By: Nick Lanciani
The Toronto Maple Leafs traded F Shawn Matthias to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for F Colin Smith and a 4th round pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft on Sunday.
Matthias is a 28-year old forward who has played in 51 games this season for Toronto. He has 6-11-17 totals currently and signed with the Maple Leafs as a free agent on July 6, 2015.
The 6’4″, 231 pound center spent the 2014-2015 season with the Vancouver Canucks. He had a career high 18 goals and 27 points last season in 78 games. Matthias also took part in all six playoff games for Vancouver in their first round exit to the Calgary Flames, where he had a goal and an assist in the series.
The Mississauga, Ontario native has won a gold medal with Team Canada at the 2008 IIHF World Junior Championship in the Czech Republic and was selected by the Detroit Red Wings in the second round (47th overall) of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. Matthias made his NHL debut with the Florida Panthers in the 2007-2008 season and went on to amass 148 points in 459 career games with the Panthers, Canucks and Maple Leafs. He has 1-2-3 totals in 15 career playoff games.
Smith is a 22-year old product of the seventh round (192nd overall) of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, where he was selected by the Colorado Avalanche. The 5’10”, 175 pound center has appeared in one career NHL game last season.
He had 13-21-34 totals in 54 games played with the San Antonio Rampage this season prior to the trade, and will likely spend time with the Toronto Marlies moving forward. Smith had 8-26-34 totals in 76 games played in the 2013-2014 season with the Lake Erie Monsters and 12-19-31 totals in 53 games last season with Lake Erie.
No salary was retained in the trade by either team. The Maple Leafs are in the process of clearing house and were able to take advantage of Colorado’s full roster to pry a prospect and a draft pick in exchange for the lack luster Shawn Matthias. Matthias is a pending UFA with a cap hit of $2.3 million and will likely fill the role of a third or fourth liner for Colorado as they embark on the push for a wild card spot for the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs in the Western Conference.
The Avalanche are in action on Sunday night in Vancouver to take on the Canucks while the Maple Leafs resume play on Tuesday night at the Air Canada Centre as they welcome the Nashville Predators. It looks like Matthias will join Colorado in time for their Wednesday night matchup with the San Jose Sharks at the Pepsi Center in Denver.