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Maple Leafs pick up D Ryan O'Byrne from the Avalanche for a 4th-round pick in 2014

Wednesday, 04.03.2013 / 5:45 PM / News

The Canadian Press

DENVER - The Toronto Maple Leafs bolstered their defence by acquiring Ryan O'Byrne from the Colorado Avalanche for a fourth-round draft pick in 2014.

O'Byrne has a goal and three assists in 34 games this season for Colorado, which currently owns the worst mark in the NHL.

The 28-year-old O'Byrne joins a Maple Leafs squad that's in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff chase. He could help add more defensive stability to a team that's surrendering an average of 2.67 goals a game.

Colorado originally acquired O'Byrne from Montreal on Nov. 11, 2010. He was taken by the Canadiens in the third round of the 2003 draft.

It means a lot to us, we're very excited. We're looking to continue to build on [our] top core talent of young players. It's just a great opportunity for us to really build high.

— Panthers vice president of hockey operations Travis Viola after Florida won the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft Lottery