Toronto Maple Leafs: Contributions from Unlikely Sources
As players started to trickle into the Toronto Maple Leafs training facility in Etobicoke, it was reported that some of them had spent their summer going through a physical transformation.
One number popped out: Leafs defenseman Connor Timmins has put on a staggering 21 pounds of muscle.
Considering that Rielly, free agent signee John Klingberg, Jake McCabe, T.J. Brodie and the Leafs most underrated player, Timothy Liljegren, should be regulars, Timmins has a solid chance of supplanting Mark Giordano as the sixth defenseman.
Giordano had to step-up last season and did so admirably, but the wear was obvious in the playoffs, especially in the second round against the Florida Panthers.
He played more games than his age dictates. Timmins is 14 years younger than Giordano and at the very least should be given some more run early in the season to show head coach Sheldon Keefe what he can handle.
It will also give Giordano a breather and keep him fresh for later in 2024.
Timmins is at the perfect point in his career to elevate into a more complete skater. Timmins will use that added strength to provide the Toronto Maple Leafs with a hard-nosed D-man, who can clear the net front and take power forwards on without giving up any ice to them.
This is Timmins’ year to become a force.
It’s highly likely that forward Sam Lafferty spotted Timmins in the gym. Lafferty himself put on 11 pounds. He has elite speed and his game is predicated on banging below the red-line when forechecking. That added girth to his frame will make Lafferty way more effective and more difficult to play against. Lafferty will make significant contributions.