Leafs acquire Toskala, Bell from Sharks
The Toronto Maple Leafs acquired goaltender Vesa Toskala from the San Jose Sharks for their first-round pick in the NHL draft Friday night.
It's the second year in a row that Leafs general manager John Ferguson has acquired a goalie on draft day.
Last year,Fergusontraded for Boston Bruins netminder Andrew Raycroft.
Forward Mark Bell also comes to Toronto in the deal, with the Sharks alsoreceiving a second-round pick in this year's draft and a 2009 fourth-round pick.
The Leafs were scheduled to pick 13th overall Friday, but theSharks hadthe option to push the pick back a year, which they exercised by trading upto the ninth spot to take centre LoganCouture of the OHL's Ottawa 67s.However, the first pick could be pushed back to 2009 ifthe Leafs are drafting in the top 10 next year.
Toskala has shared goaltending duties with Evgeni Nabokov for the past two years. The 30-year-old native of Tampere, Finland, is coming off a standout season with the Sharks thatsaw him post a 26-10-1 record along with a 2.35 goals-against average and .908 save percentage.
Toskala was slowed by a groin injury in February, allowing Nabokov to see the bulk of play down the stretch of the regular season and in the playoffs.
The Leafs are expected to sign Toskala to a contract extension. He has one year remaining on his existing deal, which is worth$1.375 million US.
Bell, 26, is coming off a disappointing season with the Sharks, scoringjust 11 goals and 21 points. The tough, versatile forward scored a career-high 25 goals and 48 points with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2005-06.