With under two hours left in the NHL trade deadline, the Toronto Maple Leafs made a ‘futures’ move in sending hulking defender Keith Aulie to the Tampa Bay Lightning for 20-year old prospect Carter Ashton.
In 56 games with the AHL’s Norfolk Admirals, Ashton had 19 goals and 35 points to go along with an impressive 58 PIMs. The 6’3, 205lb winger will look to continue his impressive rookie season with the Toronto Marlies.
Aulie, who arrived in Toronto along with Dion Phaneuf in January 2010, will likely get a better chance of sticking in the NHL with Tampa Bay. The 6’6 rearguard could only manage 17 games with the Leafs this year after being jumped on the depth chart by rookie Jake Gardiner.
Ashton was drafted in the 1st round, 29th overall by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, and won a Silver Medal with Team Canada in the 2011 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships. The Winnipeg native is in the first year of his $1.04M, three-year entry level contract.