The Toronto Maple Leafs have acquired defenceman Ben Hutton from the Anaheim Ducks as the trade deadline expires Monday afternoon. Neither team was particularly active on deadline day, but they still found the enthusiasm for one small deal. The Ducks will receive a fifth-round pick in the upcoming 2021 Draft. Elliotte Friedman announced the deal Monday afternoon.
Ben Hutton to TOR
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) April 12, 2021
Leafs Acquire Ben Hutton
Hutton has not thrived in Anaheim, but he’s been fine considering the context. The 27-year-old skater has one goal and five points in 34 games. That translates to an average of .15 points per game. It isn’t the lowest of Hutton’s career, but it certainly reflects his heavy deployment in the defensive zone. He has started on defence in roughly 64 percent of his starts, which has dropped his Corsi For to 45.8 percent with a relative Corsi of -4.8. He needs a new location that allows him more freedom than Anaheim’s.
The Vancouver Canucks originally drafted the 6’2″ Hutton in the fifth round of the 2012 Draft and were happy with his immediate production after a debut in 2015-16. The Brockville, Ontario native posted 19 or more points in three of his four seasons with Vancouver. He signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Kings for 2019-20 and had another fine year with four goals and 16 points. 2020-21 is just the second of six seasons where Hutton has failed to score at least 10 points, but there is still time after this move.
What This Means For The Future
Hutton will not be a central figure on Toronto’s blue line, but he is a big, physical option for the penalty-kill. There is an obvious role for him playing every few games while the Leafs rest their stars for the postseason. At the very least, Hutton has a prime shot to win a Stanley Cup this year.
For Anaheim, this deal sheds a player who wasn’t making a huge impact and wasn’t going to be around next season. The Ducks have far more talented defenders in the system waiting for a promotion. This trade both clears a roster spot for one of them and acquires another pick to help the rebuild.