Toronto Maple Leafs Wishlist Ahead of NHL Trade Deadline

TORONTO, ONTARIO - AUGUST 09: Nick Foligno #71 of the Columbus Blue Jackets scores a empty net goal at 19:37 as Auston Matthews #34 of the Toronto Maple Leafs looks on in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Qualification Round prior to the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena on August 09, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ONTARIO - AUGUST 09: Nick Foligno #71 of the Columbus Blue Jackets scores a empty net goal at 19:37 as Auston Matthews #34 of the Toronto Maple Leafs looks on in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Qualification Round prior to the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena on August 09, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
3 of 4
Next
Toronto Maple Leafs
NEWARK, NEW JERSEY – JANUARY 30: Mattias Ekholm #14 of the Nashville Predators  . (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

No. 2: Top-Four Defenseman:

Potential Fits:

  • David Savard
  • Mattias Ekholm

There’s only two names on this list because finding a top-four defenseman is so difficult in the NHL. As we’ve mentioned before, the Leafs were able to make this work with Jake Muzzin a few years ago, so maybe they can pull it off again.

In order to acquire Muzzin, the Leafs had to give up an NHL player, prospect and first-round pick.

Carl Grundstrom was on the Toronto Marlies when he got traded to LA, but hes now an NHL player, while Sean Durzi was a mid-tier prospect and the 2019 first round pick turned into Tobias Bjornfot.

By all accounts, Bjornfot is going to be an everyday NHL defenseman so the Leafs cost themselves that, but he’s probably not going to win a Norris Trophy one day. Although you always want to stock your prospects pool and have a guaranteed NHLer in your system, trading for Muzzin is worth it every day of the week.

The same thing would be applied for getting Savard or Ekholm.

Both defensemen are top-four players, with top-two potential. They’re both nasty and hard to play against and would be a great fit on the Leafs blue-line.

If the Leafs could pull off a trade for one of these players and it involved a top prospect (ie. Timothy Liljegren) and/or a first-round pick, I’d sign off on it any day. The deeper your defensive core is, the better chance you have at winning a Stanley Cup, so with a window to win now, the Leafs need to go all-in.