The Top 10 Toronto Maple Leafs in Terms of Trade Value

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA - OCTOBER 4: Forwards Auston Matthews #34 and forward Mitchell Marner #16 of the Toronto Maple Leafs congratulate goaltender Frederik Andersen #31 after defeating the Winnipeg Jets during NHL action on October 4, 2017 at the Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg, Manitoba. (Photo by Jason Halstead /Getty Images)
WINNIPEG, MANITOBA - OCTOBER 4: Forwards Auston Matthews #34 and forward Mitchell Marner #16 of the Toronto Maple Leafs congratulate goaltender Frederik Andersen #31 after defeating the Winnipeg Jets during NHL action on October 4, 2017 at the Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg, Manitoba. (Photo by Jason Halstead /Getty Images) /

The Toronto Maple Leafs boast a healthy war chest of talented players (particularly at forward).

These are the 10 best Toronto Maple Leafs Trade Assets.

This is not to say the Leafs would ever move any of these players. It is a hypothetical exercise that also ignores No Trade and No movement clauses.

The list ranks, in reverse order, which player would bring back the biggest return in a trade.  The variables that are important are production, age, contract length and cap hit.

Toronto Maple Leafs Most Valuable Assets

(10) Zach Hyman – He is the Toronto Maple Leafs forward that can play in the Top 6 and do a lot of the superstars’ dirty work.

He has also chipped in 21 goals in each of the last two seasons while exploding with offense this past season.  Hyman makes an extremely reasonable $2.25 Million through next season, representing one of the team’s best values.

Odds of being traded: Medium – If Hyman needed to be dealt to bring in some help on the back end, the Leafs would surely be willing to do that.  He only has one more year left on his deal and is likely to be commanding a raise.

(9) Kasperi Kapanen – Here is the first player on the list that I think may get traded to bolster the defense. The 23-year-old is on a very reasonable $3.2 million cap hit for the next two seasons. After posting 20 goals a season ago, Kapanen followed it up with 13 goals and 23 assists in this shortened campaign.

He has proven to be very durable in his young career and would be an enticing piece to add for many teams.

Odds of being traded: High – Kapanen (and Andreas Johnsson) are names you often hear in trade rumours surrounding the Leafs.  Both are young and have enough of an NHL resume to be solid pieces in any possible trade.

(8) Nick Roberston – After obliterating the OHL with 55 goals in 46 games this season, Robertson will be joining the Leafs for the season’s resumption.

He is widely considered  the Toronto Maple Leafs best prospect and will add to the embarrassment of riches at forward. According to Scott Wheeler of The Athletic, Robertson is the 10th ranked drafted prospect in the NHL.  This is where the idea of Toronto Maple Leafs Trade Assets becomes a little more subjective, as we have never seen Robertson in the NHL.

Odds of being traded: Minimal, for now – The Toronto Maple Leafs will surely see what they have in Robertson before they would ever dangle him in a trade.  A star player on an entry-level deal would be invaluable to Toronto, so the odds of him moving are slim.

(7) Rasmus Sandin – The 19-year-old Swede appeared in 28 games for the Toronto Maple Leafs this season, notching one goal and seven assists.

He recorded ten points in seven contests at last year’s World Juniors and is a crucial piece to the future of Toronto’s blue line, with Timothy Liljegren.  He has two years left on his entry-level contract, which pays him peanuts.

Odds of being traded: Almost zero – Toronto is thrilled with the development of the young defenceman.  There is almost no way they would be willing to part with him at this point, especially considering he plays at a position of need.

(6) Morgan Rielly – Easily the top defenseman on the team, there appears to be no situation in which Toronto would trade Rielly.

However, he does carry a lot of value and might be the difference-maker for the team in the playoffs. Since being drafted fifth overall by the Buds in 2012, Rielly has steadily improved and has been consistently durable, before this season.

Odds of being traded: Very slim – Again, Toronto is not dealing from a position of strength on defense and it would make no sense for them to move on from Rielly.  He is a relative bargain at $5 million for each of the next two seasons.

(5) John Tavares – JT has been as advertised since signing his massive 7-year deal before the 2018-19 season. After posting 88 points last season, Tavares followed up with 60 points in 63 games. He is the Captain of one of the most scrutinized teams in the league and plays very responsibly in his end.

Odds of being traded: Very low – Tavares is not only the captain but has a massive cap hit that a lot of other teams would not be able to stomach.  Plus, he is a strong and consistent producer and apparently left a few bucks on the table to come to Toronto.

(4) William Nylander – After a low scoring 2018-19 campaign following a contract stalemate with the team, Nylander had a great bounceback this year.

He popped in 31 goals and 59 points in his 68 games. Nylander has four more years left on a reasonable contract that includes a cap hit under $7 million. He has missed very few games in his NHL career and is a career plus-12 player.

Odds of being traded: Very slim – Unless the Leafs were presented with a whopper of a deal involving a marquee defenseman, there is no way they are giving up on Nylander.  Goalscorers of his ilk do not grow on trees. 

(3) Frederik Andersen – Andersen has only one year left on his contract after this season at $5 million. After that, Toronto will have an interesting dilemma in trying to re-sign him while keeping their healthy stable of forwards.

Odds of being traded: Higher than you may think – As valuable as Andersen is to the Leafs, he is heading into the final year of his deal and has seen his 30th birthday already.  It is very unlikely that Toronto would trade him, but it is not impossible.  If they cannot figure out terms of a new deal that can keep the core together, it is not out of the question.

(2) Mitchell Marner – Marner is a dynamic playmaker and is still only 22 years old. Starting a franchise with Marner would be a coup for most teams, but combined with Auston Matthews, the Leafs have an embarrassment of riches at forward. If you like durable hockey players who average better than a point per game, Marner is your guy.

Odds of being traded: Almost zero – If Wayne Gretzky can get traded, anyone can.  That is the only reason the odds are not zero.  Marner is a franchise cornerstone for years to come and any trade offers from other teams are likely met with sarcastic laughter from Kyle Dubas.

(1) Auston Matthews – Matthews has notched 40, 34, 37 and 47 goals in his first four seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs. According to GM Kyle Dubas, he is fit and ready to play in the NHL’s season resumption, after an apparent positive Covid-19 test. That is sweet relief for Maple Leafs fans concerned about his well-being and Cup chances this season.

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Odds of being traded: Almost zero – DItto to the Marner odds.  Matthews is a generational talent, the team’s number one overall pick and seems to still be improving.  He is one of, if not, the most exciting player in the NHL.  If I am a rival GM, I don’t even waste my breath bringing him up.