Leafs trade Jhonas Enroth to Anaheim Ducks

Photo Credit: Dan Hamilton/USA TODAY SPORTS

Lou Lamoriello wants you to never sleep ever, apparently. The Toronto Maple Leafs have traded Jhonas Enroth to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for a pick in next year’s NHL Entry Draft.

The Leafs originally signed Enroth this summer, hot off the heels of a perfectly competent 2015/16 season where he played in 16 games for the Los Angeles Kings (13 starts) and posted a 0.922 save percentage, with “quality starts” (above 0.915) in 61.5% of his appearances. Given the potential upside and the fact that most of his years have been at least at “competent-ish backup” level throughout his career, the Leafs offered him a no-risk 1-year deal at $750,000.

It did not go as planned. In four starts and six appearances in Toronto, Enroth had a career-worst 0.872 save percentage, with his only over-0.900 game coming in a three-save, five-minute victory that he didn’t get credit for because he was merely filling in for Frederik Andersen after a line brawl against the Vancouver Canucks on November 11th. That was just about his only celebratory moment in the organization, as his role shifted to the Toronto Marlies. In three appearances with them, he posted a 0.904 save percentage and a 2-1-0 record.

On top of his poor efforts with the Leafs, it became quickly apparent that Enroth’s small stature was doing him no favours with the coaching staff. Enroth stands at just 5’11, and Mike Babcock prefers larger goaltenders who can close off angles from afar, particularly in a more rush-oriented system like the Leafs are playing today.

In return, Toronto gets a seventh-round pick in the 2018 Entry Draft; which is still a long ways away. Toronto has gotten some decent value out of that final round before; 7th round picks by the Leafs include Nikolai Chebykin (2016), Nikita Korostelev (2015), Pierre Engvall (2014), Andreas Johnsson (2013), Viktor Loov (2012), and Garret Sparks (2011).

As for what Anaheim sees in him, it might legitimately being a case of trying to dig their way up from a trade chain with the Leafs. Looking to fill the void made by trading Frederik Andersen to Toronto in June, they picked up Jonathan Bernier shortly after his annual signing bonus was paid off. Bernier has a winning record at the moment (6-3-1), but his save percentage of 0.897 isn’t much better and is falling faster than it is rising. Perhaps in Enroth, Bob Murray and Randy Carlyle believe they can salvage something out of him that works better under their system than it does with the Leafs. 

As well, and perhaps more importantly, the Ducks have injury issues at the AHL level, with both Dustin Tokarski and Matt Hackett injured. San Diego are hanging on for dear life right now in the Pacific Division, with a 0.534 points percentage despite a -6 goal differential, so having somebody useful in goal is key and, while they might the next time he gets called up, they don’t have to worry about waivers with him right now.

Either way, it’s a shame it didn’t work out for the 27-year-old Swede. For now, the Leafs will hope that their waiver claim of Curtis McElhinney fares a bit better as their backup, while Garret Sparks and Antoine Bibeau finally go back to competing for minutes with the Marlies.

Prior Enroth Reading