Toronto Maple Leafs Added Depth Makes Them Stanley Cup Favorite

Nick Foligno, Columbus Blue Jackets (Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports)
Nick Foligno, Columbus Blue Jackets (Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Toronto Maple Leafs, already in first place, are Stanley Cup favorites after their recent acquisitions.

Over the past three days, the Toronto Maple Leafs have traded and acquired the following:

  • Toronto Maple Leafs acquire:
    • Nick Foligno
    • David Rittich
    • Riley Nash
    • Ben Hutton
    • Antti Suomela
  • Toronto Maple Leafs trade:
    • 2021 1st Round Pick
    • 2021 4th Round Pick
    • 2022 3rd Round Pick
    • 2022 4th Round Pick
    • 2022 5th Round pick
    • 2022 Conditional 7th Round Pick
    • Alexander Barabanov

If you’re upset that the team had to move six draft picks for four NHL players that may not be with the team in 2021-22, don’t be. Draft picks are hands-down the most overrated assets in professional hockey.

Sure, you’re going to find a NHL caliber talent in the third or fourth round every now and then, but unless they’re top-10 selections, they’re not going to make an impact on your roster right away.

Even if they do turn out to be incredible talents, it won’t be for another three-to-five years and the Leafs don’t have the luxury of waiting around for that long. This team is clearly in a win-now mode and the moves they’ve made, by giving up essentially nothing, should be praised, not criticized.

Leafs Add Depth, Without Giving Up Any

When you’re a rebuilding franchise, draft picks are important. The more ammunition you have, the more likely you are to hit something. However, the Leafs aren’t a rebuilding team and are a Stanley Cup contender. Whether they gave away three first-round picks, it shouldn’t matter, because all that matters is upgrading your team to win a championship.

The fact that the Leafs have not only added to their roster without giving up any roster players, other than Barabanov,  but they haven’t even given up a top-prospect is amazing.

Nick Robertson, Timothy Liljegren and Rasmus Sandin are all still on the roster, and they will all serve as replaceable players to the draft picks that the team gave away. When you’re a cap-strapped team, draft picks are good because they turn into Entry Level Contracts (ELC), but if you draft players that don’t turn into NHL players, then those draft picks are meaningless.

The Leafs have three top-prospects that are eventual everyday NHL players, who will all be on an ELC for the next few years. Not only that, but they also have a few others with the Toronto Marlies that can step in, if necessary.

If anything happens to Jack Campbell or Freddie Andersen doesn’t eventually return from injury, the team has now established the best trio of goaltending in the NHL. They’re set to win, no matter what happens, and that same logic can be applied with their top-six forwards.

Nick Foligno brings a perfect style to Toronto’s system and Riley Nash, who hasn’t been talked about much, is a pest and someone who can play a shutdown role in the playoffs.

dark. Next. Who Won the Foligno Trade?

The Leafs have put themselves in a great opportunity to win a Stanley Cup this year. Now, they just have to execute it.