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NHL Trade Deadline frenzy: Leafs pick up Dewar & Edmundson


Who are the winners and losers at the deadline?

In a whirlwind of trades as the NHL trade season draws to a close, the Toronto Maple Leafs have acquired forward Connor Dewar from the Minnesota Wild. In exchange for Dewar’s services, the Maple Leafs sent Dmitry Ovchinnikov and a fourth-round pick in 2026 to the Wild, solidifying their roster for the challenges ahead.

The Hulk Lands in Toronto

This move comes hot on the heels of the Leafs’ previous acquisition of Joel Edmundson from the Washington Capitals, adding a formidable presence to their defensive lineup. Standing tall at six-foot-five and weighing in at 221 pounds, Edmundson brings a wealth of experience, having hoisted the Stanley Cup with the St. Louis Blues in 2019. His arrival injects a potent dose of playoff expertise into the Leafs’ locker room, a quality hailed by head coach Sheldon Keefe as invaluable.

Edmundson, 30, has collected 110 points (29 goals, 81 assists) in 521 career regular season games with Washington, Montreal, Carolina and St. Louis. The Brandon, Manitoba native has also registered 21 points in 75 career playoff contests.

“Joel’s got lots of experience, especially in the playoffs,” Keefe remarked to reporters. “He’s a big guy, competitive, protects the net very well. Not fun to play against. Adds depth to our defense. Gives us size and depth to our defense.”

Leafs Snag a Penalty Killing Specialist

Meanwhile, Dewar, set to turn 25 in the upcoming summer, joins the Leafs as a restricted free agent (RFA) boasting a career-high in goal scoring with 10 goals this season. Although he’s pegged as a bottom-six grinder, Dewar’s speed, physicality, and penalty-killing prowess make him a valuable addition to Toronto’s roster. With the Leafs seeking to bolster their penalty-killing units, Dewar’s defensive responsibility and competitiveness are seen as key assets by general manager Treliving.

Dewar has collected 38 points (18 goals, 20 assists) in 173 career regular season games with the Wild. The Pas, Manitoba native, who has skated in seven career NHL playoff games, was Minnesota’s third-round selection (92nd overall) in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.

“He gives us more depth in the middle,” Treliving commented on Dewar’s acquisition. “We have talked briefly with Sheldon (Keefe) throughout the day and a lot over the last few weeks about areas we would like to address. That is where we think Connor fits in with us. He is defensively sound. He is a very competitive player. Hopefully, he can help us on the PK.”

As the Maple Leafs gear up for the playoff push, the additions of Edmundson and Dewar signal their intent to fortify their squad and pursue hockey’s ultimate (and elusive) prize, the Stanley Cup.

Winners & Losers

At every trade deadline, there are both winners and losers, with the potential for each trade to shape the fortunes of NHL teams in different ways. Some acquisitions may propel teams deep into the playoffs, while others may disappoint with early exits. However, the unpredictable nature of the NHL means that apparent deadline losers could emerge as champions in the years to come, leveraging draft choices and young talent acquired during trades.

Indeed, the NHL thrives on its unpredictability, making it a league where anything can happen. As the trade deadline passes, it’s worth taking a closer look at which teams emerged as winners, bolstering their rosters for a playoff run. But only time will tell how these trades will truly shape the league’s landscape in the seasons ahead.

Vegas Golden Knights roll dice – Financial Flexibility

The reigning Stanley Cup champions, the Vegas Golden Knights, emerged as the clear winners of this year’s trade deadline frenzy. With star players Mark Stone and Jack Eichel sidelined on the Injured Reserve List, the Golden Knights (are they really injured?) strategically utilized their absence to free up salary cap space, providing them with ample financial flexibility to make impactful moves.


In a flurry of activity just before the deadline, Vegas secured Tomas Hertl from the San Jose Sharks. Despite Hertl’s current injury status, (on the IR until April 18) his towering six-foot-three frame and dynamic playmaking abilities are set to make the Golden Knights even more formidable, particularly down the centre of the ice.


But the acquisitions didn’t stop there. Prior to the deadline, Vegas executed a significant trade to bring in defenseman Noah Hanifin from the Calgary Flames. Hanifin’s dual threat as both an offensive catalyst and a defensive stalwart made him a highly sought-after asset, and his addition further solidifies the Golden Knights’ blue line.


Additionally, earlier in the week, Vegas struck a deal with the Washington Capitals to acquire Anthony Mantha, with the Capitals retaining half of his salary. These moves showcase the Golden Knights’ aggressive pursuit of talent and their commitment to reinforcing their roster for the challenges ahead.

Looking ahead to the playoffs, the imminent return of Eichel and Stone promises to elevate the Golden Knights to even greater heights. With a star-studded lineup bolstered by key deadline acquisitions, Vegas appears poised to assert their dominance in the Western Conference once again and mount a strong bid for back-to-back championships.

The soaring Winnipeg Jets

Another team that made waves at the trade deadline was the Winnipeg Jets. Earlier in the season, they bolstered their offensive arsenal by acquiring Sean Monahan from the rebuilding Flames, a move aimed at boosting their goal-scoring efforts. However, recognizing the need for further depth, the Jets made another significant move by acquiring Tyler Toffoli from the New Jersey Devils.

