Why Denis Malgin Is an Absolute Steal For the Leafs

Kyle Dubas continued to bargain hunt in an attempt to improve his bottom-six forward group, as he traded forward Mason Marchment to the Florida Panthers in exchange for Denis Malgin. Marchment was a big, gritty forward that didn’t show much in his four-game stint for the Leafs, as he only registered a single assist over that span. Malgin is actually a year younger than Marchment and has played 47+ games in three NHL seasons.

 

In those seasons, Denis Malgin has nothing but positive statistics. His turnover +/- numbers (takeaways-giveaways) for all four of his seasons have all been positive with a +8 so far this season, +1 last season, +10 in 2017-18, and +6 in 2016-17. His penalty drawn/taken ratios have all been positive with the exception of this current season with a 4:6. He had an 8:6 ratio last season, a 10:3 ratio in 2017-18, and a 14:4 ratio in 2016-17. Most importantly, his career AB score is +1.71, despite him coming off his career-worst season with a -0.98 score. In 2017-18, Malgin had a +2.58 score, and in 2016-17 he had a +3.53 score. Denis Malgin has only 40 penalty minutes in his 184 game career, and his career-average ice time is 12:37. Kyle Dubas traded a player that the Leafs currently didn’t have a use for in Marchment, for a guy that now has the 2nd best career AB score of the Leafs bottom-six forward group. Kasperi Kapanen has the highest at +2.11, followed by Malgin’s +1.71, then Jason Spezza’s -2.32, Kyle Clifford’s -2.56, and Frederik Gauthier’s -2.76. We do not have data on Pierre Engvall or Dmytro Timashov, as they are both in their rookie year. This season, Malgin has 10 fewer points than his career-high of 22 and has played in 15 fewer games.

 

The Leafs could use all the help they can get on both ends of the ice, as the Florida Panthers defeated the Anaheim Ducks last night 4-1 to force a tie for 3rd in the Atlantic Division, with the Panthers possessing a game in hand. The Leafs are currently 31-22-8 this season with a 4-5-1 record in their last 10 games. Their stretch only gets harder from here, as their next five games are against teams in playoff races of their own, including the Pittsburgh Penguins, Carolina Hurricanes, Tampa Bay Lightning, Florida Panthers, and Vancouver Canucks. Should they lose a significant amount of these games, their season could be in jeopardy as they would be on the outside looking into a playoff spot. Denis Malgin has shown over the course of his three-year career that he is an intelligent player that doesn’t hurt his team as a result of him being on the ice. The Leafs will need more players like him for their playoff push and or run, and we applaud Kyle Dubas for making this trade. Despite our praise, other Leafs fans weren’t happy Dubas chose to address the bottom-six before making a trade for a defenseman, as #FireDubas was a trending topic on Twitter yesterday. We want to encourage Leafs fans to be patient and trust what the management team is doing, as the February 24th trade deadline is now only four days away. More to come.

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