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Maple Leafs trade for D Ilya Lyubushkin again

Dec 15, 2023; New York, New York, USA;  Anaheim Ducks defenseman Ilya Lyubushkin (46) at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The Maple Leafs acquired defenseman Ilya Lyubushkin from the Anaheim Ducks in a three-way trade Thursday, the second time Toronto has traded for him in two years.

The move came later on the same night after Toronto lost defenseman Mark Giordano to a head injury in a game against the Arizona Coyotes.

Toronto sent Anaheim a 2025 third-round draft pick and the Carolina Hurricanes received a 2024 sixth-rounder as they sent the rights to forward Kirill Slepets to the Maple Leafs as well. Toronto will have to pay just 25 percent of Lyubushkin’s salary, which amounts to $687,500. The Ducks are paying half and the Hurricanes will pay the other quarter.

This is the second time Toronto has traded for Lyubushkin, who also joined the Maple Leafs in the 2021-22 season via a trade from the Coyotes. He played in 31 regular-season games and seven playoff games for the Maple Leafs that season.

He left Toronto to sign with the Buffalo Sabres in 2022 and was traded to Anaheim last summer.

Lyubushkin, 29, had no goals and four assists in 55 games with Anaheim this season. He has played in 334 NHL games, tallying 43 points (five goals, 38 assists).

Slepets, 24, was drafted in the fifth round in 2019 by the Hurricanes. He is currently playing for a KHL team in Khabarovsk, Russia.

–Field Level Media

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