The Toronto Maple Leafs announce that they have acquired centre David Steckel from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for a 4th round draft selection. Although Steckel offers little in the way of offense, the 6’5 forward provides the team with a big body for the checking lines, a solid two-way game and the skills of one of the game’s elite faceoff men. The 29 year old Wisconsin native carries a $1.1 million cap hit for this season and next.
This is a minor but shrewd acquisition that should align nicely with Burke‘s traditional top six bottom six methodology. During his timeÂ in Washington, Steckel was consistently the team’s go-to faceoff man in key defensive situations and led all forwards in penalty kill time. Â He is also one of only a handful of checkers around the NHL who can boast 100+ hits, 30+ blocked shots and a positive takeaway/giveaway ratio.
Given the surplus of depth up front, this could be a precursor to another roster clearing move.