The Anaheim Ducks traded forwards Peter Holland and Brad Staubitz to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday for defenseman Jesse Blacker and two draft picks.
Blacker was a second-round pick by the Maple Leafs in 2009, but never cracked the NHL roster. The 22-year-old defenseman spent the past two years with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies, scoring 11 points in 61 games last season.
The Ducks receive a 2014 third-round pick that could become a second-round pick under certain conditions. Anaheim also reacquired its 2014 seventh-round pick, originally sent to Toronto in a trade for David Steckel.
Blacker will add defensive depth to the Ducks’ minor league system. He was assigned to Anaheim’s AHL affiliate in Norfolk.
Anaheim gave up two forwards who couldn’t earn a regular role with the overall NHL leaders.
Holland, a 22-year-old center, made his debut on the Maple Leafs’ top line Saturday night against Buffalo. The former first-round pick never cemented a role in Anaheim despite numerous opportunities over the past two seasons, losing competition for playing time to Nick Bonino, Kyle Palmieri and others in the center-rich organization.
The Maple Leafs needed immediate help at center with the loss of Tyler Bozak and Dave Bolland to injury and the three-game suspension of Nazem Kadri.
The well-traveled Staubitz was assigned to the Marlies. He had two points and 41 penalty minutes in 15 games with the Ducks last season.