Capitals

Caps acquire Sandin from Leafs for Gustafsson, first-rounder

Capitals
Former Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Rasmus Sandin

The Capitals acquired 22-year-old defenseman Rasmus Sandin from the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday, sending veteran defenseman Erik Gustafsson and the Boston Bruins’ 2023 first-round pick across the border to complete the deal.

While Washington’s first two moves ahead of the trade deadline were centered around shipping players out of D.C., Tuesday’s deal with the Maple Leafs netted the Capitals a promising young defenseman under contract through 2023-24.

Sandin was buried on the Maple Leafs’ depth chart but will be a key player on the Capitals’ roster with John Carlson the only other blue liner signed beyond this season. Toronto drafted him with the 29th overall pick in 2018 and he made his NHL debut the following year.

The Swedish native appeared in 140 games across four seasons with the Maple Leafs, recording 10 goals, 38 assists, 127 blocks and 245 hits. Set to carry a salary cap hit of $1.4 million next season before being a restricted free agent, Sandin sat out the first week of training camp this past fall in hopes of securing a long-term deal before settling for a two-year pact.

In order to acquire him, the Capitals had to part ways with Erik Gustafsson. The 30-year-old joined the team on a one-year deal over the summer and enjoyed a strong campaign that saw him record 38 points in 61 games — his highest total since 2018-19.

Washington also traded the first-round pick acquired from Boston on Thursday in the deal that sent defenseman Dmitry Orlov and right wing Garnet Hathaway to the Bruins. The Capitals still hold the rights to their own first-round pick for this upcoming draft.