2022-2023 Toronto Maple Leafs Defensemen Grades

Jan 7, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman TJ Brodie (78), defenseman Morgan Rielly (44), forward Dryden Hunt (20) and forward Pierre Engvall (47) celebrate a goal by forward Pontus Holmberg (29) against the Detroit Red Wings during the third period at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 7, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman TJ Brodie (78), defenseman Morgan Rielly (44), forward Dryden Hunt (20) and forward Pierre Engvall (47) celebrate a goal by forward Pontus Holmberg (29) against the Detroit Red Wings during the third period at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports /
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BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – JANUARY 14: Mark Giordano #55 of the Toronto Maple Leafs . (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

Toronto Maple Leafs Grades #1. Mark Giordano

Stats with the Leafs:

Regular Season:

Games Played: 78

Goals: 4

Assists: 20

Playoffs:

Games Played: 11

Goals: 0

Assists: 2 (stats nhl.com).

Contract Status:

Signed through 2023-24 at $800k (capfriendly.com).

Overall Thoughts:

Clearly not picking on Giordano here – there had to be a starting point for these player grades and age seemed most appropriate – but the Toronto native significantly slowed down as the months progressed last season. Most of that can be attributed to a larger amount of playing time due to injuries sustained by assistant captain Morgan Rielly and T.J. Brodie.

Giordano, who is great value for his salary as a fifth or sixth D-man, did admirably when called upon to ascend the lineup. He also set a record for most blocked shots in NHL history during a game against the Seattle Kraken, the team that he captained after being selected in the 2021 expansion draft. The Leafs gifted Giordano a shield to commemorate the milestone.

As the season wore on, Giordano wore down. His performance was noticeably poor in the Leafs second-round series against the Florida Panthers.

It was only the second time in his career that Giordano had played passed the first-round of the playoffs. He is a tremendous leader and helpful as a teacher – it’s just that the Leafs should not need to count on a guy who is not even playing on the back nine of his career.

Giordano probably should already be in the clubhouse. He played close to 19 minutes a game last season, but if he’s asked to do the same in 2023-24, the Leafs really cannot be serious about wanting to make a deep run.

Love Giordano, but he’s not fleet of skate and that is problematic when forechecking comes knocking in the post-season.

B-. . Defense. Toronto Maple Leafs. MARC GIORDANO