Should the Toronto Maple Leafs Trade Alex Kerfoot Now?

Alexander Kerfoot #15 of the Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Alexander Kerfoot #15 of the Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

After much speculation, the Seattle Kraken selected Toronto Maple Leafs fan-favourite Jared McCann over Alex Kerfoot in the Expansion Draft yesterday.

Many Toronto Maple Leafs fans wanted Seattle to draft anyone but McCann, after they recently acquired him from the Pittsburgh Penguins last week. Although he’d never played a game in Toronto, fans looked at him as a great option to replace Kerfoot for cheaper, or to be a top-six winger who can score 20 goals a season.

Regardless of what everyone hoped for, the Kraken ultimately drafted McCann and the Leafs are now stuck with Kerfoot.

Personally, I think Kerfoot is a good piece to your team and can be a solid winger or third-line centre, but at $3.5M, you may be able to find a replacement player for much less. As such, does it make sense for Toronto to start looking at trade options for him?

Toronto Maple Leafs Should Trade Alex Kerfoot

Fans were angry because the Jared McCann trade cost the Leafs a seventh-round pick and a prospect, but if the team trade Kerfoot, they could easily get that same package in return. Until the 2021-22 season starts, nobody should lose their minds over losing McCann and assets for nothing, because we don’t know what this team has up their sleeve.

If the Leafs traded Kerfoot and acquired a prospect and draft pick, they’d essentially be opening up $3.5M of cap-space which is a big deal. Depending on who you ask, many people think that Pierre Engvall can be a replaceable player to Kerfoot as the third-line centre and he’s only making $1.25M.

If the team went down that path, it would free up a ton of money to sign one big-name forward, one goaltender and/or top-four defenseman.

Although Kerfoot is a fine player, the Leafs would be a much better situation spending as little as possible on their bottom-six forwards. As of right now, the team could get away with the following in their bottom-six and be okay.

  • Ilya Mikheyev (or Nick Robertson) – Pierre Engvall – Joey Anderson (or Mikheyev)
  • Wayne Simmonds – Adam Brooks – Jason Spezza

It’s not the most flattering bottom-six in the NHL, but it’s very cheap. None of those players make more than $1.65M and it would open up a ton of space up-front to stack the top two lines.

If Robertson can be an everyday NHLer, that would help the offense on the third-line, while the fourth-line can be a shutdown trio that can still chip in on the second power-play unit.

Either way, by trading Kerfoot, you’d be able to acquire similar assets that you lost with the McCann trade and then sign a big-name left-winger to help out the core-four. In addition, there would now be enough money to sign a 1A/1B type of goaltender to split starts with Jack Campbell.

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If the Leafs keep Kerfoot it won’t be the end of the world, but the team would be better off trading his contract to free up cap-space for a big-name player, who can help produce beside Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner.