Toronto Maple Leafs Mystery Trade Target Revealed

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 12: Mikael Granlund #64 of the Nashville Predators skates after the puck during a 7-4 Los Angeles Kings win at Staples Center on October 12, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 12: Mikael Granlund #64 of the Nashville Predators skates after the puck during a 7-4 Los Angeles Kings win at Staples Center on October 12, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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It was reported by Elliotte Friedman awhile back that the Toronto Maple Leafs were interested in adding a top-six winger to the team ahead of the NHL trade deadline.

Once Friedman reported that he thought the Toronto Maple Leafs were interested in adding a winger to play in the top-six alongside Matthews/Marner or even Tavares/Nylander, every fan started to do their own investigating to try and figure out who it could be.

There was the thought that the potential players the Toronto Maple Leafs could be interested in were guys like Alex Iafallo, Jared McCann, Tanner Pearson, and the list goes on and on.  However, it was recently reported by Elliotte Friedman on his 31 Thoughts that the “mystery forward”  was   was Mikael Granlund. Now let’s dissect this and see if Granlund would be a good fit or not.

 The Toronto Maple Leafs and Mikael Granlund

2020-21 stats – 12 GP – 3 G – 4 A – 7 PTS – 59.0 CF%

Career stats – 552 GP – 114 G – 245 A – 359 PTS – 50.4 CF%

The 28-year-old Finnish winger for the Nashville Predators is currently in his ninth NHL season and his third one with the Predators, after spending a good junk prior with the Minnesota Wild, where he was a key piece to that offense.

Granlund was trading to Nashville in exchange for Kevin Fiala in February of 2019, in hopes to add his offensive ability to this Predators team that was hoping to make a deep playoff run just like they did when they reached the finals in 2017.

The Granlund experiment in Nashville hasn’t gone exactly as planned, but he’s been contributing at a decent rate for them thus far. (Stats from Hockey-Reference.com)

Would Granlund be a Good Fit?

Granlund’s offense took a decline in Nashville and it hasn’t been the same as how it was when he was in Minnesota, with a team that has so much firepower up front like Toronto does, maybe Granlund could possibly return to his Minnesota days and contribute at a good rate on whatever line he is on.

In the six and a half years he was with the Wild, Granlund had five 40 point seasons, which included two 60 point campaigns. He is also known as a player who is pretty responsible defensively and isn’t really looked at as a huge liability whenever he is on the ice.

However, his defensive analytics have taken a slight decline this season but that could definitely be a result of a Nashville team that isn’t doing the greatest right now as they are currently 6-9-0 and are 2-6-0 in their last eight games.

Obviously, Granlund isn’t the biggest of guys when he steps on the ice, but if he would be acquired by the team he wouldn’t be coming to Toronto to help out with the physicality aspect, he would simply help out with some middle-six scoring, as they are wanting to add some help before the trade deadline in hopes of a deep playoff run for the first time in over two decades.

All in all, I believe that if the Toronto Maple Leafs go out and acquire Granlund from Nashville, it would definitely bring some help that this forward group would benefit from and make this team even more dangerous scoring-wise. He isn’t the most attractive type of player that Toronto could target this deadline but he is a strong two-way player that will bolster the top of the lineup.

Could it cost a roster player? Could it cost a taxi squad player plus a pick or a prospect? We don’t know yet. As well as the fourth line is kind of up in the air whenever Simmonds returns from injury because maybe Keefe would like to slide him back on the third-line, and what is he going to do with Galchenyuk, Vesey, and Petan?

Next. 4 Potential Leafs Trade Targets. dark

Right now it’s all unknown to us, and until something actually happens whenever the team acquires more help for the forward group (if they are serious about going all in this deadline) we won’t know until it happens.