Capitals trade Erik Gustafsson to Maple Leafs for Rasmus Sandin

Erik Gustafsson, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Erik Gustafsson, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports /

The Washington Capitals second move of the day was trading for a 22 year old defenseman that was a former first round pick in Rasmus Sandin. In return the Toronto Maple Leafs received Erik Gustafsson and the Boston Bruins’ first round pick in this year’s NHL Draft that came from the Dmitry Orlov and Garnet Hathaway trade.

Sandin has recorded 20 points with four goals and 16 assists in 52 games for the Maple Leafs this season. He has posted a plus 10 plus minus rating and a 53.9 shot attempt percentage at five on five, the second highest rate among Toronto defensemen. In addition, the Uppsala, Sweden native ranks second among Maple Leafs defensemen in hits with 113 and tied for second in goals.

In 140 career NHL games, Sandin has recorded 48 points with 10 goals and 38 assists. The five foot 11, 182 pound defenseman was originally selected by Toronto in the first round at 29th overall in the 2018 NHL Draft.

On the international stage, Sandin has represented Sweden at the 2019 and 2020 World Junior Championships, earning a bronze medal in 2020. Sandin recorded 10 points in seven games during the 2020 tournament with three goals and seven assists which led all defensemen and was named the tournament’s top defenseman.

Gustaffson, 30, recorded 38 points in 61 games during his time with the Capitals this season with seven goals and 31 assists including his first career hat trick against that same but now different Maple Leafs team. He signed with the Caps as a free agent on July 13, 2022.

Gustafsson has registered 187 points in 370 career games with 39 goals and 148 assists with the Capitals, Chicago Blackhawks, Montreal Canadiens, Philadelphia Flyers, and Calgary Flames.

More. Capitals trade Marcus Johansson to Wild for 3rd rounder. light

The Caps can still make plenty more moves between now and Friday’s trade deadline. It looks like their strategy is continuing to move around unrestricted free agents. My hunch is that Lars Eller or another forward could be next.