Maple Leafs: A Comprehensive Guide to an Insufferable Summer.

Jack Campbell, Toronto Maple Leafs (Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports)
Jack Campbell, Toronto Maple Leafs (Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Toronto Maple Leafs
TORONTO, ON – FEBRUARY 17: Alex Kerfoot #15 of the Toronto Maple Leafs   (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

The Expansion Draft – July 21

A good explanation of the expansion draft rules can be found here.  I won’t go into the breakdown, I’ll just submit the two options I believe the Leafs can go with.

Option 1:  7 forwards, 3 defense, 1 goalie.

Matthews, Marner, Tavares, Nylander, Kerfoot, Hyman, Galchenyuk, Rielly, Brodie, Muzzin, Campbell.

This is probably the nuclear option, meaning it will only be used if the Leafs make a big trade or they resign some of their own FA’s (like Hyman).  Hyman and Galchenyuk are basically place holders here for 2 additional forwards that the Leafs would need to protect.  Basically, if Dubas resigns both of them early so they don’t test the market, then he probably wants to protect them from Seattle.

The free agency period opens on July 28th, which means that the Leafs will most likely sign any impact players after the expansion draft is over.

Being that option 1 is highly unlikely, that brings us to:

Option 2:  8 skaters, 1 goalie.


This option leaves Kerfoot and Dermott exposed.  Nobody really knows what Dermott is or what he’s going to cost moving forward, which points to Kerfoot as the likely target of the Seattle Kraken.  Kerfoot is a useful player with tremendous versatility, and he’s on an ok contract, all of which makes him a very tradeable commodity if the Kracken don’t want to keep him long-term.

It’s very possible that Seattle takes Kerfoot and plays him in their top 6 to cement his market value, and then trades him for assets at the deadline or in the summer.  If they really like him, well then they have a good player with decent cost certainty in his prime.

Either way, I don’t think Dubas and the Leafs are going to stress the expansion draft too much.  If they get to keep Kerfoot, great, but it’s probably a bonus.  They are prepared to lose him.  And if they lose Dermott, well I don’t think they stress that for a second.  Sandin will be ready to step in and play a full season next year.  Having to find a 6th or 7th D in free agency is a very solvable problem.

This could change if the Leafs have plans to acquire another defenseman, which would give the option of exposing Holl and protecting Kerfoot.  This is hypothetical and unlikely, so I won’t give it more than a quick mention.