Earlier this morning, Tampa Bay Lighting GM Steve Yzerman claimed he didn’t expect to make many moves on trade deadline day, saying he’d already pulled some significant deals and was waiting for the draft to acquire “impact players.”
Turns out he wasn’t being entirely truthful.
Yzerman has pulled off his second deal of the day, acquiring defenseman Keith Aulie from Toronto in exchange for Carter Ashton. Aulie, 22, is a towering blueliner — 6-foot-6, 225-pounds — that came to the Leafs from Calgary as part of the Dion Phaneuf deal in 2009. Aulie appeared in 40 games for Toronto last year and 17 this season, spending the majority of his time with AHL’s Toronto Marlies.
According to Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun, Aulie was “in shock” about being dealt. “The one thing that bothers me is that I was hoping to help this team make the playoffs,” he said.
As for the skinny on Ashton:
— 20 years old, son of former NHLer Brent Ashton.
— One of Tampa’s two first-round picks in 2009 (29th overall; Victor Hedman went No. 2)
— The last first-round pick of the Brian Lawton regime. The following year, Steve Yzerman took Tampa’s GM job.
— Has been with AHL Norfolk this season and performed well (19G-16A-35PTS in 56 games).
— At 6-foot-3, 215-pounds, has the size that Leafs GM Brian Burke covets.