#1 Ilya Lyubushkin – Anaheim Ducks
Bring back the bear!
His first stint with the Toronto Maple Leafs was short lived, but Ilya Lyubushkin made an impression with the team while he was there.
“The Russian Bear,” Lyubushkin isn’t going to deliver much on the scoresheet, but he’s an aggressive defensive player who can throw a lot of big hits.
He doesn’t see a crazy amount of minutes on most teams, but in his previous trip to Leaf Land, he played a lot with Morgan Reilly on the top pairing 5-on-5, though that may not have necessarily been a good decision by Sheldon Keefe.
He seems to be a player that Keefe trusts and the team is already familiar with. Rumour was that the Leafs tried to resign him in 2022, but he was offered more to play in Buffalo.
The Anaheim Ducks are one of the worst teams in the NHL this season and it is very likely that they’ll be dumping their UFA’s like Ilya Lyubushkin before the trade deadline.
His $2.75 million cap hit is very palatable right now, and the Leafs should be able to bring the UFA in for a low pick trade-wise.