4 Mystery Forwards the Toronto Maple Leafs Could Be Targeting

TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 29: Tanner Pearson #70 of the Vancouver Canucks battles against John Tavares #91 of the Toronto Maple Leafs during an NHL game at Scotiabank Arena on February 29, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Maple Leafs defeated the Canucks 4-2. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 29: Tanner Pearson #70 of the Vancouver Canucks battles against John Tavares #91 of the Toronto Maple Leafs during an NHL game at Scotiabank Arena on February 29, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Maple Leafs defeated the Canucks 4-2. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Maple Leafs
TORONTO, ON – FEBRUARY 6: Tanner Pearson #70 of the Vancouver Canucks looks to grab a puck in front of Morgan Rielly #44 of the Toronto Maple Leafs   (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

#1. Tanner Pearson

$3.75M seems a little rich for the Toronto Maple Leafs salary-cap constraints, but by the NHL Trade Deadline, they may be able to make the money work.

The 6-foot-1 left-winger could fit nicely into the Leafs top-six, especially on a line with Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews. Pearson has shown scoring flashes in the past and has done so beside one of the best centre’s in the NHL. Paired on Anze Kopitar’s wing, Pearson scored a career-high 24 goals in the 2016-17 season.

The former Barrie Colt was also a key contributor in his rookie campaign, scoring 12 points on route to a Kings Stanley Cup victory. Although Pearson’s name hasn’t been rumored like his Vancouver Canucks teammate Virtanen’s has, they may be willing to move on.

Vancouver has some cap-space cleared out for the 2021-22 season, but Pearson isn’t their top priority. The team still needs to re-up Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes, who are going to be backing up the Brinks Truck to Benning’s office.

With their playoff life in question, the Canucks may be willing to move on from Pearson, if they don’t think they’ll resign him anyway. As a result, the Leafs have a few prospects and a number of draft-picks they could trade to acquire Pearson for the stretch-run.

Leafs 1st Big Trade Rumor. dark. Next

Pearson’s another local kid (born in Kitchener, ON), so I’m sure he’d be excited to join the Leafs if the opportunity came knocking and could be a difference-maker in the playoffs.