Nashville Predators Acquire Cody Franson, Mike Santorelli from Toronto Maple Leafs
The Nashville Predators announced Sunday morning that they acquired defenseman Cody Franson and forward Mike Santorelli from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for prospect Brendan Leipsic, forward Olli Jokinen, and a first-round pick in the 2015 Draft.
From the team’s official release:
“In preparation for the 2015 playoff run, our goal was to add a veteran defenseman who could play in all situations and a proven forward who could move up and down lineup based on the situation,” Poile said. “We were fortunate to do this in the same transaction with players who are in the prime of their careers more than two weeks before the Trade Deadline in order to give them more time to contribute and gel with their teammates.”
The Predators and Leafs had been rumored to be in trade talks for weeks. Franson’s name was thrown around a lot. The trade is surprising, but not unexpected.
Franson and Santorelli both started their careers in the Predators organization, and are both solid pick-ups for the Predators. Santorelli is a flexible forward that will be able to provide some offensive weaponry on the third and fourth lines. Franson is an offensive-minded defenseman that will be dangerous alongside any partner in Nashville. Maybe expect him to see time with Seth Jones on the second unit.
Franson has 32 points (6G, 26A) in 55 games played, Santorelli 29 points (11G, 18A) in 57 games.
Nashville says goodbye to Jokinen, who has underperformed this season with just six points in 48 games. They also let go of Leipsic, a promising prospect in Milwaukee. However, keep in mind that the Predators still have guys like Miikka Salomaki, Kevin Fiala, and Viktor Arvidsson in the farm system. The pipeline is still intact. The first-round pick that goes to Toronto will likely be a very late pick, missing out on most of the phenomenal talent at the 2015 NHL Draft.
On paper, this is a good trade for the Predators to bolster their lineup and prepare for a deep playoff run. But, don’t think David Poile is putting his phone down yet. Keep refreshing Twitter over the next few weeks, as the deadline draws near. There could be some more new talent in Predators gold in the near future.