Former Member of Leafs Player Development Staff Reveals Why Rasmus Sandin Was Traded

Published March 20, 2023 at 7:57 PM

Early this month, the Leafs made the decision to trade Rasmus Sandin, a defenseman, to the Capitals in exchange for Erik Gusstafsson and a 2023 first-round draft pick. This brought his time with the Leafs to an end, after being drafted 29th overall in the first round back in 2018.

Why did the Leafs trade Sandin?

Jack Han, who used to work for the player development, scouting and analytics for the Leafs from 2017-2019, has revealed the answer. In his opinion, Sandin was traded by Dubas due to some asset managing, and his weakness in front of the net.

You can read his blog where he detailed why he thought the Leafs traded Sandin.

Asset Management

"Regardless of how much Kyle Dubas believes in Sandin's abilities (quite a bit, at least for as long as I was in the organization), the Leafs' GM probably saw the trade as an opportunity to improve his team.

In the very short term, Gustafsson is the type of offensive defenseman who can crush third-pair minutes in the same way Sandin had been doing."

His weakness in front of the net

"Statistically, Sandin's 5v5 performance is nearly above reproach. According to Natural Stat Trick, Sandin's controlled 54.2% of on-ice shots and 59.2% of on-ice goals in nearly 1700 minutes of ice time since 2020. Even in third-pair usage on a good team, these are elite outputs.

From a qualitative standpoint, Sandin moves the puck accurately, jumps into the play to create options and has a knack for using his skating and his defensive stick to kill plays up-ice.

Sandin's principal weakness, from an eye test perspective, is net-front defense."

As seen on Hockeyfeed - Reason for Leafs trading Sandin revealed
March 20   |   1235 answers
Former Member of Leafs Player Development Staff Reveals Why Rasmus Sandin Was Traded

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