2023-02-18 · 3 min read · NHL/Hockey
St Louis Blues Captain Ryan O’Reilly has been traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs

Jeff Curry and Timothy Ludwig via USA TODAY Sports

St Louis Blues Captain Ryan O’Reilly has been traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs, on Friday alongside Noel Accari. The Leafs acquired them in a three-team deal that also included the Minnesota Wild. The Blues received Toronto's first-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft, the Ottawa Senators' third-round pick this year (which was owned by Toronto), Toronto's second-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft, and forwards Mikhail Abramov and Adam Gaudette. For facilitating the deal and most importantly retaining some of O'Reilly's salary the Minnesota Wild received Toronto's fourth-round pick in the 2025 NHL Draft.
So far this season O'Reilly has played below his usual standard with 19 points (12 goals, seven assists) in 40 games. O’Reilly is still however strong in the faceoff circle and widely considered a premier two-way force; no surprise given he has finished top five in Selke Trophy voting in each of the past four seasons, winning the award in 2018-19. O’Reilly is also a proven playoff performer as a former Conn Smythe Trophy, when he had 23 points (eight goals, 15 assists) in 26 games to help St. Louis defeat the Boston Bruins in seven games in the 2019 Cup Final. Selected by the Colorado Avalanche in the second round (No. 33) of the 2009 NHL Draft, O'Reilly has 691 points (252 goals, 439 assists) in 978 regular-season games with the Blues, Sabres and Avalanche, and 56 points (22 goals, 34 assists) in 64 playoff games. The 32-year-old forward is in the final year of a seven-year contract he signed with the Buffalo Sabres back in the Summer of 2015, he will become an unrestricted free agent after the season.
The other piece of the deal headed to Toronto is journeyman Noel Acciari, who has 18 points (10 goals, eight assists) in 54 games this season. The 31-year-old forward has 95 points (55 goals, 40 assists) in 361 regular-season games with the Blues, Florida Panthers and Boston Bruins, and seven points (four goals, three assists) in 54 playoff games.
Heading to the Wild in exchange for retaining some of O'Reilly's salary, prospect Josh Pillar, 21, was a fourth-round pick by the Wild at the 2021 NHL Draft. He has 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in 13 games for Saskatoon of the Western Hockey League this season. Overall St. Louis will retain 50% of O'Reilly's salary, and then Minnesota will take another 25%, this leaves O’Reilly with a $1.875 million cap hit.
Alongside the picks the Blues picked up Abramov, 21, who was a fourth-round pick by the Maple Leafs (No. 115) at the 2019 NHL Draft. He has 16 points (six goals, 10 assists) in 34 games for Toronto of the American Hockey League this season. They also get Gaudette, 26, who has 34 points (20 goals, 14 assists) in 40 games for the Toronto Marlies of the AHL this season. He has 70 points (27 goals, 43 assists) in 218 NHL regular-season games with the Vancouver Canucks, Chicago Blackhawks and Ottawa Senators. He does not have a point in 10 playoff games.
This deal demonstrates the Leafs are going all in on an attempt to avoid the playoff disappointments they have experienced in recent years, now boasting one of the deepest center groups in hockey with Auston Matthews, John Tavares and Ryan O'Reilly, who is likely to slot in on the third line. The Leafs continue to make moves to add to their core, they have selected in the first round just once since 2019 and have now traded away eight picks over the next three drafts.
St Louis meanwhile is experiencing the end of an era, already having dealt Vladimir Tarasenko to the New York Rangers and now their former captain O’Reilly. The Blues now hold three first-round picks in the 2023 draft. Don't be surprised to see St. Louis continues to deal as they still have multiple pending UFAs they could move, such as forward Ivan Barbashev. Blues GM Doug Armstrong is also apparently open to trading away one of his top-four defensemen.
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By: Chase Howard


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