Dion Phaneuf was far and away the biggest name exchanging teams in the Toronto-Calgary deal on Sunday morning, and as a result, young defenseman Keith Aulie may have gotten a little overlooked in the shuffle. But make no mistake about it: Aulie was a significant piece in this trade for Brian Burke and the huge, imposing blueliner should figure prominently in the Maple Leafs’ defensive core of the future. Let’s take a look at what the newest Maple Leafs’ prospect could bring to the table in a few years time.
Prospect defenceman Keith Aulie:
“Aulie is a 6’6 defenceman playing for Abbotsford of the AHL. Our plans for Keith are for him to stay at the AHL level for the present, so he will report to the Marlies. This is a player who played on the national junior team and won a gold medal. Excellent skater for a big man, a guy we coveted and hard to work real hard to get into the deal. We think he’s going to be a really good NHL player down the road for a long time. We think right now, like Calgary did, that from a development standpoint, he’ll be better off logging big minutes in the American league.
To Toronto: Keith Aulie, Dion Phaneuf, Frederick Sjostrom
To Calgary: Matt Stajan, Niklas Hagman, Jamal Mayers, Ian White
A second trade is expected to be announced shortly, involving J-S Giguere.
The final roster for Hockey Canada’s 2009 World Junior Hockey team was announced early this morning and here were the final 16 cuts:
Memorial Cup winning netminder Tyson Sexsmith and Jake Allen; defencemen Travis Hamoic – who won gold with the under-18 squad – Kevin Marshall, Patrick Wiercioch, Jarred Spurgeon, Brendan Smith and Tyler Cuma, who suffered a knee injury during camp; forwards Evander Kane, Riley Nash, Jamie Arniel, Nazem Kadri, Matt Duchene, Brayden Schenn, Taylor Hall and Matt Calvert.