The Four Toronto Maple Leafs Most Likely to Be Traded

TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 11: Kasperi Kapanen #24 of the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrates his game winning goal against the Arizona Coyotes with teammate Alexander Kerfoot #15 in overtime at the Scotiabank Arena on February 11, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 11: Kasperi Kapanen #24 of the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrates his game winning goal against the Arizona Coyotes with teammate Alexander Kerfoot #15 in overtime at the Scotiabank Arena on February 11, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images) /

The Toronto Maple Leafs have a series of interesting trade options if they are to pursue a top pairing right handed defenseman, as expected.

In the upcoming days, I will be breaking down the Toronto Maple Leafs roster and exploring potential trade chips.

The series began yesterday with Timothy Liljegren. 

Today we will look at a group of players that are likely to be dealt.

The days as a member of the blue and white could be numbered for any of these four players. While all of them have played important roles with this team during their careers, the reality of the situation is that these are players who other teams will want to trade for, and who are not part of the Leafs core.

It is almost a guarantee at least one, probably even two, of these players will be traded just for Toronto to remain cap compliant.

However, the fact there are a few players falling into this category creates flexibility for Dubas in trade talks and provides him with a wealth of options he can opt for to improve his blueline.

Some of these players have played themselves into the hearts of Leafsnation and I for one would be disappointed to see a couple of them leave.

The Most LIkely to be Dealt Tier

1.       Kasperi Kapanen

2.     Alex Kerfoot

3.     Andreas Johnsson

4.      Travis Dermott

Containing one center, one left-wing, one right-wing, and one defensemen, this group all resembles the same type of player – young, inexpensive, solid supporting cast players.

The position diverseness of this group adds intrigue for Kyle Dubas and only enhances his capability of acquiring his trade target.

He has the rare capacity of being able to match any teams’ needs whether that is upfront or on the back end, increasing his chances of succeeding in what is going to be a very chaotic and one-of-a-kind offseason.

Kasperi Kapanen,  has blossomed into a fantastic third-line right-winger in Toronto. The blazing speedster has the unique ability to play at all strengths and adding in an above-average wrister to that ridiculous quickness, you make an extremely valuable forward to any NHL team.

He is definitely the type of forward Toronto needs to be adding to their bottom-six – skilled mixed with toughness – not subtracting from it.

But, it is impossible to ignore his trade value.  It should be noted Dubas and Leafs management are extremely high on Kapanen. It was widely reported during the deadline period, Dubas received several calls regarding the availability of Kapanen, stating he is absolutely not open to trading his sought-after winger.

Alex Kerfoot’s ability to play both wing and center is only going to increase his value in the trade market.

With above-average defensive instincts, superior playmaking, and good speed, Kerfoot resembles the ideal third-liner on any NHL team.

Moreover, in the minutes Sheldon Keefe used Kerfoot on Tavares’ wing, the line of Kerfoot – Tavares – Nylander posted a Corsi-for percentage of 53% (stat courtesy of proving Kerfoot has the ability to play a top 6 role and succeed in doing so.

Due to his versatility, the fact that he plays centre, and is likely the Toronto Maple Leafs best defensive forward, Kerfoot is the least likely of this group to be traded.

Johnsson and Dermott

Andreas Johnsson, dubbed Mango by the Toronto Maple Leafs locker room, blossomed in 2018-19, scoring 20 goals and 43 points (stats courtesy of, mostly playing on a line with Auston Matthews and Kasperi Kapanen.

His effectiveness on Matthews’ wing suggested, out of all three forwards in this group, Johnsson is the most equipped at handling top 6 duties.

With Johnsson not being able to replicate the same success in 2019-20, I do believe Dubas was ready to move on from him at the deadline had he not suffered a significant knee injury.

If health were not a worry, Johnsson would be the odd man out of this group because of his top 6 capabilities, increasing his trade value, as well as the fact Kapanen and Kerfoot provide higher value in other areas to the Leafs. However, with Johnsson’s injury, his future with Toronto is very much in the air.

On one hand, as mentioned above, he provides the least value to the Toronto Maple Leafs, but it would be unwise to trade Mango when his value is at his lowest.

Potentially a bubble team might still view Johnsson as a top 6 winger and would give up substantial assets to acquire him, though there is too much uncertainty with a knee injury sustained similar to that to forfeit assets for a maybe player.

Travis Dermott is another potential player on the move.

When Dubas signing Mikko Lehtonen from Jokerit of the KHL it changed my outlook on Dermott’s future with Toronto.

Firstly, I do not believe Lehtonen would have signed here in Toronto if he were not guaranteed at least a spot on the bottom pair. He chose to pass up more lucrative opportunities in New Jersey, Los Angeles, and Montreal, all with top 4 jobs available and potentially powerplay time as well, to sign with the Leafs.

That means that Leafs now have three left-handed (Lehtonen, Sandin, Dermott) competing for one spot on the left side below Rielly and Muzzin.

The other two will have to switch sides, or be traded, which makes Dermott’s future with the Toronto Maple Leafs is somewhat in doubt, as they are not likely to move Sandin or dress five left-handers (it seems unlikely at least, but who knows?).

Next. Everything Points to Leafs Being Better Than You Think. dark

Dermott has grown into a fan-favourite in Toronto with his gritty defensive play and puck-moving abilities, and while Leafsnation would be saddened to see him, it may make financial sense for Dubas and Co. to move on from the talented defensemen.