No. 3: Noah Hanifin
With one year left on his contract at just under $5M AAV, Hanifin is a little more expensive for the Leafs, but he could be the only one worth paying for.
While he hasn’t ever really lived up to his potential, he’s young enough that he still could. And, even if not, what he already is is still pretty good.
The former No. 5 overall selection in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft went right after Mitch Marner and has been a solid defenseman for his entire career.
While he hasn’t lived up to his draft potential, he has definitely been considered a top-four defenseman throughout his entire career, and he’s a better player than either Tanev or Zadorov.
Hanifin can contribute at both ends of the ice, so if the Toronto Maple Leafs are focused on bringing in a player who isn’t just a stay-at-home defenseman, than Hanifin may be their guy.
The one issue with this trade is obviously his contract situation and they’re willing to risk it for a rental.
I never have an issue with the Leafs going all-in on a rental player but is Hanifin really the player you want to trade big prospects and draft picks for when he can leave in the summer?
I’d be a little worrisome on that, but at the end of the day, he would definitely help this roster if the Leafs traded for him.