Toronto trades a first and second rounder in next summer's draft, as well as a first round pick in 2011 to Boston for the rights to winger Phil Kessel. The Leafs promptly signed Kessel to a five-year deal worth $27.5 million.
The Leafs get: A proven sniper who has already topped 30 goals in a season and seems to have his sights set on 40 or even 50-plus. The Leafs paid a high price, but given their spotty draft record and the fact that Kessel is so young, it was something they needed to do. Of more concern is the inflated contract. That's close to 50 percent more than what David Krejci will make, but Kessel is not a better player. He could earn that quickly though, and shut us all up. Why didn't the Leafs try an offer sheet? Because the Bruins would have matched it and then they would have never dealt with Toronto. The Leafs would then be left with nothing but those picks they would have lost.
The Bruins get: Killer picks. This team is one of the better teams at the NHL level. They also boast one of the stronger farm systems - Vladimir Sobotka is NHL ready and a second-liner on many other squads, but barely makes this one; Joe Colborne is one of the best prospects out there; etc. Now they boast a pile of great picks that they can use at the deadline to fill any gaps. Awesome deal for Boston.
Fantasy Players Impacted: Given Kessel's shoulder injury, the wingers in Boston were going to be playing with him out of the lineup anyway. No change in Boston, although maybe Sobotka gets a bit of breathing room.
In Toronto, there is already a dogfight for a top six spot. Now the winner(s) will need to continue to prove themselves because come November/December one of them will get demoted. That is when Kessel returns from his surgery. Kessel himself will continue to improve his points per game this year and next as he further develops. In the Fantasy Guide, I will not be changing his prediction.