Acquisition Of Frederik Andersen Sends Strong Message
When Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Lou Lamoriello completed the deal with the Anaheim Ducks for goaltender Frederik Andersen earlier this week, many fans were up in arms about the price tag— a first round pick in 2016 (30th overall, acquired in the Phil Kessel trade), and a 2017 second round pick.
Anytime you give up a first round draft choice there is always a chance that the pick you trade turns into a stud in your opponents lineup five years down the road. That said, as the saying goes, you have to give up something to get something and Toronto got “something” in Andersen.
The deal for Andersen was contingent on the Leafs’ signing him to a long term deal, which Lamoriello and Co. did, signing the 26-year old netminder to a five-year deal worth a reported $25 million.
Originally drafted by the Ducks in the third round (87th overall) in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, Andersen brings impressive size (6’4”, 220 pounds), experience (125 regular season games, an excellent record (77-26-0-12), solid career numbers (2.33 GAA, .918 SV% and six shutouts), a William M. Jennings Trophy and invaluable playoff experience.
In 2014-15, Andersen compiled a playoff record of 11-5 to go along with a 2.34 GAA and a .913 SV%. This spring, he compiled a 3-2 record in the playoffs to go along with an impressive 1.41 GAA and an exceptional .947 SV%.
Add it all up and you can clearly see that the Maple Leafs just landed one of the best young goaltenders in the league.
Of course, Andersen does not come without flaws. Despite starting 53 games in 2014/15 and 37 last season, Andersen is not true number one starter, not yet, anyways.
That said, given his strong conditioning and commitment to evolving his game, it is pretty safe to say that Andersen will see at least 60 starts in 2016/17 with the Maple Leafs.
Not only should Andersen solidify the Maple Leafs between the pipes, acquiring him sends a strong message to the rest of the NHL that the Maple Leafs are building a strong team, one that might just contend for a playoff spot as early as the 2016/17 season.
Many NHL general manager’s believe you have to build a championship team from the crease out. Look around the league— outside of Andersen, how many goaltenders would you rather have between the pipes? Five? Ten? Either way, Andersen should be a solid addition, one that is capable of leading the Maple Leafs to the playoffs and winning a round or two once they get there.