Toronto Maple Leafs Lineup Looking Pretty Much Set

Michael Bunting, Arizona Coyotes (Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports)
Michael Bunting, Arizona Coyotes (Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Toronto Maple Leafs training camp opened with a fair amount of intrigue compared to recent years when everything was more or less preordained.

The Toronto Maple Leafs lost Zach Hyman to Edmonton and didn’t bring back Nick Foligno, or Joe Thornton, so there were some jobs available to be won in camp.

Unfortunately for those looking for some interesting preseason battles, Michael Bunting and David Kampf made the decisions pretty easy for the Leafs brass.

On Wednesday, Keefe praised Kampf making it clear he was his guy for the third line, and then Michael Bunting went out and scored a hattrick.

Toronto Maple Leafs Lineup

Nick Ritchie has the highest contract out of the job contenders, and he has spent the entirety of training camp practicing/playing with the Leafs best players.  It would appear that the Leafs will go with Bunting, Ritchie and Kerfoot on the left side, with Kampf taking on the role of 3C.

Kase has played constantly with Kampf, indicating he’ll be on the team, so even though there hasn’t been any major cuts yet, it still looks like the Leafs forwards will likely look something like this when the season starts:

Ritchie – Matthews – Marner

Bunting – Tavares – Nylander

Kerfoot – Kampf – Kase


Given his three assists on Thursday, it seems likely that at the very least Ho-Sang will get a contract.  He might not start out on a top line, or even in the NHL, but you can bet that he’ll get his chance as soon as some injuries inevitably occur.

At this point – especially with seemingly the whole world cheering for him – I can’t see them cutting H0-Sang.

The Leafs depth gets a bad rap because everyone they have was acquired on the cheap, but Engvall is super underrated and will also get his chance.  Kerfoot scores like a 2nd liner and has excellent defense,  Mikheyev is an above average 3rd liner, Kase and Ho-Sang have top line talent, Spezza was one of the best 4th liners in the NHL last year.

I really don’t think Ritchie will work out as  a top line winger, but I hope I’m wrong. If the Leafs can get by with a Ritchie, Bunting combo in their top six, it will make them incredibly deep.   My prediction is that Kerfoot actually takes one of the left wing jobs.

The Leafs have three excellent defensive wingers – Mitch Marner, Alex Kerfoot and David Kampf. If they want to achieve a balanced lineup, they should put one of those guys on each of the top three lines.

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The details are still to be filled in, but its starting to look like the Toronto Maple Leafs lineup is coming together.