Maple Leafs trade Kasperi Kapanen to Penguins for 1st-round pick in multi-player deal

The Maple Leafs have traded winger Kasperi Kapanen to the Pittsburgh Penguins in a multi-player deal that also lands Toronto a first-round draft pick.

Kapanen, defence prospect Jesper Lindgren and winger Pontus Aberg go to the Penguins for the 15th overall pick in this year’s draft, forwards Evan Rodrigues and Filip Hallander and defenceman David Warsofsky.

The trade also allows Toronto to clear some cap space. Kapanen, 24, has a cap hit of $3.2 million US for the next two years.

Toronto now has a first-round pick back in this year’s draft after trading its first-rounder (13th overall) to the Carolina Hurricanes last summer.

“Kasperi is a good, young player that brings speed to our lineup and plays the way we want to play,” Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford said in a statement. “Having previously drafted him [22nd overall in 2014], we know him as a player and feel he can improve our top-six.”

The trade involves two teams eliminated in the qualifying round of the NHL’s post-season earlier this month.

WATCH | GM Dubas acknowledges Leafs’ scoring woes in qualifier series:

Auston Matthews speaks to the media during his end of season media availability. 9:41

Kapanen made his NHL debut with the Leafs in 2015-16. Since then, he has played 202 games for Toronto, recording 41 goals and 49 assists. He was dealt to Toronto as part of a blockbuster deal for Phil Kessel in the summer of 2015.

Aberg, from Sweden, had one assist in five games with the Leafs this season. He had 20 goals and 44 points in 55 games with the American Hockey League’s Toronto Marlies.

Lindgren, also a Swede, was a fourth-round Leafs pick in 2015. He had one goal and nine points in 31 games for the Marlies this season.

Rodrigues was acquired by the Penguins from the Buffalo Sabres at the trade deadline this year. The Toronto native, who is a restricted free agent, had six goals and four assists in 45 NHL games this season.

Hallander, a second-round pick in 2018, has played in Sweden the past two years.

Warsofsky has spent the past two seasons in the AHL.

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