Toronto Maple Leafs Can Right an 8-Year Wrong With This Huge Trade

Toronto Maple Leafs fans (Photo by Chris Tanouye/Getty Images)
Toronto Maple Leafs fans (Photo by Chris Tanouye/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Maple Leafs have an opportunity to fix a mistake from 2015. It would be a move that makes them true Cup contenders.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have been one of the more successful regular season teams in the NHL in recent seasons. However, they have yet to address a crucial weakness in their lineup: a lack of secondary scoring.

Despite having a star-studded top six, featuring players such as John Tavares, Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, and William Nylander, the Maple Leafs have had difficulty in securing consistent scoring from their bottom six forwards.

One player who could potentially address this issue is Travis Konecny of the Philadelphia Flyers. Konecny is a young and talented forward who has already established himself as a reliable scorer in the NHL, having recorded three 24-goal seasons and has already reached that same mark this year. Additionally, he is well-regarded for his defensive capabilities, work ethic, and competitiveness.

Trade rumors have been circulating linking the Toronto Maple Leafs to Konecny for some time, and with the Flyers currently sitting near the bottom of the Metropolitan Division, they may be more inclined to part with the player that could net them some valuable assets. The Leafs would have to part with a significant piece or package to acquire Konecny, but the acquisition of a player of his caliber would be extremely valuable to the team.

Konecny’s Toronto Maple Leafs Link

In 2015, NHL fans from around the league watched the Entry Draft assuming that the Leafs were going to select the captain of the Ottawa 67’s with their second pick of the first round (They used the first to take Marner). When the 24th slot was up, the Maple Leafs were on the clock and Konecny, the 14th ranked North American skater, looked like he was about to be handed a blue and white cap.

Konecny did hear his name announced at number 24. However, it wasn’t for the Buds. Instead, he learned that his entry into the NHL would come with the Flyers.

The Flyers flipped Toronto the 29th and the 61st overall picks for the opportunity to draft Konecny. GM Kyle Dubas traded down again, giving the 29th pick to the Columbus Blue Jackets for their 34th and 68th selections.

Instead of leaving Sunrise, Florida with Konecny, if that is indeed who they would have taken, Toronto had Travis Dermott, Jeremy Bracco, and Martins Dzierkals.  Dubas can now fix the mistake he made in 2015 by bringing Konecny to the Big Smoke and give his team an instant injection of offense.

While the move would be costly for the Leafs, it would mean that they get a player with term. Playing on a reasonable $5.5 million AAV, Konecny has a pair of seasons remaining on his contract beyond this one.

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It is uncertain whether a trade of this nature will come to fruition, but it is certainly a development worth monitoring in the upcoming weeks leading up to the March 3 NHL trade deadline.