The Toronto Maple Leafs have acquired Ilya Lyubushkin and Ryan Dzingel from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for Nick Ritchie and either their 2023 third-round pick or 2025 second-round pick. Arizona will pick between them.

The Maple Leafs have been trying to trade Ritchie and acquire a right-handed defenseman. They completed both of these tasks with this one move, so this automatically looks good for them.

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Ritchie signed a two-year, $5 million contract with the Maple Leafs this past offseason after having a solid campaign with the Boston Bruins. Yet, things just did not work out for him with Toronto. In 33 games, he had two goals, seven assists, and a minus-6 rating. He also was placed on waivers and spent some time with the Marlies, too.

Perhaps this change of scenery could be exactly what Ritchie needs to get back on track. There’s way less pressure playing for the Coyotes, as they are a very small market and currently rebuilding. 

Lyubushkin is a solid bottom-pair defenseman who will provide the Maple Leafs with more depth. In 46 games this campaign, he has nine assists and a minus-6 rating. He plays a very physical game, as evidenced by his 94 hits. It’s never a a bad thing to add some grit to the blueline.

Dzingel will provide Toronto with a versatile, bottom-six forward. He has shown in the past that he can be a solid depth scorer in the right situation. In 26 games this season, he has four goals and three assists.

Photo Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

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