Boston's first trade, with Toronto
After years of speculation about when and where he would be dealt, the Toronto Maple Leafs traded defenseman Tomas Kaberle to Boston for their top prospect Joe Colborne, Boston's first round pick in 2011 and a conditional second round pick.
C Joe Colborne to the Toronto Maple Leafs
Toronto added one of the highest upside center prospects in hockey in Joe Colborne, who in my opinion becomes the Leafs top prospect, ahead of Nazem Kadri. While his transition to the pro game hasn't been as productive as some would say, when looking at his counting numbers keep in mind that with the half season sample size, Boston's AHL affiliate Providence has been horrendous offensively this season. Colborne is a very toolsy prospect with above-average skating ability for a big man and well above-average puck skills. He is tremendous at creating plays as he sees the ice very well and is a threat once he's established with the puck in the offensive zone, especially down low. Even while being pressured, Joe doesn't panic with the puck and can thread his passes consistently though tight spaces. He has great reach and it allows him to stickcheck very effectively and when combined with his skating ability it allows him to cover his checks well. He has a solid shot, and can beat goalies from mid-distances. The knock on Joe is that despite his massive frame, his physical game can't be described as pro-average, as he doesn't succeed in the physical areas as much as you'd like him to. This has been an issue in the past, but to Joe's credit he made improvements in that area, be it going to the net with more frequency or attempting to engage. When it comes to guys with big frames, as they tend to fill out they realize how easily they can win those battles and the relatively minimal effort required. So while I'm not sure if Colborne is ever going to be an above-average physical player at the highest level, it certainly isn't a huge concern as of now. Nevertheless, Joe Colborne has the potential to be a number one center in the NHLthere aren't many prospects that I can say that about. Of course by potential, you have to keep in mind the room in development he has to go, with a likely projection being a second line center. Colborne probably still has at least a year to go as far as AHL development before graduating to the next level.