The Toronto Maple Leafs New Third Line Centre Revealed

David Kampf #64 of the Chicago Blackhawks is one of the newest members of the Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
David Kampf #64 of the Chicago Blackhawks is one of the newest members of the Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Maple Leafs entered training camp with several jobs up for grabs.

Two left wing spots in the top six, a spot on the third line (or two, if Kerfoot were to grab one of top spots) and a chance to beat out Spezza, Engvall and Simmonds for ice time, are the main jobs that the Toronto Maple Leafs are auditioning in this training camp.

Based on comments head Coach Sheldon Keefe made on Tuesday, it would seem that one of those jobs is filled.

As expected, David Kampf will be the Leafs new third-line centre.

Toronto Maple Leafs and David Kampf

The Leafs signed the 26 year old former Blackhawk to a two year deal this summer.   Kampf has played four seasons in Chicago, and last year he scored one just one goal, while dressing in every single game.

One goal in a full season is pretty brutal (though almost assuredly a shooting-percentage based anomaly) but the fact that he didn’t score and didn’t get benched should tell you that he’s a pretty strong defensive player.   One, according to a Kyle Dubas quote in an article from the Athletic yesterday, that the Toronto Maple Leafs have chased for years.

Knowing that the Leafs have wanted this player for years, it’s pretty obvious that they seem him in more than a fourth line role, and Keefe all but confirmed that yesterday to Sportsnet’s Luke Fox.

Kampf can significantly balance the Leafs attack by creating favorable matchups for the Matthews line if he can be trusted against top players, as he obviously will be. Additionally, the Leafs could use Keroot’s speed and defensive ability with Tavares and give the team an elite defender (Marner, Kerfoot, Kampf) on every line.

Whether or not that comes to fruition, the main thing is that a player like Kampf creates a ton of options.

As for the rest of the players competing for jobs, with Michael Bunting scoring a hattrick on Tuesday night in a 4-0 win over the Senators, it would seem that two of the available jobs have been nailed down.

This would leave Nick Ritchie on the third line, or, perhaps even as an expensive fourth liner, owing to the fact that Josh Ho-Sang appears to be having a great camp as well.  There is also Ondrej Kase, who should definitely make the team because he’s way better than guys like Mikheyev or Simmonds.

Next. Top 5 Cup Contenders for 2021-22. dark

This will for sure get interesting over the next few days as the Leafs make cuts and the roster starts to take shape.  One thing, though, is no longer in question, and that is the identity of the Toronto Maple Leafs new third line centre – it’s David Kampf.