Who the Toronto Maple Leafs Could Lose to Free Agency This Summer

Toronto Maple Leafs logo on the ice ahead of their game. Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
Toronto Maple Leafs logo on the ice ahead of their game. Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Toronto Maple Leafs
Rasmus Sandin #38 of the Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) /

The Restricted Free Agents


There are three Leafs defensemen who will see their entry level contracts expire this summer. Two of these negotiations will be important for Dubas. Those players are Timothy Liljegren and Rasmus Sandin. With both players steadily improving and earning their ice time, they may each come into negotiations with big demands.

Both players are young and have a long hockey runway ahead of them. Liljegren is 22 and Sandin 23. Ideally, Dubas finds a way to lock up the pair on long term deals with very reasonable cap hits. These will be interesting negotiations.

The third restricted free agent (RFA) defenseman is Kristians Rubins. He played in three games for the Leafs this year without registering a point. He also took to the ice for 58 games with the Marlies where he scored a goal and added 10 helpers. If he’s coming back to Toronto, it will be in a Marlies uniform.


There are just two forwards who are set to become RFAs. They are Pierre Engvall and Ondrej Kase. Both are arbitration eligible, which means that the Leafs could make qualifying offers of $1.25 million each. This is a set amount from the NHL based on the players current salaries. Accepting a qualifying offer sets their salary for one year. Should Engvall or Kase go to arbitration, the Leafs will lose control of what the player earns on their deal, which can be very risky.

The Leafs will be hoping to get both forwards without giving them significant raises. If the team’s salary cap starts to get squeezed, they will need to make at least one sacrifice to their squad. The most likely choice is Alex Kerfoot. With a $3.5 million cap hit, Kerfoot may be the first one out to retain the pair of Engvall and Kase.

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With the Maple Leafs engaged in a playoff battle, which they hope results in their longest run in decades, free agency is a long way off. Hopefully, there is a lot of hockey left for them to play before the club needs to begin negotiating with its upcoming free agents.