clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Arizona Coyotes acquire Nick Ritchie from Toronto

Ryan Dzingel and Ilya Lybushkin part of the multi-asset deal.

Toronto Maple Leafs v Arizona Coyotes Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images

The Arizona Coyotes have made a trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs, seeing the team primarily acquire forward Nick Ritchie.

Alongside Ritchie, the Coyotes have also acquired a conditional 2025 second-round pick from the Leafs - the condition being that general manager Bill Armstrong could opt to take a third-rounder in the 2023 Draft instead if he so chooses, with no further caveats in place.

The trade sees the Coyotes continue to stockpile future assets, with the already team having nine picks in the second round over the next three draft classes - with the potential to make it 11 over the next four should they choose.

In Ritchie, the Coyotes acquire a big physical player who’s under contract through next season at a reasonable $2.5 million cap hit, giving them four forwards currently signed up to play in 2022/23.

Ritchie has been a steady NHL player since being drafted tenth overall by the Anaheim Ducks in 2014. Still, he struggled to find a fit in Toronto and ended his time with the team playing in the AHL with their affiliates, the Toronto Marlies.

He registered nine points (two goals, seven assists) through 33 games with the Leafs and averaged just 12:00 of ice time - the lowest since his 2015/16 rookie campaign.

In Arizona, Ritchie has a chance at a fresh start and an opportunity to play meaningful minutes, likely in the top six. Lawson Crouse is the only real competition for a second-line left winger position - with Clayton Keller solidified on the top line.

Leaving the Arizona Coyotes in Ryan Dzingel, who was once a regular 20-goal scorer in the NHL but has struggled to find stability since being traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2019.

With the Coyotes, Dzingel posted four goals and seven total points in 26 games while averaging 13:07 on the ice - with the trade also giving the Wheaton, Illinois native a chance at a fresh start in a higher-powered offense that could suit his style of play better.

Alongside the 29-year-old forward is Ilya Lyubushkin, who has racked up 180 appearances for the Coyotes since first signing as a free agent from the KHL in 2018.

This season saw Lyubushkin play his largest role with the Coyotes. After the departures of Niklas Hjalmarsson, Jason Demers, and Alex Goligoski opened up opportunities on the blue line, the Russian right-shot defenceman averaging over 18 minutes a night under head coach André Tourigny.

Lyubushkin was a big physical presence for the Coyotes’ blueline, with 498 career hits and 246 blocked shots throughout his career in the desert. This season also saw the 27-year-old post a career-high nine points (all assists) in 46 games - highlighting his focus in his own zone.

With the March 21st trade deadline getting closer, the Arizona Coyotes are expected to be big players in the market. Many more deals are expected to be made as Armstrong looks to push the rebuild forward and acquire even more assets for the future.