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Maple Leafs make major trade, acquiring Ryan O’Reilly from the St. Louis Blues for a first-round pick, center Adam Gaudette and other pieces… as Toronto stocks up for a Stanley Cup run

The Toronto Maple Leafs snagged one of the biggest trade candidates in the NHL market late Friday night when they made a deal for St. Louis Blues center Ryan O’Reilly in a three-team trade.

Toronto acquires the 2019 Conn Smythe Trophy winner as well as forward Noel Acciari from the Blues in exchange for forwards Mikhail Abramov and Adam Gaudette, Toronto’s 2023 first-round pick, Ottawa’s 2023 third-round pick, and Toronto’s 2024 second-round pick.

As part of the deal, St. Louis acquired then traded Minnesota Wild prospect Josh Pillar to Toronto – while Toronto sent Minnesota a 2025 fourth-round pick through the Blues.

To make the deal even sweeter for Toronto, O’Reilly will only be on their books at a cost of 25 percent of his salary. St. Louis retained 50 percent as part of the deal while Minnesota retained the final 25 percent.

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While the deal is large at nine pieces, it helps the Maple Leafs massively in an area of need on their second and third lines – while Acciari helps to boost the team’s depth scoring.

Ryan O'Reilly is now a Toronto Maple Leaf after being traded in a three-team deal on Friday

Ryan O’Reilly is now a Toronto Maple Leaf after being traded in a three-team deal on Friday

Adam Gaudette (center) is now headed to St Louis at part of the huge NHL trade

Adam Gaudette (center) is now headed to St Louis at part of the huge NHL trade

It will all be a part of Toronto’s quest to not only win their first Stanley Cup since 1967, but to make it out of the first round of the playoffs for the first time since 2004.

He joins a high powered offense that is eighth in average goals per game and has four players in the top-30 in scoring in Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, William Nylander, and John Tavares.

O’Reilly arrived in St. Louis via a trade in 2018 from the Buffalo Sabres that sent him to the Blues while Buffalo received two draft picks and forwards Tage Thompson, Vladimir Sobotka and Patrik Berglund. 

In St. Louis, O’Reilly won his first Stanley Cup – the franchise’s first ever – alongside the Selke Trophy as the league’s best defensive forward and the Conn Smythe as the most valuable player of the playoffs.

Moreover, O’Reilly was named the Blues captain in 2020 when former leader Alex Pietrangelo departed for the Vegas Golden Knights in free agency.

So far this season, O’Reilly has slumped – only putting up 12 goals and seven assists for 19 points in 40 games.

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However, thanks to his ability to play at both center and left wing, Toronto picks up a valuable option.

Noel Acciari is another piece heading to Toronto as the Maple Leafs eye a Stanley Cup run

Noel Acciari is another piece heading to Toronto as the Maple Leafs eye a Stanley Cup run

On the third line between left winger Pierre Engvall and right winger Calle Jarnkrok – who have combined for 45 points in 101 combined games – O’Reilly will provide a much-needed veteran presence.

On the second line as a left winger alongside Tavares and Marner – who have a combined 120 points in 110 games – he’ll add defensive help the team could need down the stretch of a deep Stanley Cup playoff run.

Meanwhile, Acciari and the Maple Leafs are very familiar with each other – as the Johnston, Rhode Island native played for his hometown team the Boston Bruins.

In two straight postseasons, Acciari helped the Bruins beat the Leafs in Game 7 of the first round to knock Toronto out. He has ten goals and eight assists for 18 points in 54 games – mostly played on the fourth line.

Both Gaudette and Abramov have yet to play in the NHL this season – with both having spent time in the American Hockey League.  

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