3 Reasons Why the Toronto Maple Leafs Should Not Be "All In"

The Toronto Maple Leafs are looking like a good bet to make an eighth consecutive appearance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Despite a roster loaded with star players like Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, William Nylander, and Morgan Rielly, this is not the year to go "All In" at the NHL Trade Deadline.

Toronto Maple Leafs v Arizona Coyotes
Toronto Maple Leafs v Arizona Coyotes / Zac BonDurant/GettyImages
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Future Seasons With Controllable Young Talent and a Revamped Blue Line Hold More Promise

The Leafs biggest need is a puck-moving defenseman, one that can play in the top four. The problem is that most of the available defenders are bottom-pairing types. They are not going to move the needle other than balancing the Leafs left-right combinations on the blue line.

None of them are worthy of a first-round pick or a top prospect. Those defensemen available through trade have limitations, are rentals, or both.

With the Leafs commitment to their star players such as Matthews, Nylander, Rielly, and Marner (likely to be extended), young controllable talent becomes more important. Their high percentage of the salary cap must be balanced with the lower salaries of the youngsters.

The Leafs prospect pool of Matthew Knies, Nick Robertson, Easton Cowan, and Fraser Minten needs to be given a chance to develop.

Two of them are already regular contributors playing among the top nine forwards in their early twenties. The play of Minten and Cowan shows that one, or both, may join the parent club as soon as next year. The potential is there to have the Leafs stars augmented by this young talent.

So, what should the Leafs do at the trade deadline?