capable of playing a shutdown game and has some untapped offensive potential. Noesen has not turned into an NHL player as of yet but has the potential to be a 2nd line scorer and the real prize was the Senators having a miserable year and getting the 10th overall pick that turned into hulking power forward Nick Ritchie. Young NHL roster player, high-end prospect, 1st round pick (inside the top 10 as a bonus)

Rick Nash had a big time 7.8M contract with 6 years left to play off. Although he is known as a goal scorer (5X 30 and another 3X 40 goal seasons) he has never hit 80 points, and only once hit 70. Despite his showings for Team Canada; he has a history as a playoff under performer, posting 32pts in 60 NHL playoff games.

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Brandon Dubinsky, at the time was considered an under performer and a bit of a salary dump, but has turned into a capable top6 forward for Columbus. Anisimov has mostly been a 3rd line player, but has shown the ability to play up the lineup when injuries arise.

Tim Erixon (the recently re-signed Leaf) is now on his 5th team after once being a promising young blue liner and will only hold down an NHL roster spot with the Leafs this season because of the expected exodus of NHL level talent in front of him. The 2013 1st round pick turned into Kerby Rychel, who the Blue Jakcets have apparently tried to trade a half-dozen times already. While Rychel isn’t a pro yet, all indicators are he will be a quality offensive piece on an NHL’s team 2nd or 3rd line. So 1 top 6 center, 1 top 9 center, 1 young defensive prospect and a 1st round pick for a prolific goal scorer in his prime with a long, expensive contract… sound familiar?

Carter was playing mostly as a winger on Mike Richard’s line in Philly at the time of this trade, but technically I broke my 2nd rule, I know. Jakub Voracek at the time of this deal had been a relatively, underwhelming NHL player, but really broke out with the Flyers and Claude Giroux as a running mate, while Jeff Carter went on to win 2 Stanley Cup rings. The first round pick turned into defensive stalwart and all around under appreciated center Sean Couturier. This is the kind of home run trade you can only hope for in a Kessel deal.

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