The Blockbuster deal
In the simplest world, the Nashville Predators would get scoring help in this trade, while the Toronto Maple Leafs would receive a top-4 defenseman to alleviate their defensive woes.
Nashville Predators Trade: Mattias Ekholm, 2019-Fifth Round Pick
Toronto Maple Leafs Trade: William Nylander
Unfortunately for Toronto supporters, it seems decreasingly likely that the Predators are willing to part ways with any of their top defenseman, which includes both Ryan Ellis and Mattias Ekholm.
Should we be wrong and Nashville’s front office decides that breaking up their defensive core is worth it to acquire a 22-year old with multiple 60-point seasons, the player most likely to leave would be Ekholm, largely due to his contract.
Expanding on Ekholm, Toronto would immediately be intrigued in acquiring the 28-year old not only because his proven ability to play well as a top-line defenseman, but, his contract is extremely undervalued; carrying only a $3.75million cap-hit for the next four seasons.
Financially, it would make more sense for the Predators to part ways with Ryan Ellis, however, Nashville did give him a raise that is set to kick in at the end of 2018-2019, at which point, he will be making above 6$million per season, a figure Toronto may struggle to afford.
Statistically, Ekholm is one of the more consistent defenders in the NHL during both the Regular seasons and Playoffs, as he has finished with a positive +/- rating four years in a row and is fourth overall in playoff points by a defenseman over the last three years with 19.
Furthering the value of Ekholm, he also lead the Predators in Defensive Point Shares last year and was second on the team in blocked shots.
In six games played so far this year, Ekholm has managed to put five points already, which ties him for second on the team, reminding audiences that he does have an offensive side when given the opportunity as well
After reviewing a trio of trades that could see the Nashville Predators land William Nylander, do you think it is worth it for the team to try to acquire his services?