According to Elliotte Friedman, the Toronto Maple Leafs wanted Vincent Desharnais as part of any deal with the Edmonton Oilers for Sam Lafferty.
Earlier this week, we shared information from Sportsnet‘s Elliotte Friedman, that the Edmonton Oilers had being pursing a trade for Sam Lafferty, dating back to last season. In the end however, the Toronto Maple Leafs moved him to the Vancouver Canucks, in exchange for a 2024 fifth round draft pick.
Now, Friedman has provided more reason as to why a trade with the Oilers never came to fruition. In his 32 Thoughts column on Tuesday, the hockey insider advised the Leafs asked about Vincent Desharnais.
This was evidently a non-starter for the Oilers. However, you can certainly understand why the Leafs would have been interested in Desharnais.
Selected in the seventh round of the 2016 draft, the 27-year-old made his NHL debut last season. He went on to play 36 regular season games, with another 12 appearances during the playoffs.
Want your voice heard? Join the Oil On Whyte team!
Desharnais is not renowned for his offence, as per just seven points (all assists) in his 48 games. Regardless, he quickly showed he belongs on the blue line for the Oilers.
At 6 ft 6 and 215 pounds, the Laval, Quebec native is an imposing presence. He backs up this size with a physical, no prisoners taken, approach on the ice which galvanizes the Oilers.
In addition, Desharnais has the durability and potential to log big minutes if required, while also being effective on the penalty kill. And despite his lack of offensive production per se, Friedman did write:
"He’s a favourite of the Oilers’ coaching staff. During an exhibition game in Calgary, head coach Jay Woodcroft put him out there as the extra skater when Jack Campbell was pulled in a 1-0 game. Desharnais went to the front of the net, putting on a great screen as Edmonton scored. I’d love to see that during the season."
As much as Lafferty would have been a nice addition for the bottom six, he certainly wasn’t worth giving up Desharnais. The right-shot defenceman has the potential to be an important part of the Oilers for years to come.