Sam Lafferty traded to VAN

Sam Lafferty was traded to the Vancouver Canucks by the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday for a fifth-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft.

The 28-year-old forward, who can become an unrestricted free agent after this season, had 27 points (12 goals, 15 assists) in 70 games for the Maple Leafs and Chicago Blackhawks last season, and three points (one goal, two assists) in nine Stanley Cup Playoff games.

Toronto acquired him in a trade with Chicago on Feb. 27.

"I talked to a couple of his former coaches, (they) gave him some good reviews,” Canucks coach Rick Tocchet said. “Kind of a heavier, kind of grittier guy, really good skater, can score some goals. It's a chance to acquire a little bit of a stickier guy. That's why I think we did it.

“He's a penalty killer, too. I think him and Teddy (Blueger) PK'd together in Pittsburgh. When a guy's kind of a bigger guy and grittier and can skate, you got to take a look at guys like that. What did he have, 13-14 goals last year? He can score some goals, which helps us, too.”

Selected by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the fourth round (No. 113) of the 2014 NHL Draft, Lafferty has 59 points (23 goals, 36 assists) in 210 regular-season games for the Maple Leafs, Blackhawks and Penguins.

"As we work towards becoming a tougher team to play against, Sam will add some grit and sandpaper to our lineup," Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin said. "We also like the way he skates and can back players off with his speed. He is a good addition to our forward group and has shown he can also use his speed effectively in a penalty-killing role."

The Canucks open their season against the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Arena on Wednesday (10 p.m. ET; SN1, SNE, SNO, SNP). independent correspondent Kevin Woodley contributed to this report

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