The Toronto Maple Leafs Should Trade for Vince Dunn

ST. LOUIS, MO - FEBRUARY 19: Vince Dunn #29 of the St. Louis Blues shoots the puck against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Enterprise Center on February 19, 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - FEBRUARY 19: Vince Dunn #29 of the St. Louis Blues shoots the puck against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Enterprise Center on February 19, 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /

If you’re the Toronto Maple Leafs, you can never have too much depth so is Vince Dunn worth trading for?

Why in the world is a a 24-year-old defenseman who has 84 points in 230 NHL games and only makes $1.875M on the trading block? It makes absolutely no sense that someone would give up on him already, but the Blues loss can be the Toronto Maple Leafs gain.

Dunn is a player who has never finished a season below 54% CF who is very popular among advanced stats proponents.  He has excellent stats and a bright future.

So why would anyone want to get rid of him?

The Toronto Maple Leafs Potential Trade Target

Here is a recent clip that may answer that question:

If you watched the tweet above, you saw Dunn get danced by former Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Carl Grundstrom. Unfortunately it’s plays like this that have made Dunn a supposedly dispensable blue-liner in St. Louis, though this is a team that thought signing Justin Faulk made Alex Pietrangelo expendable.

Despite the limited defensive and offensive production this season, Dunn is still a solid player, though he may suffer from the same problem as Jake Gardiner – he measures out as a great player, but will occasionally make plays that  you both remember and are disgusted by.  Then he’s not likely to outscore his errors, so the only people who notice how good he actually is are advanced stats aficionados. Only in his fourth season in the NHL, there’s no reason to believe that Dunn isn’t a top-four defenseman in this league for the next decade.

The St. Louis Blues have always seemed to be a team that is strong defensively. Over the years, they’ve continued to build and develop strong defenseman and even after they lost Alex Pietrangelo to Free Agency, the team’s backend is still stacked. As a result, the Blues have no issue with moving on from Dunn.

Here’s what TSN’s Frank Seravalli said about the current state of Dunn and the possibility of him leaving St. Louis:

"“I’m told the Blues have engaged with teams on conversations about Dunn. Many thought that he might have been traded in training camp; alas, he has started the season with the Blues, but pardon the pun, his time may be ‘Dunn’ in St. Louis.” ("

Should the Leafs Trade for Dunn?

The Toronto Maple Leafs and St. Louis Blues have some history as trading partners. The most notable deal came in 2008 when Toronto flipped Carlo Colaiacovo and Alex Steen for Lee Stempniak.

I’m sure if the Leafs made a move for Dunn, it wouldn’t turn out as lopsided as that one did. Either way, how can Dunn help the Toronto Maple Leafs and does it make any sense to acquire him?

In four seasons, Dunn has been fortunate to learn and develop in a great defensive structure in St. Louis. Dunn played an integral part in the Blues’ 2018-19 Stanley Cup championship, averaging 15:10 TOI during the run.

Dunn has a 55.1 Corsi For percentage and although he’s a left-handed shot, he could slide in nicely to the bottom-pairing defensive spot. I know the Leafs don’t have a ton of cap-space but with a few players on LTIR, they may be able to make it happen.

Only problem is that the Leafs already have Travis Dermott, Mikko Lehtonen and Rasmus Sandin who all shoot left as well.

I’m not sure what it would take to acquire Dunn but since he’s a pending free agent and the Blues have told everyone they want to trade him, I’m sure his price-tag isn’t that high. All it could take would be a draft pick and a prospect to move on from him and the Leafs have more than enough of those to make it happen.

Next. Should Leafs Trade for Bobby Ryan?. dark

The forward depth has already taken a hit due to injury, so there’s no reason to believe the same thing won’t happen on the blueline.  Can you ever have too deep of a blue-line?  Should you ever pass up on discounted players other teams don’t properly value?

This is the year to make a Stanley Cup run so as long as the money works, I think it would make sense for the Toronto Maple Leafs to take a swing at him and if he fits the system, he could even be a good replacement for Mikko Lehtonen and Travis Dermott long-term, who are also free agent’s next summer.