Report: Toronto Maple Leafs to Trade Nikita Zaitsev to Ottawa Senators for Cody Ceci

Nikita Zaitsev
TORONTO, ON - MARCH 11: Nikita Zaitsev #22 of the Toronto Maple Leafs waits for a puck drop against the Tampa Bay Lightning during an NHL game at Scotiabank Arena on March 11, 2019 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Lightning defeated the Maple Leafs 6-2. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie the Toronto Maple Leafs have a tentative deal where they will trade Nikita Zaitsev to the Ottawa Senators for Cody Ceci after paying Zaitsev’s bonus on July 1st. There may be additional pieces involved in the final deal, but the basis of the deal includes Zaitsev and Ceci.

Nikita Zaitsev Headed to Ottawa

Zaitsev, 27, scored three goals and 11 assists for 14 points in 81 games for the Leafs last season. He also added 18 minutes in penalties. Possession wise, he put up a 49.0 percent Corsi-For and -4.0 relative Corsi on the season. Zaitsev did not record a point and played 18:57 per game in the Leafs seven-game opening round loss to the Boston Bruins.

Zaitsev has spent three years in the NHL, all with Toronto. He was originally signed as an undrafted free agent out of the KHL. He put up 12 goals and 51 assists for 63 points in 223 career NHL games. Zaitsev is entering the third year of a seven-year, $31.5 million contract that carries an AAV of $4.5 million.

Cody Ceci Headed to Toronto

In Ceci, the Leafs replace one right-handed defenceman with another. The 25-year-old Ottawa native has spent his first six years playing for his hometown team. He has put up 32 goals and 86 assists for 118 career points in 440 career NHL games. Ceci has three assists in 25 Stanley Cup Playoff games. He was originally drafted 15th overall at the 2012 NHL Draft by the Senators.

Last season, Ceci scored seven goals and 19 assists for 26 points in 74 games. He also added 18 minutes in penalties. His possession numbers were 44.1 percent Corsi-For and a relative Corsi of -1.9. Ceci is a restricted free agent, with arbitration rights. He is coming off a one-year, $4.3 million contract. The Senators extended Ceci a qualifying offer to retain his rights. The qualifying offer would be a one-year contract at a minimum of $4.3 million.

 

 

Main Photo: TORONTO, ON – MARCH 11: Nikita Zaitsev #22 of the Toronto Maple Leafs waits for a puck drop against the Tampa Bay Lightning during an NHL game at Scotiabank Arena on March 11, 2019, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Lightning defeated the Maple Leafs 6-2. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

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