The Toronto Maple Leafs have an incredible amount of depth.
This off-season, the Toronto Maple Leafs brought in one impact player – T.J Brodie – and a few lottery tickets – Lehtonen, Barabanov, Vesey – and a bunch of depth.
All in all, the Leafs may have the best roster in the NHL. While hardly anyone can challenge their depth, they’ve also got more elite players than anyone else does. It’s shaping up to be one of the best seasons ever, assuming it happens.
With so many options, I thought I’d share my own personal favorite lineup. If I was in charge (pause here to go down to the comment’s section and write “thank God you’re not,”) this is what I’d do.
Toronto Maple Leafs Opening Night Roster
When it comes to first lines, one line stands above them all: Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak. And when it comes to hockey over the last decade, one team stands above them all: The Boston Bruins.
So when making my lines, I want to learn from the best, which is why the Toronto Maple Leafs first line should be:
Nylander – Matthews – Marner
Nylander wants to play left wing, and the Leafs have the roster depth to stack a line like this without any of the drawbacks (namely that the rest of your lineup sucks because you put all your eggs in one basket).
The second line is easy too.
Robertson – Tavares – Kerfoot
This line features the NHL’s best second line centre, a rookie who can score 30 goals if given the chance, and a premier defensive forward whose really underrated when it comes to offense.
With the top two lines stacked like this, I think the Leafs can put together a very nice third line that features two borderline top six players who are probably better than third liners, and one HOF Legend.
Hyman – Thornton – Mikheyev
You have to at least give Thornton a shot above the fourth line. If he can’t hack it, you’ve got a ton of options, but I think this would be a most excellent line.
The fourth line will of course feature players being rotated in an out to massage the salary cap. That being said, the Spezza/Engvall combo was among the best 4th lines in the NHL last year, maybe even the best. Clifford is a big loss because I think that would have cemented the title of best in the NHL, but Simmonds is a fine fall back option.
Simmonds – Engvall – Spezza
In my opinion no team can touch this top twelve. Its incredibly deep, super talented and it is the combination the Toronto Maple Leafs should use.