Toronto Maple Leafs Ilya Lyubushkin in blue and white jersey
Leafs acquire Ilya Lyubushkin from Ducks in a three-way deal. Get the latest NHL trade analysis and Leafs news here.

The Toronto Maple Leafs continue to bolster their roster, making a shrewd move by acquiring defenseman Ilya Lyubushkin from the Anaheim Ducks.

In a three-team deal involving the Carolina Hurricanes, the Leafs landed the rugged Russian for only a third-round pick. The Ducks will retain 50% of Lyubushkin’s salary while the Hurricanes receive a sixth-round pick for taking on an additional 25% of the cap hit.

Leafs Acquire Defensive Stalwart in Lyubushkin Trade

Lyubushkin, a 6-foot-2 right-shot, provides the Maple Leafs with much-needed grit and physicality on the blue line. This season, he has four assists, 51 penalty minutes, and a minus-13 rating in 55 games for the rebuilding Ducks. Though his offensive contributions aren’t significant, it’s the defensive-mindedness and bruising element that fits perfectly into the Leafs’ system.

The Leafs have struggled in their own zone at times this year. Lyubushkin, known for his shot-blocking and no-nonsense style, should immediately help solidify the defensive corps alongside the likes of Morgan Rielly. He won’t hesitate to stand up for teammates and inject some snarl into the Maple Leafs’ lineup, an element they were potentially missing.

This acquisition demonstrates GM Brad Treliving’s continued commitment to building a competitive roster for the playoffs. Lyubushkin bolsters a Leafs team eager to make a deep postseason run. It’s a low-risk move for a potentially high-reward player.

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