Breaking: Marlies make a trade!

Interesting development… what does it mean for the Leafs’ blue line and players like Dermott and Liljegren?

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The Toronto Marlies, AHL affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs, have announced that they’ve traded defenceman Michael Paliotta to the Texas Stars for future considerations.

Paliotta is a 24-year-old former 3rd round pick (70th overall) of the Chicago Blackhawks, who was signed by the Leafs to an AHL contract this past offseason. The Westport, Connecticut product has played just two NHL games, one with the Hawks and one with the Columbus Blue Jackets, and has managed to only get into eight games with the Marlies this season. He put up 14 points in 52 games with the Hartford Wolf Pack last season as part of the New York Rangers’ system. 

For anyone wondering if this frees up a contract spot for the Leafs to acquire more talent, it doesn’t. According to The Athletic’s James Mirtle, because Paliotta is on an AHL deal, this transaction has no bearing on the team’s NHL contract limit.

In other transaction news, the Leafs announced this morning that rookie defenceman Travis Dermott and third-year pro Frederik Gauthier have been assigned to the team’s AHL affiliate the Toronto Marlies.

Dermott, a second round pick (34th overall) of the Leafs in 2015, impressed during his first two NHL games last week, earning an assist in his debut against the Vancouver Canucks.

"I thought he was confident, moved the puck, skated good. He looks like he's got good hockey sense," Leafs head coach Mike Babcock said on Saturday evening. "It looked like the situation didn't intimidate him at all."

As for Gauthier, the giant 6’5”, 232 pound center has played just five games for the Leafs this season, but has managed 33 games with the Leafs over his three pro seasons. He has five goals and eight points with the Marlies so far this season.

The former 1st round pick (21st overall) of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft certainly has the size and skill set to be a valuable 4th line center on the Leafs, but inconsistency has plagued his game in recent seasons. He’s just 22-years-old though and seems to have found a fan in Babcock, so it’s possible that he’s returned to the Leafs following their week long break.