2 Trades that Would Fix the Toronto Maple Leafs

Minnesota Wild v Toronto Maple Leafs
Minnesota Wild v Toronto Maple Leafs / Claus Andersen/GettyImages
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Minnesota Wild Trade

The Minnesota Wild have had a disappointing season and will most likely be sellers at this years trade deadline.

Jake Middleton has been a great player for them since being acquired in 2022 from the San Jose Sharks.

The Leafs were rumoured to be interested in Middleton back in 2022 before acquiring Mark Giordano from the Seattle Kraken.

Middleton is your typical stay at home defenseman but has added some offence to his game this year playing on the top pair with rookie Brock Faber. He has 7 goals and 11 assists through 49 games, already passing his career-high of 15 points in 79 games last year. Middleton stands at 6'3, 219 lbs, rarely gives away the puck and is a presence in front of his own net.

He is the perfect player to play alongside Morgan Rielly on the top pair with the play of TJ Brodie falling off this season. He is also making less than half of what TJ Brodie is, at 2.45M, this season and next.

Marcus Johansson could also be an intriguing addition to the team to play in the middle 6, making just 2M this season and next.

So what should the Maple Leafs trade for two players with an additional year on their deals?

McCabe, Lafferty 2.0

Last season, former Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas made a similar trade for Jake McCabe, Sam Lafferty, and a couple of conditional draft picks. In doing so he gave up a conditional 1st in 2025, 2nd in 2026, Pavel Gogolev and Joey Anderson.

The Leafs would not need Minnesota to retain money on either player if they traded TJ Brodie along with other assets to acquire them. That should make the value of this trade less than that of last season.

Johansson's play is comparable to Nino Neiderrieter who was traded last year from Nashville to Winnipeg for 2nd round pick in 2024. The Leafs do not have a 2nd round pick until 2027 so they would have to trade a prospect with the equivalent value. Ty Voit?

Proposed trade: Leafs acquire Jake Middleton and Marcus Johansson for TJ Brodie, 1st in 2026, Ty Voit and Nick Abruzzese.


After the two potential trades with Calgary and Minnesota Toronto fills three holes in their lineup by acquiring two, top 4 defensemen, one of whom is signed through next season, unlike TJ Brodie. They also acquire Marcus Johansson who can play up and down the lineup if Tyler Bertuzzi and Matthews Knies can not figure it out on their respective lines.