Leafs acquire Ashton for Aulie
The Toronto Maple Leafs have acquired forward Carter Ashton from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for defenseman Keith Aulie.
It’s a minor deal but one that makes sense for the Leafs. Ashton is 6’3, 215 pounds and addresses the Leafs’ need for size upfront---although not immediately. Ashton, a 28th overall draft pick, is a 20 year old power forward that needs more AHL seasoning before making the jump to the NHL. Power forwards generally take a bit longer to develop but Ashton is on the right track, producing 19 goals and 35 points in 56 AHL games.
Aulie was in the midst of a rough season, struggling at both the NHL and AHL levels. He has potential as a shut-down defenseman and should have a better opportunity to develop within the Lightning organization. From a Leafs standpoint, it allows Korbinian Holzer to move up the depth chart and potentially get some time in the NHL. Holzer has been a force for the Marlies this season and could be the shut-down defenseman the Leafs so desperately require. Whether he gets a chance this season or next is unclear, but moving Aulie increases his chances on making the Leafs.
Some stats on Ashton:
- 3 points in 7 games at the World Junior Championships in 2010-11
- 92 goals and 181 points in 239 career WHL games.
You stay classy, TCL.
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