In news that would have thrilled 2008 me, the Leafs have acquired forward Fabian Brunnstrom from the Dallas Stars in exchange for 21-year old prospect Mikhail Stefanovich.
Brunnstrom, if you recall, was a highly sought after 23-year old out of the Swedish Elite League in 2008 when he came to the NHL, pursued by the Red Wings, Canucks and, of course, Leafs before choosing to sign a two-year entry level deal with the Stars.
Since that time, one eye-catching hat trick in his NHL debut aside, Brunnstrom has been fairly underwhelming as a Star. Not that a 17-goal, 29-point rookie campaign is anything to sneeze at, but the lefty certainly hasn’t built on it in the past two seasons and has spent much of that time in the minors.
He will likely begin his Leafs career in much the same way, reportedly joining the Toronto Marlies on Friday for their game in Abbotsford.
It’s possible that he will be inspired by a change of scenery and a level of attention that he wasn’t getting in Dallas, but his star (no pun intended) has clearly faded some, and the deal hardly offers reason for excitement after Brian Burke was supposedly rebuffed in rumoured deals for Chicago’s Jack Skille and the recently traded Wojtek Wolski.
As for Stefanovich, the 2008 fourth round pick possesses skill and upside, but even his arrival in the NHL was somewhat in question given his association with Minsk Dynamo of the KHL. And it’s not as though he’s been particularly lighting it up there, what with one goal in 15 games.
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Written by Ben Fisher