Profiling the Newest Toronto Maple Leafs from the Kapanen Trade

Filip Hallander, one of the latest acquisitions of the Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Kevin Light/Getty Images)
Filip Hallander, one of the latest acquisitions of the Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Kevin Light/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Maple Leafs
Filip Hallander, one of the latest acquisitions of the Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images) /

Thanks to a slick trade, the Toronto Maple Leafs have added three new players to the organization. We breakdown what to expect of each of them.

The Toronto Maple Leafs pulled off a massive trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday.

At the center of the deal is winger, Kasperi Kapanen. Without the success that the team was hoping for and unable to qualify for the playoffs, General Manager Kyle Dubas needed to make changes.

We profile all the new players that will be joining the Maple Leafs next season.

Toronto Maple Leafs Newest Members

Instead of making  excuses for a disappointing season, Dubas got right to work trying to improve the outlook for the team. Ultimately, he was able to fleece the Penguins GM Jim Rutherford.

Rutherford appears to be very fond of Kapanen. That might be why he gave up so much to re-acquire the speedy Fin. Rutherford originally drafted Kapanen at 22nd overall in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft for the Penguins. Before he could suit up for the team, Kapanen was sent to Toronto as a part of a package in 2015 in exchange for Phil Kessel, Tyler Biggs and Tim Erixon.

Shipping Kapanen back to Pittsburgh gives Toronto a very important draft pick after they lost out on drafting a gem. They will now select 15th in the upcoming NHL Draft. The Leafs won’t just enjoy the opportunity to build their team this way, but they also add what could be important players to the organization.

Filip Hallander

Filip Hallander is a high octane forward who has played both center and on the wing. As a likely replacement for Kapanen, he too is adept at getting back in his own end to help force turnovers. In fact, he is often seen backchecking and forchecking.

Hallander took a little longer in his development than the Penguins were hoping for. Instead of sending him to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to play in the American Hockey League (AHL), Rutherford loaned him to the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) to play professionally in Europe.

While there, he was seen as a high IQ player that both passed and shot the puck well. This has made him a dual-threat on offense with an ability to both score and help create chances for his teammates.

This past season, Hallander played for Luleå HF in the SHL. Hallander got off to a slow start due to a leg fracture that kept him out of the lineup for the first half of the season. He still managed to play 27 games, where he recorded five goals and nine assists for a total of14 points. In the team’s postseason, he added two goals and two helpers in six additional games.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are likely hoping that Hallander can fit on their second line next season as he has been projected to be a top-six forward.