Report: Washington Acquires Rasmus Sandin From Toronto For Erik Gustafsson, Boston’s 2023 First-Round Pick

Photo: SN

According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the Washington Capitals will acquire Rasmus Sandin from the Toronto Maple Leafs for defenseman Erik Gustafsson and the Boston Bruins’ first-round pick this summer.

While averaging 17:59 per game (sixth among Toronto defensemen), including 1:49 on the power play (second) and 10 seconds on the penalty-kill, the 22-year-old has four goals, 20 points, a +10 rating, 53.85% five-on-five Corsi-for percentage, 57.73% five-on-five expected goals-for percentage, and 58.93% five-on-five scoring chances-for percentage in 52 games this season.

Sandin was the 29th overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft and has 10 goals, 48 points, and a +18 rating in 140 career NHL games over four seasons.

Sandin signed a two-year contract that carries a $1.4 million cap hit last fall and can become a restricted free agent with salary arbitration rights next offseason. Besides him, John Carlson ($8 million cap hit) is the only other blueliner that Washington has under contract next season.

The acquisition also helps the oldest team in the NHL over the last three seasons get younger. Washington enters Tuesday tied for 13th in the league with a 2.98 goals-against average, 16th with a 21.3% power-play efficiency, and eighth with a 82.1% penalty-killing efficiency.

[Related: Why The Capitals Should Extend An Offersheet To Maple Leafs’ RFA Rasmus Sandin]

Gustafsson, who can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, tallied seven goals, 38 points, a +9 rating, 54.28% five-on-five Corsi-for percentage, 53.74% five-on-five expected goals-for percentage, and 54.36% five-on-five scoring chances-for percentage in 61 contests after signing with them on July 13. The 30-year-old has averaged 20:22 (fourth among Washington defensemen), including 2:19 on the power-play (second).

Gustafsson carries an $800,000 cap hit for the rest of the season.

Washington acquired the pick traded to Toronto as part of the deal that sent defenseman Dmitry Orlov and right-wing Garnet Hathaway to the Boston Bruins on Thursday night. The team has now traded three pending unrestricted free agents after going 6-13-0, the worst record in the NHL, since January 11, including 1-7-0 since a 2-1 win over league-leading Boston on February 11.

Washington, who is currently three points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins (who has three games in hand) for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference, also traded left-wing Marcus Johansson to the Minnesota Wild for a third-round pick just prior to the acquisition of Sandin.

Washington, who continues a four-game road trip at the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday (10 PM ET, NBC Sports Washington in-market, ESPN+ out-of-market), still has their own first-round pick for the 2023 NHL Draft.

Sandin could take the spot vacated by Orlov’s departure.

The NHL Trade Deadline is at 3 PM ET on Friday.

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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24 Responses to Report: Washington Acquires Rasmus Sandin From Toronto For Erik Gustafsson, Boston’s 2023 First-Round Pick

  1. KimRB says:

    I guess Chychrun ain’t gonna be happening…..

  2. Anonymous says:

    Nice! I was worried we might over pay for Chychrun but this is a great get instead. He’s only 22, without the injury concerns and can drive 5-5 offence.

  3. KimRB says:

    Seems like we paid a lot for him. He went two spots before Alexeyev. 20 pts in 52 games. Didn’t hear glowing reviews of him from Leafs fans. But he’s only 22 so…..

  4. Lance says:

    Interesting. I don’t hate it. Not sure what we get with Sandin.

    • KimRB says:

      What we get: under 6 feet, only 22, middling foot speed, supposedly has excellent metrics. Likely a 2nd pair guy

  5. Brant W says:

    Hate to break it to any of the negative nancy’s — this is a great trade!

  6. David says:

    I’m not sure I have this right, but does this mean we essentially traded Orlov, Hathaway and Gustafson for Sandin? I like Sandin but that would put a pretty different light on it

    • KimRB says:

      You’re forgetting we’ve also got Boston’s 2nd round in 2025, and their 3rd round in 2024, and Craig Smith
      So here’s the tally:
      Out: Orlov, Hathaway, Gustafsson, Johansson (all UFAs)
      In: Sandin, Smith, one 2nd round pick, 2 3rd round picks

      The object was to get younger, and we have

      • Jeremy says:

        I mean, Craig Smith is 33 so I wouldn’t necessarily say they got younger

        • KimRB says:

          Smith may not be here long, there’s interest in him from other teams, and he certainly will be gone at latest after this season. We got much younger with the 22 year old defensemen, who will be here for at least a few more years

    • Anonymous says:

      They also got Craig Smith and a second in 2025 and third in 2024 so add that with Sandin and all that for Hathaway, Orlov and Gustafsson

    • Mark Eiben says:

      No. The 2025 2nd round pick was given to the Caps for Hathaway.

    • KimRB says:

      The return is Tyson Barrie, Reid Schaefer, 1st and 4th

      Barry’s gonna have a boatload of draft picks to work with, once he takes over in Nashvillr

  7. nonna427 says:

    Wait, I thought we got a 1st round pick too??

  8. nonna427 says:

    Ooooh, just realized, we gave up Gus AND A FIRST ROUND PICK for this defenseman…are you kidding? Just to get someone 6 years younger than Gus, who actually killed it for us this season?? I seriously thought our first round pick was off the table…or was that just wishful (smart) thinking??

    • KimRB says:

      Sandlin is 22, 8 years younger than Gustafsson. And the 1st round pick sent to Toronto was originally Boston’s

  9. DC Scappeli says:

    I’m guessing that GMBM going for Sandlin because he’s younger and can play now versus a 1st round pick that won’t be ready next season. It’s a late 1st round pick, right?

  10. hockeydruid says:

    Not a bad trade. Giving up 8 years and probably alot more than $1.4 in salary next season and still have the ability to resign Gussy. Dont like giving up the #1 however it is going to be one of the last picks in the first round and getting a 22 year old for that who is ready to play and will fit in nicely will be nice. Will pair nicely with Fehervary on the 2nd line next year. Now maybe AA can get some playing time on the 3rd line. As for the MoJo trade getting a 3rd was reasonable and do they play Protas or Smith o call someone up from Hershey and let him sit in the rafters.

  11. Lance says:

    I like the trade for Sandin. Leaf fans say his skating is only average. His hockey IQ is supposed to be very high. It sounds like he’s a really good passer. He doesn’t sound like a Lavi kind of player so hopefully that means Lavi will be moving on to the next town this summer. Fingers crossed. It takes awhile for D to figure out the NHL. If Sandin solidifies the 2nd pairing that’s a win. Boston’s first rounder would’ve been nice but I like this better.

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