(HockeyStL) – It wasn’t the trade deal Blues fans thought would happen during the NHL draft, but the Blues sent D-man Roman Polak to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for D-man Carl Gunnarsson and a draft pick.
The 6’2” Swede collected just 17 points last season, but he averaged 19:25 worth of ice time for the Leafs. Alex Pietrangelo averaged 25:22 of ice time during last year’s regular season.
Gunnarsson is described as a great passer, but could have higher offensive numbers. He had just three goals and 14 assists during all of last season. Gunnarsson collected 166 hits, which ranks 26 among defensemen. He blocked 176 blocked shots, ranking seventh among defensemen.
According to CBS Sports, Toronto also retained $200,000 of Gunnarsson’s $3.15 million contract which helps the Blues salary cap room as the league set it lower than expected at $69 million and a floor of $51 million.
With Pietrangelo and Jay Bouwmeester paired together and Kevin Shattenkirk paired with Barret Jackman often last season, Gunnarsson might be paired with Ian Cole. Although, it is unclear about the Blues plan with veteran Jordan Leopold as well.