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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GLENDALE, ARIZONA – MARCH 05: Niklas Hjalmarsson #4 of the Arizona Coyotes  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, ARIZONA – MARCH 05: Niklas Hjalmarsson #4 of the Arizona Coyotes  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Niklas Hjalmarsson

You can take everything we just said about David Savard and apply it to Hjalmarsson, except that he’s a left hander.

He is an elite defender with very little offense.  He is a pending UFA on a non-competitive team and would likely be available.  The only problem here is that he’s a left hander, and I don’t know where the Leafs would play him.

Morgan Rielly may be terrible defensively, but his offense more than makes up for it. His expected goals +/- (from Jfresh) is 90%.  This is important to note because hockey is a game that should be viewed holistically, instead of dividing up offense and defense.

Hjalmarsson is an elite defender (better than 80%) but his overall effect on games is much, much less than Rielly’s.  He is also not going to replace Jake Muzzin, leaving us only to wonder about Travis Dermott.

Playing 3rd pairing minutes for the last three years, Dermott is actually better than 90% of NHL defenseman at actual defense.  Now, Hjalmarsson has been doing it against tougher competition, but probably also with better players.

Dermott is 23 and he isn’t hurting the team. Bogosian is probably better utilized as a #7 but Dermott’s position should be rock solid.