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Leafs Swap Gunnarsson For Roman Polak; Select Five In 2014 Draft

June 28, 2014, 10:34 AM ET [1412 Comments]
Mike Augello
Toronto Maple Leafs Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Per TSN's Bob McKenzie, the Leafs have acquired defenseman Roman Polak from the St. Louis Blues in exchange for defenseman Carl Gunnarsson and the #94 pick, obtained from Calgary in the deal for Joe Colborne last September.

The 28-year-old Polak is a stay-at-home defenseman who has been with St. Louis since being drafted 180th overall in 2004. In 72 games, he scored four goals and nine assists with the Blues.

The deal is an even swap in all aspects. Polak has two years remaining on his current deal at $2.75 Million, while Gunnarsson(who is one year younger) makes $3.15 Million in the last two years of his deal. ESPN's Pierre LeBrun reports that the Leafs will play $200,000 of Gunnarsson's deal for the final two years.

Gunnarsson is a left hand shot and a good skater for a big defenseman, which the Leafs have in ample supply. Polak is a right handed shot, is more physical and is adept at clearing the front of the net and killing penalties. He could be earmarked to play with the more offensive minded Jake Gardiner or Morgan Rielly next season.

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The Toronto Maple Leafs have six selections on the second day of the 2014 NHL Draft in Philadelphia, but will have to wait to make their first selection, as their second round pick was part of the deal with Anaheim last November for Peter Holland.

The Ducks used the pick to select big Swedish defenseman Marcus Pettersson 38th overall.

The Leafs have their own picks in the 3rd, 5th, 6th and 7th rounds and two 4th's(94th and 103rd overall) from the deals for Joe Colborne and Matthew Lombardi.

The club went a slightly different direction selecting highly skilled Modo forward William Nylander with the eighth overall selection at the 2014 NHL Draft in Philadelphia on Friday.

The 5'11" 176 lb Nylander can play center or wing, has the same offensive skill set as father Michael (who scored 209 goals and 470 assists in over 900 NHL games) and was advanced enough to play 22 games in the Swedish Hockey League as a 17-year-old. He was scorer in the 2014 IIHF under-18 World Championships with six goals and 10 assists in seven games.



Nylander does not expect to make the NHL as an 18-year old and may go back for another season in Sweden, but does not have any commitments for the 2014-15 season and could come to North America, which would likely mean playing for the AHL Toronto Marlies.






In the third round, the Leafs select 19 year old defenseman Rinat Valiev of the Kootenay Ice of the WHL.



Valiev went undrafted in 2013 and was ranked 79th by the ISS. Here is a highlight of him in a fight with Canucks first rounder Jake Virtanen:






In the fourth round, Toronto selected forward John (J.J) Puccinich





In the fifth round, Toronto selects Dakota Joshua, F, USHL. The 6'2" 182 lb forward is committed to play for Ohio State University according to his Twitter profile.



In the sixth, the Leafs select American forward Nolan Vesey, who is slated to play for the University of Maine next season.



In the seventh, Toronto used their final pick to select Pierre Engvall, a 6'4" Swedish winger playing for the Frolunda Jrs.




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