Toronto Maple Leafs: Do Cup Contenders Trade Draft Picks at Deadline?

Toronto Maple Leafs (Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports)
Toronto Maple Leafs (Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Toronto Maple Leafs
David Savard #58 of the Tampa Bay Lightning (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

The Tampa Bay Lightning vs the Toronto Maple Leafs

After winning back-to-back Stanley Cup in 2021 and 2020, winning the President’s trophy in 2019 and leading the Atlantic Division in 2018, the Tampa Bay Lightning have more experience as Stanley Cup contenders than any other team in the NHL right now.

At last season’s NHL Trade Deadline, Tampa Bay traded their 2021 first round pick, 2022 third round pick and 2021 fourth round pick for pending UFA’s David Savard and Brian Lashoff (AHL).

Around the 2020 NHL Trade Deadline, the Lightning trade two first round picks, Nolan Foote (2019 first round pick) and Anthony Greco (AHL) for Blake Coleman, Barclay Goodrow and a 3rd round pick.

They weren’t active during the 2019 NHL Trade Deadline, but at the 2018 deadline, Tampa traded their 2018 first round pick, 2019 second round pick, Brett Howden (2016 first round pick), Libor Hájek (2016 second round pick) and Vladislav Namestnikov to the New York Rangers for Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller.

The Lightning still have their 2022 first round pick along with their fifth, two sixth rounders and two seventh rounders.  They don’t have their 2023 second rounder, but have Anaheim’s seventh.

During the last four season’s the Tampa Bay Lightning have only drafted in the first round once, Nolan Foote, and he was dealt to help with their first of two consecutive successful Stanley Cup runs.

Should the Toronto Maple Leafs trade their future to win now like the Tampa Bay Lightning did?