Fantasy Impact: Maple Leafs Acquire Jared McCann

Dobber

2021-07-17

The Toronto Maple Leafs trade (back) prospect forward Filip Hallander and a seventh-round draft pick to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for forward Jared McCann.

The Leafs get: a steadily improving two-way forward who is only now entering his prime. This trade was made just prior to the expansion draft trade deadline so one would think that this is expansion draft protection list-related. If the Leafs protect seven forwards and three defensemen (logical), it allows them to protect Alex Kerfoot, Pierre Engvall and Jared McCann. This allows the Leafs some options. We'll see which direction they go. There are two options:

  1. Protect seven forwards and three defensemen. Under this method, they would have to leave Travis Dermott and Justin Holl exposed. They would likely lose Dermott. Prior to this trade, they could not do this because they would not have the required amount of eligible forwards exposed. Now it is an option.
  2. Still protect four forwards and four defensemen. This means protecting Dermott (I'm assuming that even though he had the better season, Holl is older and thus would get exposed). This means exposing McCann, Engvall and Kerfoot. The strategy here is to tempt Seattle with McCann, who to me would be the obvious choice. The end result would be that the Leafs "lost" prospect Hallander and a seventh-round pick to expansion. That's a great scenario.

The Penguins get: their prized prospect back (and believe me – they do not have enough good prospects, not even close) and a draft pick. They already would have had McCann protected, so expansion-draft-wise this only makes sense if they now protect Brandon Tanev. Which doesn't actually make sense, at least to me. And if they go the four-four route (forward-defenseman), then they can protect Mike Matheson – again, doesn't make sense, since nobody would take his cap hit. So the only reasonable explanation here is the cap savings. They save McCann's $3M cap hit.

Fantasy Players Impacted: Tough to evaluate here, as both teams will lose a player in a few days. But you have to think that McCann doesn't do as well in Toronto as he did in Pittsburgh. His metrics indicate that his goal rate was too high. His age and career trajectory would indicate that he is still on the rise. I consider him a 55-point player with goal totals that dip a little next season in Pittsburgh. But in Toronto this probably slips further to 50 or even high 40s. However, if he or Kerfoot are claimed, then he jumps back up to 55 points or higher.