— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) July 23, 2019
Leafs Trade Garret Sparks to the Golden Knights
The Leafs completed a trade Tuesday with the Golden Knights. Vegas acquires goaltender Garret Sparks in exchange for David Clarkson and a fourth-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.
The Golden Knights get a backup goaltender that has good size .Sparks has spent the few two years of his career with the Leafs. He has put up a 14-18-2 career record in 37 career appearances with 34 career starts. He also has a 3.09 goals against average, .898 save percentage, and two shutouts.
Last season, Sparks played in 20 games with 17 starts for the Leafs. He put up an 8-9-1 record with a 3.15 goals against average and .902 save percentage and one shutout.
Clarkson has been on long-term injured reserve for the last few seasons and will join Nathan Horton on long-term injured reserve. This allows the Leafs to have extra room to play with in landing Mitch Marner.
What This Means for the Future of Garret Sparks
Sparks has spent the majority of his time in the AHL in the two years. He got drafted in the seventh round, 190th overall of the 2007 NHL Draft. Last season he served as the Leafs back-up goaltender before they acquired Michael Hutchinson to serve as the back-up late in the season and during the Stanley Cup Playoffs before his wife had a baby and left the team.
The Leafs backup situation for next season has yet to be determined. Hutchinson is the backup for now, but Michal Neuvirth was invited to camp for a tryout. Sparks will challenge Malcolm Subban to be Marc-Andre Fleury‘s backup.
TORONTO, ON – FEBRUARY 22: Garret Sparks #40 of the Toronto Marlies stops a shot against the Syracuse Crunch during AHL game action on February 22, 2017 at Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Photo by Graig Abel/Getty Images)