10 (Mostly) Elite Defensemen the Toronto Maple Leafs Could Trade For

Oct 19, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Colorado Avalanche defenseman Bowen Byram (4) controls the puck in the second period against the Chicago Blackhawks at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 19, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Colorado Avalanche defenseman Bowen Byram (4) controls the puck in the second period against the Chicago Blackhawks at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /
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Nov 19, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA;  defenseman Travis Sanheim (6)  Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports9. Travis Sanheim

9. Travis Sanheim

You always have to be careful trading for guys who are just breaking out (at least by name recognition standards), and who play defense on bad teams.

But, depending on the cost, Sanheim could be a nice plan B for the Leafs. (Other than a no-trade clause and an extremely long contract that is).

For the Last two years Sanheim got great results but didn’t deserve them (His goals-for percentage was 54% two years ago, and only -4 at 5v5 last year despite playing tough minutes on a bad team, but he didn’t match that success with underlying numbers that backed it up).

This year, it’s different.

The Flyers are losing badly whenever he plays, but he numbers are good.

He is in year one of an eight-year deal that has an OK cap-hit of $6.25 and he’d be a nice, but expensive, #2.

He likely isn’t’ available, and the Leafs likely wouldn’t trade for him if he was. I only included him because I’ve heard people talk about the Leafs acquiring him (Which doesn’t make it any more realistic, but is worth at least exploring).

These are actually the worst players to get – expensive non-stars who are signed until they are 35.

There is no upside here, he’d help the team, but only if the Flyers gave him away, which they won’t.  This is my least favorite idea on the list.