One Year Later: The Enroth Trade

Photo: John Valenzuela/The Sun

By Thomas Harrington

One year ago today, the Anaheim Ducks traded a 2018 7th round draft pick to the Toronto Maple Leafs for goaltender Jhonas Enroth. This certainly wasn’t a major deal, but it did exactly what Anaheim wanted it to do: it gave them more goaltending depth heading into the playoffs and gave San Diego a veteran starter.

Last season, San Diego used Matt Hackett, Dustin Tokarski, and rookie Kevin Boyle in net before Enroth was acquired. The plan was for Hackett and Tokarski to get most of the starts in San Diego, with Boyle spending most of the time in the ECHL. However, Hackett got injured in November and didn’t play for San Diego again. Tokarski was inconsistent throughout the season, and Bob Murray wanted a better tandem in San Diego than Tokarski and Boyle, so he went looking and found Enroth available.

Enroth had joined the Maple Leafs as a free agent in the summer of 2016 to be Frederik Andersen’s backup. However, he only made it into six games with the Leafs and played poorly in them. He was waived and sent to the AHL. Toronto ended up picking up former Duck Curtis McElhinney to be Andersen’s backup. Enroth only played a couple of games with the Marlies, primarily because the Marlies had a very crowded crease. Their website lists 10 different goalies as being on their roster last season. He wasn’t working with Toronto in the AHL or NHL; the Leafs were clearly ready to move on from him.

With the Gulls, Enroth appeared in 18 games and had a record of 14-4 with a goals against average of 1.73 and a save percentage of .936. He helped stabilize San Diego’s crease and was one of the reasons for San Diego’s strong finish to the season. Also, when John Gibson missed time with injury last season, Enroth was called up to serve as Jonathan Bernier’s backup. He didn’t play in any games with the Ducks, but having a stronger third goaltender as an option was still very important. While Enroth wasn’t as good in the AHL postseason, he still played well in the playoffs. He played in all 10 playoff games for the Gulls and had a record of 4-6 with a 2.69 goals against average and a save percentage of .924. Enroth left as a free agent over the summer and signed in the KHL.

The pick that Toronto received in this deal will be used this summer. While the odds of a seventh-round pick becoming an impact player are low, it’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility. Just look at Ondrej Kase: he was picked 205th overall in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, and he’s certainly found a home for himself in the NHL over the last couple of seasons. However, Kase is definitely the outlier, and the Leafs probably won’t get a future star with their pick. Still, given that Enroth worked so poorly with Toronto, the Leafs were probably quite happy to get a chance at a future player instead of nothing at all.

Both teams can be relatively happy with this deal. The Ducks got deeper in net and made their AHL affiliate better heading into the playoffs. The Leafs were able to get rid of a player that clearly wasn’t fitting anywhere in their system and will get a chance at a future NHL player in the years down the road.

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January 11th, 2018


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