3 Defenseman Toronto Maple Leafs Are Rumored To Be Interested in Trading For

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No. 2: Ilya Lyubushkin

It might sound bold, but I genuinely believe one of the most significant trades in Leafs history was when Kyle Dubas swapped Nick Ritchie for Ilya Lyubushkin. Dubas identified Ritchie's struggles and astutely turned him into an asset that emerged as a top-four defenseman and fan favorite.

The prospect of shouting "Boosh" at the TV while watching this imposing Russian defenseman is enticing. I believe Morgan Rielly would also appreciate his presence, given their successful partnership just a few years ago. Like Walker, I wouldn't advocate trading a first-round pick for Lyubushkin, but a B-level prospect and/or a late draft pick should suffice.

Defensively, Lyubushkin has been reliable and would significantly bolster the lineup. He fills a gap in the team and could serve as a replacement for last year's Luke Schenn. While he may not be a bona fide top-four defenseman on a championship contender, he's well-suited for the Leafs' current roster and salary cap constraints, likely slotting into the third pairing.

Among the physically imposing defensemen available at this year's NHL Trade Deadline, Lyubushkin offers the Leafs the best value for their money. Given his previous success with the team, there's hope he can replicate that performance once again.

I'd love to see him don the blue-and-white jersey again, and hopefully, the Leafs can work out a deal to bring him back, as he'd be an excellent addition to the team once more.