The Toronto Maple Leafs are having their best season in years.
Before the postponements of their recent games, the Toronto Maple Leafs were on an 18-4-1 run, while getting MVP performances from Auston Mattews, Jack Campbell, William Nylander and John Tavaers.
Though it is anyone’s guess when the season will resume, when it does, the Leafs will be looking for their first Stanley Cup since the late 1960s.
In order to get there, they should trade for Damon Severson of the New Jersey Devils.
The Toronto Maple Leafs and Damon Severson
If you swap out Justin Holl for Damon Severson in the Leafs top four, it would be a major upgrade and give the Leafs one of – if not the very – best bluelines in the NHL.
Severson is right handed, 27 years old, and has two years left on a contract that has a cap hit of $4.1 million dollars, which would easily be absorbable if the Leafs traded Justin Holl and Nick Ritchie (both of whom should be easy enough to move).
Severson is exactly what the Leafs need and he checks every single box – he’s right handed, he can play in the top four, he’s a great puck mover, he is solid defensively, he’s got size (6’2 205) and he can kill penalties.
He’s also on a last place team, who won’t be competitive before his contract is up, and who will almost certainly make him available this year.
The Leafs gave up two prospects and a first-rounder for Jake Muzzin at roughly the same age, and though Severson probably isn’t quite as good as Muzzin, he is right handed and thus probably costs about the same, maybe even more.
The Leafs are definitely going to trade their first rounder again this year, and if they’re going to do so, they might as well take a swing at potentially the biggest prize available. The cost of Severson would be worth it, however, because if you were to add a star defenseman to what is already likely the NHL’s best roster, the result would likely be the Stanley Cup.
Adding Severson would be similar to when the Lightning added Ryan McDonough, and we’ve seen how that worked out. According to the @Jfresh cards, Severson was better than 86% of all NHL defenseman last season. He is an elite 5v5 puck-mover with very good 70th + percentile defense,
He is also an elite penalty killer.
Adding Severson would give the Leafs an outstanding blue-line and would allow them to keep and use Travis Dermott as the best 7th dman in the league. The combination of high-end star power and depth would be something we’ve never seen on a Leafs blue line, at least in recent times.
This is a player everyone is going to be talking about as we move into the NHL trade deadline season, and he should be the Toronto Maple Leafs #1 Target.