Last Saturday, The Toronto Maple Leafs announced the trade of their left winger
Andreas Johnsson in exchange for New Jersey Devils forward Joey Anderson.
The 25-year-old has three seasons remaining on a four-year, $13.6 million contract ($3.4 million AAV) which he signed with the Leafs in June of 2019. He scored a total of 21 points (eight goals and 12 assists) within 43 regular-season games.
Johnsson began his journey with the Leafs in March of 2018, after being called up by the team alongside teammate Calle Rosén. Despite Rosén being sent back, the Leafs decided to keep Johnsson for the next nine games, in which he gained a total of three points.
After being sent back down to the Toronto Marlies and winning the Calder Cup with the team that year, there was no doubt that the Leafs had taken note of Johnsson’s talent. They decided to sign the young forward to a one-year $787,500 contract for the 2018-19 season.
Throughout that year, Johnsson would move up and down the lineup, eventually finding his spot on the left of William Nylander and Auston Matthews. That season, Johnsson had a total of 20 goals and 23 assists, for a total of 43 points in 73 games.
Johnsson proved his worth that year with an impressive shot percentage of 17.4 per cent. His
great first season with the Leafs scored Johnsson his 4-year $13.6 million contract. In the final year of his contract, he also has a modified no-trade clause.
Even though the Leafs will no longer have Johnsson, Joey Anderson would bring a unique dynamic to the team. While some may not have heard of the 22-year-old forward before the trade, he has a lot of talent in which Leafs fans will be pleased to hear.
The young forward started his career by playing for the United States National Team Development Program U17 Team in 2014-15, in which he accumulated 42 points in 55 games.
He then gained more attention heading into his draft year, to which he showed he could have a future in the NHL. He collected 57 points in 64 games with the USNTDP U18 team, and was ultimately selected by the New Jersey Devils in the third round (73rd-overall) of the 2016 NHL Draft.
Anderson has proved to be a great player both defensively and offensively. He’s able to
use all his energy in a penalty kill or to get into the corners and fight for the puck.
Anywhere the coaches need him, he’s able to quickly adapt, making him an ideal player
for any third or fourth line.
Even if Anderson is unable to make the Leafs lineup out of training camp, there’s a good chance of him playing a big role with the Marlies. Only time will tell how Anderson’s talent will compare to Johnsson’s with the Leafs.