Toronto Maple Leafs Should Trade for One of These Defensemen

Apr 4, 2023; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames defenseman Chris Tanev (8) skates during the warmup period against the Chicago Blackhawks at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 4, 2023; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames defenseman Chris Tanev (8) skates during the warmup period against the Chicago Blackhawks at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Toronto Maple Leafs, Ilya Lyubushkin
TORONTO, ON – MARCH 27: Ilya Lyubushkin #46 of the Toronto Maple Leafs  (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

#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.

Next. 10 Elite Defensemen Trade Options. dark

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.