Leafs trade Nick Ritchie to Arizona for pair of players

Feb 20 2022, 3:38 am

The Toronto Maple Leafs’ experiment with forward Nick Ritchie has officially come to an screeching halt, ending with a trade just 33 games into his first season with the team.

The Leafs announced on Saturday night that they’ve traded Ritchie to the Arizona Coyotes (along with a draft pick) in exchange for forward Ryan Dzingel and defenceman Ilya Lyubushkin.

Along with Ritchie, Arizona also gets their choice of Toronto’s third round selection in the 2023 NHL Draft or Toronto’s second round selection in 2025 NHL Draft.

Rumours that Ritchie could be on the move had surfaced earlier this week.

Prior to the trade, Ritchie had put up disappointing numbers in his time in Toronto, putting up just two goals and seven assists to total nine points.

Coming off a 15-goal season in Boston in just 50 games, Ritchie failed to score in his first 26 games in Toronto and eventually found himself out of the lineup since January 12. Ritchie signed a two-year deal in Toronto this past offseason, with an annual cap hit of $2.5 million.

Dzingel is also looking for a fresh start, with just four goals and three assists in his 26 games in Arizona. His contract expires after this season, with a cap hit of $1.1 million.

Lyubushkin, a 27-year-old defender in his fourth year in the NHL, has no goals and nine assists in 46 games this season with Arizona, while carrying a $1.35 million cap hit that also expires after this year.

More to come..

Adam LaskarisAdam Laskaris

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