3 Top-Four Defenseman Toronto Maple Leafs Should Trade For

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 18: Josh Manson #42 of the Anaheim Ducks skates to a loose puck during the second period of a game against the Carolina Hurricanes at Honda Center on November 18, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 18: Josh Manson #42 of the Anaheim Ducks skates to a loose puck during the second period of a game against the Carolina Hurricanes at Honda Center on November 18, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Maple Leafs
CALGARY, AB – NOVEMBER 4: John Klingberg #3 of the Dallas Stars  (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images) /

No. 2: John Klingberg

Last season, the Leafs were rumored to be interested in Nashville Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm, so it would shocking if they were looking at John Klingberg, who’s a very similar defenseman.

In terms of a defenseman with a ton of experience, who can produce points, play top-four minutes and has a cheap contract, there’s nobody better in the marketplace than Klingberg.

With a $4.25M cap-hit for only this season, there’s going to be a number of teams lining up for Klingberg’s services.

During the Stars run to the Stanley Cup Finals, Klingberg was fantastic. He finished with 21 points in 26 games and was one of the leaders in ice-time. He can not only score at a fantastic pace, but his size makes him an intimidating player in front of the net.

At 6-foot-3, 190 pounds, Klingberg could jump in and play on the first-pair with Morgan Rielly, or he could help complement Jake Muzzin on the second-pair. A shutdown pair of T.J. Brodie and Muzzin could be a better fit with Klingberg there, but either way, Klingberg would be a huge upgrade on Justin Holl and would really make the team’s defense way better.