No. 1: Forwards
Trade Targets: Dylan Strome, Alex DeBrincat and Dominik Kubalik
With one year left at $6.4M after this season, DeBrincat should be the biggest trade target for the Toronto Maple Leafs right now. The team could use an upgrade on their left-side in the top-six and there would be arguably no better option.
Obviously his money is a little high, but they could find a way to make it work. He’s scored 30-goals twice in his career and is on-pace to do it again this year. The 24-year-old would look unbelievable beside Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner and would easily translate that line into the best in the NHL.
If the team wants to find a cheaper forward, Strome and Kubilak are safer options.
Strome’s career hasn’t gone the way everyone expected. Originally drafted one spot ahead of Mitch Marner in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, Strome’s shown flashes, but hasn’t done it consistently. Strome can play the wing or play centre, so he’s a versatile options for the Leafs, but would be better suited playing with high-end skill in the top-six on the left-side, in place of Ilya Mikheyev or Michael Bunting.
Another pending RFA is Kubalik, who holds a $3.7M cap-hit. With a career 0.34 goals-per-game, that’s a 28-goal pace in an 82-game season. As such, that’s steadiness over three years would be a tremendous add to the Leafs top-six and make them even stronger than they currently are.