Fri, Feb 17, 2023 at 11:25pm


In a three-team trade, the Toronto Maple Leafs acquired center Ryan O'Reilly and forward Noel Acciari from the St. Louis Blues, and forward Josh Pillar from the Minnesota Wild; St. Louis acquired forwards Adam Gaudette and Mikhail Abramov, a first-round draft pick in 2023, a third-round draft pick in 2023 and a second-round draft pick in 2024 from the Maple Leafs; and Minnesota acquired a fourth-round draft pick in 2025 from the Maple Leafs.

What does it give the Toronto Maple Leafs
Toronto has made its big move to get over the playoff hurdle. In O'Reilly, the Maple Leafs land an outstanding two-way center with championship pedigree. The fact he won a Stanley Cup in St. Louis is probably the key to this trade. He will likely play on the third line behind Auston Matthews and John Tavares, providing Toronto with outstanding center depth. Acciari can also play center but is more likely to wind up on the wing as a fourth-line role player. He too is a great addition to the Leafs.

What does it give the St. Louis Blues
St. Louis has decided to blow things up this season. After trading away Vladimir Tarasenko to the Rangers, the Blues now moved on from captain O'Reilly. In exchange for the pending UFA, the Blues received three quality draft picks (two in this year's draft) and two AHL forwards. The three draft picks are the key to the deal from a St. Louis perspective, although both Gaudette and Abramov are still young enough to become NHL regulars for the Blues. Let the rebuilding plan begin in Missouri.

What does it give the
Minnesota was needed to complete this trade because the Wild will retain salary on O'Reilly's contract (since the Maple Leafs did not have enough cap space to take O'Reilly on all on their own). The Wild also traded away forward prospect Josh Pillar (who needed to be signed before June 1) to Toronto to complete this trade, receiving a fourth-round pick in '25 in return. It appears that Minnesota GM Bill Guerin helped both Toronto and St. Louis out by getting involved in this trade. But why?

Fantasy impact
O'Reilly takes a slight fantasy hit after this trade, since he should see less time on the power play and be used far more in defensive situations. That said, he was not enjoying a big 2022-23 campaign so a change of scenery may help get his juices flowing again. Acciari, Gaudette and Abramov can be safely ignored in most league formats, while Pillar is not good enough to be on the keeper radar either.

Player focus

St. Louis Blues

Draft pick - Round 1 in 2023

Draft pick - Round 3 in 2023

Draft pick - Round 2 in 2024

Adam Gaudette C

Mikhail Abramov C/W

Minnesota Wild

Draft pick - Round 4 in 2025