32 Potential Trade Options for the Toronto Maple Leafs

COLUMBUS, OH - DECEMBER 20: Joonas Korpisalo #70 of the Columbus Blue Jackets makes a save during the third period of the game against the Toronto Maple Leafs on December 20, 2017 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus defeated Toronto 4-2. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - DECEMBER 20: Joonas Korpisalo #70 of the Columbus Blue Jackets makes a save during the third period of the game against the Toronto Maple Leafs on December 20, 2017 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus defeated Toronto 4-2. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Maple Leafs
TORONTO, ONTARIO – JULY 30: David Savard #58 of the Columbus Blue Jackets   (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images) /

David Savard

In a different world, David Savard has spent the time since he was drafted in 2009 playing for a team who’s players get noticed, and is widely considered one of the NHL’s best defensive defenseman, which he definitely is.

A right handed 30 year old who once had a 36 point season, but now is almost entirely defensive, David Savard would be an excellent addition to any team seeking to get better defensively.

You know which team is not very good defensively? The Toronto Maple Leafs.  They have a slight improvement in defense since Sheldon Keefe took over for Mike Babcock, but the fact is that they are a team whose success so far this season is largely built upon having the 5th highest 5v5 save percentage and not solid team defense.

That isn’t to say that the Leafs haven’t tightened up a little, but they didn’t suddenly become the New York Islanders either.  Their PK is brutal and their starter is unreliable, so acquiring one of the NHL’s premier defensive players wouldn’t be a bad idea at all.

For the last three seasons, according to the Jfresh player card data, Savard is better than 91% of NHL defenders at the defensive side of the game, 5v5.  That is for the last three seasons combined, while he’s “just” better than 88% this year.

If I’m running the Toronto Maple Leafs, Savard is a top target.  Even moreso because he’s a pending UFA who can probably be squeezed into the Leafs cap situation without much trouble.

Zach Bogosian is better than only 32% of NHL blueliners when it comes to just defense.  Savard would be a massive upgrade on him.  He should be the Leafs main target.  A Savard/Muzzin shut-down pairing would be unbelievable.