The Toronto Maple Leafs roster currently has 14 forwards.
Due to the fact that the Toronto Maple Leafs are currently over the salary cap, at least one of those forwards could find themselves in a trade before the regular season starts.
Depending on which players remain within the organization when training camp starts, a few will be battling for a roster spot.
One key area on Toronto’s roster will be the left-wing on the second line. Alex Kerfoot played the most there last season, but is also a prime trade candidate. Should he find himself on a new team to help Toronto create some cap space, who will play on the left side of John Tavares?
There will also be healthy competition for roles on the team’s bottom six. There are carryovers from last year, such as Pierre Engvall and David Kampf, who, along with the newly signed Calle Jarnkrok will take three of seven positions at the bottom of the forward roster.
Added to the mix are newcomers Adam Gaudette, Nicholas Aube-Kubel and Denis Malgin, as well as Kyle Clifford and Wayne Simmonds who remain with the team, but are not guaranteed to have roles.
There will also be several from the Toronto Marlies who will also be trying to earn an NHL job.
The opening night lineup will come down to whatever head coach Sheldon Keefe and Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas think is the best possible lineup. At least ten players will be at training camp battling for seven spots. Toronto has enough depth within the organization to create healthy competition. No job is guaranteed, and that’s a good thing (although Kampf, Engvall or Jarnkrok would really have to disappoint in camp to not be on the opening night roster) Players can not afford to become complacent because another player is waiting for their opportunity.
Toronto Marlies trying to join Toronto Maple Leafs
At the start of every season, a team will have a few prospects looking to jump to the next level. Here are a few of Toronto’s prospects looking to make their jump.
Nick Robertson has played in 16 NHL games for Maple Leafs. He has shown glimpses of his skill set but has been unable to stay healthy. Last season, Robertson recorded 16 goals and 12 assists for 28 points in 28 games with the Toronto Marlies. Will the 2022-23 season be the season where he makes a permanent jump to the NHL level?
(Stats from eliteprospects.com)
Joey Anderson had a good 2021-22 season with the Toronto Marlies. He recorded 26 goals and 16 assists for 42 points in 56 games. The 24-year-old is not getting any younger and will soon start getting passed over by younger talent. Now is probably his best chance at making the jump to the NHL.
Alex Steeves registered one assist in three games with the Toronto Maple Leafs last season. He also recorded 23 goals and 23 assists for 46 points in 58 games with the Marlies. Steeves would love nothing more than to turn that success with the Marlies into a roster spot on the Maple Leafs.
There is still plenty of off-season remaining for Toronto to tinker with their roster. It will be interesting to see who stays and who gets traded. The competition for roster spots will be intense, but that’s a good thing. I look forward to seeing what Toronto’s opening night roster will be.