The Toronto Maple Leafs traded forward Nikita Soshnikov to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for a fourth-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, the teams announced Thursday.
Soshnikov has failed to register a point in the three games he has played with the Maple Leafs this season. The Russian winger has seven goals and 10 assists in 19 games with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies.
The 24-year-old is currently on injured reserve but the Blues stated in a press release that once he is clear by his new team’s medical staff and attains his visa he will report to the NHL club.
With Soshnikov, a pending restricted free agent, set to return from IR the Maple Leafs were in a bind as activating Soshnikov would’ve put the team over the 23-man roster limit. The team elected to trade Soshnikov instead of demoting a player like Kasperi Kapanen, who has earned what seems like a permanent spot on the team based on his recent strong play.
Soshnikov has seven goals, seven assists and 22 penalty minutes 70 career NHL regular-season games all spent with the Maple Leafs. He signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Maple Leafs in March 2015 after two seasons spent with Moscow Oblast Atlant in the KHL.