Kyle Dubas wasted no time making his first public move the day after the Stanley Cup was presented to the Washington Capitals.

Yesterday, the Toronto Maple Leafs sent the Edmonton Oilers the rights to Nolan Vesey in exchange for conditional 2020 7th round pick. The conditions are unknown, but Vesey subsequently signed an extension with the Oilers shortly thereafter.

The conditions could have been contingent on him signing an ELC — which he did — or it could be based on Vesey playing a predetermined amount of NHL games.

Should the conditions be met, this would give the Maple Leafs three 7th round picks in the 2020 NHL Draft (the other acquired in the Eric Fehr trade with San Jose), for 9 picks total.

Vesey was quite far down the Maple Leafs depth chart and realistically had no shot at cracking the roster at anytime. He’s not a player with any standout skill, but is noted for his hardworking style. Vesey’s father, Jim Sr. is an amateur scout with the Maple Leafs.

While not a noteworthy trade, history tells us teams that complete deals together are more likely to make them in the future. The Oilers have made some very questionable trades and the General Manager, Peter Chiarelli, is under extreme pressure to build a championship team around the league’s best offensive player, Connor McDavid. So far, the moves he has made have not worked out as expected and the franchise is bleeding talent with each successive trade they make. Whether or not more deals can be made between the two clubs remains to be seen, but the lines of communication are no doubt open now. Of note: the last time the two organizations completed a transaction was June 27, 2015, when the Maple Leafs acquired Martin Marincin for Brad Ross and 107th overall pick. This was the period of time that new Maple Leafs GM, Kyle Dubas was in the driver seat on the draft floor before the hiring of Lou Lamoriello; this isn’t the first time that Chiarelli and Dubas have made a deal and there appears to be a level of trust developing between the two.

It has been noted that Craig MacTavish, current Vice President of Hockey Operations for the Oilers, has been a regular fixture scouting the Toronto Marlies all year — including their Calder Cup playoff run. The Maple Leafs were also heavily scouted by the Oilers leading up to the trade deadline this past season, including Chiarelli himself.

The Maple Leafs have a glut of talent on the wing and this is a current area of weakness for the Oilers that they are trying to shore up. There have also been some strong rumours of the Oilers looking to move left winger Milan Lucic and his big contract, and curiously, Oscar Klefbom, a left shot defenceman — defence being another area of weakness on their team.

It’s certainly an interesting story line to follow leading up to draft day.


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