Blackhawks send McCabe, Lafferty to Maple Leafs for picks

The Toronto Maple Leafs continued to add ahead of the NHL's trade deadline by acquiring defenseman Jake McCabe, forward Sam Lafferty, and a conditional fifth-round draft choice in both 2024 and 2025 from the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday.

Toronto sent a conditional first-round pick in 2025, a second-round pick in 2026, and forwards Joey Anderson and Pavel Gogolev back to Chicago as part of the deal. The Blackhawks will also retain 50% of McCabe's $4 million cap hit through the 2024-25 season.

McCabe, 29, is the centerpiece of this deal for Toronto. The veteran is having a strong season despite Chicago's ongoing struggles, adding two goals and 20 points in 55 games while averaging 19:29 TOI per game. McCabe can play on the left or right side of the Leafs' defense and has experience on the penalty kill.

Having the Blackhawks retain half of McCabe's salary for the next 2½ years was imperative for Toronto. The Leafs placed Jake Muzzin on long-term injured reserve earlier this season with a neck injury, which gives them some breathing room against the salary cap for now, but they have little projected space moving forward.

That relief from Chicago holding part of McCabe's contract sweetened the deal enough for the Leafs to part with another first-round pick; Toronto now has only one remaining in the next three drafts.

Lafferty, 27, is a serviceable bottom-six depth option, with 10 goals and 21 points through 55 games this season. A defensive-minded forward, Lafferty adds insurance for the Leafs as a projected fourth-line skater.

Monday's deal is the second major move by Toronto GM Kyle Dubas, and once again the Leafs did not give up a skater from their current roster in the transaction. Earlier this month the Leafs acquired Ryan O'Reilly and Noel Acciari from St. Louis in exchange for a first-, second- and third-round pick over the next two seasons and a pair of prospects.

In the swap with Chicago, Toronto again gave up draft capital but not a regular from its lineup.

The Blackhawks' return fits the framework of their current rebuild. Chicago now holds two first-round choices in each of the next three drafts and brings on a pair of young players in Anderson and Gogolev who could carve out roles in the team's future plans.

The trade deadline is Friday at 3 p.m. ET.