Toronto Maple Leafs: Top 5 Trade Assets for the 2022 Trade Deadline

TORONTO, ON - APRIL 13: Nick Robertson #89 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates against the Calgary Flames during an NHL game at Scotiabank Arena on April 13, 2021 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Flames defeated the Maple Leafs 3-2 in overtime. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 13: Nick Robertson #89 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates against the Calgary Flames during an NHL game at Scotiabank Arena on April 13, 2021 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Flames defeated the Maple Leafs 3-2 in overtime. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Maple Leafs
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No. 1: First-Round Draft Picks (2022, 2023 and 2024)

Draft picks are great to have, if you’re a rebuilding team. The Toronto Maple Leafs are not in that phase and they should trade every single draft pick, if it means giving themselves a better chance at winning a Stanley Cup.

Unless you have a top-five pick, you’re not guaranteed anything, and since the Leafs have their 2022, 2023 and 2024 first-round draft picks available, they should trade them to improve this roster.

Everybody says that the Leafs have put themselves in a terrible position draft-wise because they sold all their picks last year and they didn’t advance past the first round. In reality, they’re only missing their third, fourth, fifth and sixth round picks in 2022 and then they have all the rest until 2024.

Sure, only having three picks in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft is tough but the Leafs can fill their prospect pool in other ways. They can sign college players, sign undrafted players and trade for them. It’s not like their cupboard is bare right now with prospects. They have a very strong system with plenty of young players coming up.

When you have Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, John Tavares, William Nylander and Morgan Rielly as your core for the foreseeable future, you can sacrifice trading your first round picks to get better.

The Pittsburgh Penguins did this for a decade and they won back-to-back Stanley Cups. The Tampa Bay Lightning followed suit and won back-to-back championship’s of their own. Draft picks don’t matter. Winning the Stanley Cup does.

Next. 3 Trades Leafs Could Make Right Now. dark

Bottom-feeder teams will always accept first-round picks for their best players, so Toronto’s draft capital is their biggest asset right now.