Well, hope no one had their heart set to meet Olli Jokinen tonight at the GnashVegas Gala, for he, Brendan Leipsic, and a future first round draft pick have been traded over to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for Cody Franson (my personal choice) and Mike Santorelli.
Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced Sunday that the team has acquired defenseman Cody Franson and forward Mike Santorelli from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for Nashville’s first-round selection in the 2015 Draft, and forwards Brendan Leipsic and Olli Jokinen.
Franson, 27 (8/8/87), was selected by the Predators 78th overall (third round) in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft and was a member of the 2010-11 Nashville club along with current Preds Shea Weber, Colin Wilson, Mike Fisher and Pekka Rinne, that won the first playoff series in franchise history. Hailing from the same hometown as Weber – Sicamous, British Columbia – Franson has amassed 32 points (6g-26a) in 55 games this season for the Maple Leafs, and 165 points (34g-131a) in 377 career NHL games. From 2007-09, he played with Nashville’s primary developmental affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals, and from 2009-11, he posted 50 points (14g-36a) in 141 regular-season games and seven points (1g-6a) in 16 Stanley Cup Playoff games with the Predators.
Santorelli, 29 (12/14/85), was selected 178th overall (sixth round) in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, 80 picks and two rounds before the Predators selected Rinne. The 6-0, 190-pound forward posted a 20-goal, 41-point season with the Florida Panthers in 2010-11, and has 29 points (11g-18a) and a +7 rating in 57 games for Toronto in 2014-15. In 314 career NHL games, the Vancouver native has 116 points (54g-62a). Santorelli posted three points (2g-1a) in 32 games with the Predators from 2008-10, in addition to amassing 74 goals and 171 points in 207 AHL games with the Milwaukee Admirals from 2007-10.
Yes, David Poile sought out two former Nashville Predators to trade for, which is great since all the organization lost was A.) Olli Jokinen (who was bound to be worked into a trade somehow), B.) Brendan Leipsic (a forward for the Admirals who has been stuck in a limbo), and C.) a first round draft pick (the only true stab in this trade).
Nashville adds power to their defense with the addition of Cody Franson, who currently has 32 points this season with the Maple Leafs. Santorelli will add some spice to the offense, with 29 points (11 goals, 18 assists) this season. Unfortunately, the future for Olli Jokinen is looking pretty bleak:
Yes, Olli Jokinen’s career may be shot, but you can’t blame him for being disgruntled. He just lost his shot at winning the cup (no offense, Toronto). Brendan Leipsic, on the other hand, may have just gotten the deal of a lifetime. A bit small, but certainly feisty, Leipsic brings a lot to the table and just hasn’t had the opportunity to move up to the NHL level in Nashville. Honestly, we wish both of these men well in their careers (and that first rounder without a name yet). However, Jokinen’s wife has a different outlook on this move:
Ouch, but that’s the business, babe.