The Toronto Maple Leafs have remained incredibly healthy on defense throughout the balance of the season, but they've wisely added some insurance on the back end, anyway.
General manager Kyle Dubas completed his series of acquisitions leading up to Monday's freeze, adding defenseman Ben Hutton to a haul that also includes forward Nick Foligno and netminder David Rittich.
The Leafs will send a fifth-round selection to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for the reasonably experienced, but limited defender, who is in his seventh professional season.
Hutton is making $950K.
A left-shot blueliner, Hutton has one goal and five points in 34 games this season. He managed 25 points in his rookie season with the Vancouver Canucks back in 2015-16, but has remained a comfortably negative plus-minus player throughout stops along the West Coast, also playing one season in Los Angeles.
His numbers are especially poor this season with the rebuilding Ducks. His 42.4 percent expected goals, as calculated by Natural Stat Trick, is the worst mark of his career.
Hutton will likely be the team's seventh or eighth defenseman heading into the postseason. Farmhand Rasmus Sandin will presumably be selected ahead of him in the event one of Toronto's top-six blue-liners has to miss time for whatever reason, while Martin Marincin remains in the mix as well.
In a possible corresponding move, Toronto sent depth forward Alexander Barabanov to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for forward Antti Suomela, who, like Barabanov, is having trouble carving out a lasting role. The 27-year-old Suomela has four goals and 15 points in 51 games in his career.
Prized Leafs prospect Nick Robertson will enter the lineup Monday night versus the Montreal Canadiens with Barabanov on the move.
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