Toronto Maple Leafs trade goalkeeper Petr Mrazek, 2022 first round pick to Chicago Blackhawks

MONTREAL — The Toronto Maple Leafs traded goalkeeper Petr Mrazek and their 2022 first-round draft pick to Chicago on Thursday for a Blackhawks’ 2022 second-round roster.

Sacrificing his first-round pick, Toronto redeemed the last two seasons of Mrazek’s contract, not retaining any of the $3.8 million-a-year cap hit. The reserve goalkeeper comes off an injury-plagued campaign where he went 12-6-0 with a .888 SV% and 3.34 GAA. Mrazek was eventually sidelined late in the regular season with a groin injury that would also keep him out of the Toronto first round.

That wasn’t the production Toronto was looking for when general manager Kyle Dubas brought Mrazek on board last summer to support incumbent Jack Campbell. Now Campbell is a pending unrestricted free agent, and Toronto needed more space to potentially re-sign not only Campbell, but also restricted free agent defender Rasmus Sandin.

Taking Mrazek off the books will give the Leafs more than $10 million in space next season.

In Mrazek, the Blackhawks have a goalkeeper looking for a rebound. The veteran played well for the Carolina Hurricanes from 2018 to 2021, going 50-32-8 with a 0.911 SV%. If that’s the kind of output Chicago can get from Mrazek, the fold should be in better shape than it’s been since Marc-Andre Fleury was traded to Minnesota in March.

The Blackhawks had cap room to burn — especially after Alex DeBrincat was traded to Ottawa earlier in the day — and no NHL-caliber goalkeepers signed for next season. This gives them a known product to fill that gap.

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