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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George Prax's picture

This trade makes absolutely no sense to me. Ashton might be good but you're giving up a stud defenseman who isn't even NHL ready for what?

Ron Guillet's picture

Lightning brass are high on Ashton.. even Boucher thinks he's a can't-miss prospect. Leafs lack a power forward in their prospect pool (that's reasonably close) and they have one now (and he's projected top-six winger). He's having a solid AHL rookie season, too. Aulie was struggling with the Marlies, nevermind the Leafs. He's a solid prospect but Holzer made him expendable, especially with Schenn on the Leafs. Simply a swap of organizational needs.

George Prax's picture

It's no Kassian for Hogdson Wink