Jets get Toffoli

Toffoli, who currently boasts 26 goals this season, brings a wealth of experience to the Jets with 88 career playoff games under his belt, including two trips to the Final and a Stanley Cup ring. Notably, he delivered a heartbreaking overtime goal for the Montreal Canadiens that eliminated the Jets from the second round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

With Toffoli’s addition, the Jets have secured a top-six winger and a formidable 2C without depleting their prospect pool, relinquishing just a single first-round pick in the process. Winnipeg fans can surely be delighted with the astute work of GM Kevin Cheveldayoff, as the team positions itself for a strong playoff push.

The Hurricanes Load Up

The Carolina Hurricanes have responded to their Eastern Conference Final defeat in emphatic fashion: by prioritizing goals.

Jake Guentzel

Securing Jake Guentzel, arguably the most prolific scorer available at the deadline, signifies the Hurricanes’ commitment to bolstering their offensive firepower. Despite Guentzel’s current injury status, his track record speaks volumes about his ability to find the back of the net consistently. Additionally, Carolina managed to shed salary by offloading Michael Bunting to Pittsburgh, a move that didn’t pan out after Bunting signed a three-year UFA deal with the Hurricanes last summer.

Evgeny Kuznetsov

In a bold move, the Hurricanes have also taken a gamble on center Evgeny Kuznetsov. Although this comes with a cap hit of $3.9 million through next season, it represents a calculated risk for Carolina. At just 31 years old, Kuznetsov brings valuable experience, including a notable Stanley Cup run with the Capitals in 2018 where his performance earned Conn Smythe consideration.

Buffalo Builds for The Future

The Buffalo Sabres made a notable move amidst the whirlwind of buy/sell deadline activity, opting for a classic one-for-one hockey trade. With depth at centre, Buffalo capitalized on their strength by dealing Casey Mittelstadt to Colorado in exchange for defenseman Bowen Byram, addressing a positional need in the process.

Bowen Byram

Byram, a former fourth-overall pick just five years ago, faced significant challenges early in his career due to concussion issues. However, there’s optimism surrounding his potential, with hopes that he can remain healthy and fulfill his promise on a Sabres blue line now boasting three former top-four picks, including Rasmus Dahlin and Owen Power, both former No. 1 selections.

Avs get Mittelstadt & Walker

Meanwhile, Colorado also made strategic moves to bolster their roster, acquiring Mittelstadt and adding defenseman Sean Walker while parting ways with Ryan Johansen. This flurry of activity demonstrates the Avalanche’s proactive approach to strengthening their lineup for the challenges ahead.

The Grizzled Vet – League leading Panthers land Okposo

At 35 years old Kyle Okposo, the seasoned veteran, is playing in his 16th NHL season. Throughout his career, he’s experienced limited team success. Although, earlier this year, he did celebrate a significant milestone by playing his 1,000th NHL game with the Sabres. Now, he’s poised for a fresh opportunity to prove his value to the bottom lines of the league-leading Florida Panthers.

Henrique Provides Oilers Depth Scoring

On Wednesday, the Edmonton Oilers made a significant move by acquiring Adam Henrique and Sam Carrick from the Anaheim Ducks in a multi-team trade that also involved the Tampa Bay Lightning.

In exchange, Anaheim received a first-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft and a conditional fifth-round pick in the 2025 NHL Draft from Edmonton. Additionally, Anaheim retained 50 percent of both Henrique’s and Carrick’s contracts. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay received a fourth-round pick in the 2026 NHL Draft from Edmonton and retained 25 percent of Henrique’s contract. If the Oilers fail to secure the Stanley Cup, Tampa Bay’s pick will transition to the fourth round of the 2025 draft.

Oilers general manager Ken Holland expressed his satisfaction with the acquisition, emphasizing the versatility and depth that Henrique and Carrick bring to the team. Both players are adept at killing penalties and can contribute at the center position, further enhancing Edmonton’s lineup.

Henrique, who has amassed 42 points (18 goals, 24 assists) in 60 games this season, adds valuable scoring prowess to the Oilers’ offensive arsenal. The 34-year-old forward is in the final year of a five-year contract signed with the Ducks in 2018 and is poised to become an unrestricted free agent after the current season.

Strategic Moves

In comparison to other teams, the Toronto Maple Leafs took a more measured approach at the trade deadline, making strategic moves to address specific needs rather than pursuing blockbuster acquisitions. While the additions of Connor Dewar and Joel Edmundson provide valuable depth and playoff experience, the Leafs opted for targeted reinforcements rather than splashy headline-grabbing trades. As the postseason approaches, the Leafs remain a formidable contender in the Eastern Conference, boasting a potent combination of offensive firepower and defensive stability. With their roster enhancements and a renewed focus on playoff success, the Leafs undoubtedly have a shot at hoisting the Stanley Cup, but their journey will ultimately be determined by their performance on the ice when it matters most.

Myles Shane

by Myles Shane, totimes.ca

Myles Shane is a multifaceted professional with experience as an Associate Producer at ABC News PRIME TIME LIVE, and producer and writer of the documentary “Sex, Fame & Murder” for Bell Canada & A&E. Shane has also written for numerous renowned publications such as The Toronto Star, Animal Wellness, Dolce, The Hockey News, Playback, and a plethora of other magazines, newspapers, and websites. In addition to his side gig writing for the Toronto Times, Shane is a consultant for the new Documentary Streaming Channel in the US and the American film distributor Vision Films. Notably, Shane has made significant strides in fostering young talent and creativity as the creator of the groundbreaking “The Levi’s International Teen Movie Festival.”

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