No. 1: Josh Manson
The Toronto Maple Leafs need a top-four defenseman, who has size, is defensively responsible and is right-handed.
That man could be Josh Manson.
With a $4.1M cap-hit and as a pending UFA, it’s quite possible that Manson will be available at the NHL Trade Deadline. I know that the Anaheim Ducks are in a playoff spot right now, but their team is still in a rebuilding phase.
They weren’t supposed to be this competitive this year, and they’re without a G.M, so they may want to trade a few assets this season and really go for it next year when they have cap-space to recruit free agents.
Even if they traded Manson at the Deadline, it doesn’t mean he can’t eventually return next year, so they may want to unload a player for assets and see what they can get.
Manson isn’t a point-producer, but he would be upgrade over Justin Holl as a second-pairing right-handed defenseman who can help shutdown the opponents best players. His name has clearly been tied to the Leafs for a while, so it wouldn’t be shocking if Toronto kicks tires on him again, especially if the Ducks become sellers at the deadline.