The Toronto Maple Leafs are rumoured to be interested in Brandon Montour of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.
This rumour is part of the never-ending William Nylander saga, and as such, we hope it never comes to fruition. It has been our longstanding stance that the Toronto Maple Leafs can not, will not, won’t trade Mr. Nylander.
This rumour comes courtesy of longtime hockey writing mainstay Terry Koshan. We can only hope there is no truth to it.
It would be a terrible move for the Leafs.
Montrour is a 6′ 24 year old right shooting defenseman, drafted by the Ducks in the second round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.
He is coming off his first full NHL season and is in his third overall. Last year he had a respectable 32 points.
While Montrour is a decent enough player, he is not even close to good enough to be the central return on a William Nylander deal. Now, as I pointed out here, the Leafs cannot possible get a good return of the potential hall of fame forward if it’s in a package deal. And so, this is a no-go.
In fact, should the Leafs move Nylander for a package centred around Montour, I will be the first person to write a Fire Kyle Dubas blog. I love Kyle Dubas, so that should tell you how bad of a trade this would be.
If we look at the AZ Player Comparison Chart by CJ Turtoro we see a player who is great at zone entries and exits, but does little to contribute to shots for or defense.
His Hero Chart says he’s a 3rd pairing D with a better chance of being a depth defenseman than a top pairing one.
Last season, despite being deployed primarily in the offensive zone, Montrour was under 50% possession, and allowed the third most shots against on the Ducks (the two players who allowed more played tougher minutes).
At 5v5, his points per 60 were the lowest on the Duck’s blueline, despite having over 30 points. Only 12 of his 32 points were at even-strength.
This year he has just one goal in 19 games and a 44% possession rating.
Montour is currently on the Duck’s third pairing. He is an offensive defenseman with no defensive game. He isn’t particularly big or gritty, so there isn’t even that argument to make. He does not provide good value for his almost $4 million cap hit, and he’ll need a new contract after next year.
The Toronto Maple Leafs don’t need any help on their power-play. They do need to upgrade their blue line, but Montour is an average at best 5v5 player, and would not be a significant upgrade 5v5 over Ozhiganov, Zaitsev or Hainsey.
To sum up, this would be a terrible trade. Might as well call Edmonton and ask for Adam Larson.
Salary info from capfriendly.com
Statistics from naturalstattrick.com