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Reasons for trading Tuukka Rask

Tuukka Rask picked up his first NHL win Tuesday night, 3-2 over Toronto.

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Tuukka Rask picked up his first NHL win Tuesday night, 3-2 over Toronto.

A lot has been made over Leafs GM John Ferguson’s decision to trade highly touted goalie prospect Tuukka Rask for Andrew Raycroft at the 2006 NHL entry draft. With this in mind, and in light of Rask’s win over his former rights-holder Tuesday night, we felt it was necessary to provide you the inside scoop and the real reasons the deal went down.

Top 10 justifications why Toronto prospect Tuukka Rask was traded to Boston for Andrew Raycroft in 2006:

10. Ed Belfour was getting old and no other goalies were on the market, except for Roberto Luongo, Martin Biron, Manny Legace, Martin Gerber and Niklas Backstrom.

9. When Ferguson was director of player personnel for St. Louis at the 1998 draft, he really wanted Raycroft, but Boston took him just beforehand with the 135th pick.

8. Demand was heavy for Boston’s third-string goalie. Speculation was, Phoenix might have been interested and was ready to dangle a second round pick.

7. Raycroft spent the 2004-05 lockout season in Finland (Tappara Tampere) and was clearly better than 17-year-old Rask.

6. Raycroft’s .879 save percentage with Boston in 2005-06 was very deceiving. All the shots were really, really good ones.

5. When Rask was named top goalie at the 2006 world juniors, he was playing against a bunch of teenaged kids.

4. Ferguson didn’t get his 2006 Future Watch issue, which rated Rask the 5th best prospect among goalies (37th overall) and fellow Leafs prospect Justin Pogge 10th best among goalies (73rd overall).

3. No big deal trading your first round pick from 2005. First round picks come around every year or so. And getting a proven starter meant the Leafs could focus first round picks in future years on other areas of concern.

2. Rask’s military commitment in Finland through 2006-07 flew in the face of Ferguson’s win-it-all-now theory.

1. The Leafs will clearly be a Cup contender by the time Rask makes it to the NHL and bites the Leafs in the ass.

The Top 10 appears Wednesdays only on thehockeyenews.com. If you enjoy this feature, consider subscribing to The Hockey News magazine for the exclusive countdown, Starting From 10, and other great features from the world of hockey.

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