Predicting The Toronto Maple Leafs Playoff Roster

Josh Anderson of the Columbus Blue Jackets battles against Morgan Rielly of the Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Josh Anderson of the Columbus Blue Jackets battles against Morgan Rielly of the Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

What players will the Toronto Maple Leafs send to the ice for the playoffs?

As reported by Elliotte Friedman, the current plan is that teams will be permitted to carry up to 28 skaters and as many goalies as they want once play resumes. While it’s nice to have many spares in the case of injury, it opens the question as to who exactly will be on the ice for the Toronto Maple Leafs?

The Columbus Blue Jackets play a tight-checking style where everyone contributes by committee, rather than relying on the play of a superstar (of which they have none).

Both teams will be getting a boost in the form of several players returning from injury. With some exceptions (Andreas Johnsson for the Leafs, Josh Anderson for the Blue Jackets being chief among them), both teams should go into this series as healthy as they possibly could, and despite that, I will stand by my earlier prediction that the Toronto Maple Leafs will win this 5-game series in four games.

Toronto Maple Leafs Playoff Forwards

Ilya Mikheyev is expected to be cleared to play for the first time since late December.

The rookie winger scored 23 points in 39 games before his injury and was fantastic at supporting the defense. In my opinion, Pierre Engvall performed best alongside Kerfoot and Kapanen on the third line, so barring injury during the training camp portion of the Return-To-Play plan, I see the forwards lining up in game 1 against Columbus as follows:

Zach Hyman – Auston Matthews – Mitch Marner

Ilya Mikheyev – John Tavares – William Nylander

Pierre Engvall – Alex Kerfoot – Kasperi Kapanen

Kyle Clifford – Frederik Gauthier – Jason Spezza

It’s believed by many that Nick Robertson, Kenny Agostino, Denis Malgin, Egor Korshkov, Nic Petan, and Adam Brooks will be the extra forwards that the Leafs carry.

However, unless several injuries strike the team, I don’t believe any of these players will see the ice during the playoffs.

The lone exception to this is rookie sensation, Nick Robertson. Like many, I’m very excited to see what he can offer at the NHL level after a historic year in the OHL.

Should he prove himself ready to step into an NHL lineup, we could see him join Kerfoot and Kapanen on the third line, with Engvall getting bumped down to the fourth line and Gauthier becoming a healthy scratch.

Toronto Maple Leafs Playoff Defense

Jake Muzzin and Morgan Rielly will both presumably be 100% healthy for the first time in the 2019-20 season, giving the Leafs blue line a much-needed boost. This will be controversial, but I believe this defense corps is very underrated and in their return to play, I think they would be best suiting icing this as their lineup:




If the Toronto Maple Leafs are to have any success in the playoffs, Cody Ceci must not play. It is my firmly held belief that Ceci is not an NHL player, he is a complete void both offensively and defensively. His “little mistakes that end up in the back of the net” at this point outnumber Jake Gardiner’s worst game by a long shot.

At this point, there is no need to put Ceci out there, they’ve paid him everything he was owed, so we can stop pretending he’s the best option for the third pair and penalty kill. And if you still feel like defending him, I’ll direct you to go re-watch the brutal February 3rd game against the Florida Panthers.

“But Barrie sucks even more” you might say “why does he go on the top pairing?” To that, I simply reply Tyson Barrie is no defensive stalwart. He has certainly made his share of mistakes, but at the very least, Barrie contributes offensively (he led all Leafs defensemen with 39 points). He and Rielly as a unit worked well in their limited time as a pairing when limited to offensive zone starts, look for that to continue, while Muzzin and Holl do the defensive work of shutting down the Columbus offense.

Playoff Goaltenders for the Toronto Maple Leafs

The Leafs have five goalies on NHL contracts. One of them, rookie Ian Scott, is still recovering from an injury, but the other four will all be on the roster, though of course, Frederik Andersen and Jack Campbell will be the only two suiting up to play (barring injury).

5 Free Agent Defense Targets. dark. Next

Whether they remain healthy or go through a rush of injuries, the Toronto Maple Leafs deep farm system will be an asset when play resumes.