Leafs trade Nick Ritchie to Arizona, acquire Ryan Dzingel and Ilya Lyubushkin

The Nick Ritchie era in Toronto came to an end as the Leafs traded the struggling forward to Arizona in exchange for forward Ryan Dzingel and defenseman Ilya Lyubushkin.

Ritchie, 26, signed a two-year contract with Toronto this summer but never seemed to settle, recording nine points in 33 games played before ultimately being placed on waivers. Ritchie cleared waivers and was assigned to the Toronto taxi team before eventually joining the Toronto Marlies of the AHL.

The Ottawa Senators’ seventh-round selection in the 2011 draft, Dzingel, 29, has four goals and three assists in 26 games for the Coyotes in 2021-22. Dzingel, now in his seventh NHL season, had his best campaign in 2018-19 when he had 56 points in 78 games in a year split between the Senators and Columbus Blue Jackets.

The other player in the trade is Ilya Lyubushkin, 27, who played 46 games with the Coyotes this season, registering nine assists. In 180 career NHL games, the Moscow native has one goal and 18 assists. Lyubushkin originally joined the Coyotes as a free agent in May 2018.

With Ritchie still having one year left on his contract, Dzingel and Lyubushkin are expected to reach unrestricted free agency at the end of the 2021-22 season.

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