4 Players the Toronto Maple Leafs Should Trade As Soon As Possible

Toronto Maple Leafs v Vancouver Canucks
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No. 2: Nick Robertson

If Nick Robertson isn't going to be given the playing time he merits, it might be in the best interest of both the player and the team to consider exploring trade options. In 27 games, Robertson has demonstrated his offensive prowess with seven goals and 13 points, numbers that could undoubtedly soar with increased and more meaningful ice time.

Despite his potential, he has yet to secure a spot in the top-six lineup for reasons not entirely clear.

Matthew Knies, with his eight goals and 17 points, has been allocated more ice time per game, albeit with a slightly lower point-per-minute production compared to Robertson.

Considering Knies' proficiency on the forecheck, there could be an opportunity to place him in a third-line role, creating space for Robertson to elevate his game alongside high-caliber players like Matthews, Marner, Tavares, or Nylander.

Unfortunately, Sheldon Keefe's apparent reluctance to deploy Robertson in more significant roles, evident in occasional healthy scratches and limited ice time, raises concerns. Robertson's offensive strengths are best utilized in an offensive role and with considerable power-play time, which has been lacking in his current deployment.

Given Robertson's potential and the likelihood of multiple NHL teams valuing him highly, exploring the trade market could be a prudent move for the Leafs. Addressing this situation before Robertson becomes discontented and potentially seeks a trade himself is crucial to maintaining his trade value. While it's not ideal to part ways with a promising talent, leveraging Robertson in the trade market could yield valuable assets, possibly helping to address the team's defensive needs or securing a reliable third-line center.

In the end, the Leafs should carefully weigh the potential benefits of retaining Robertson with increased playing time against the value he could bring in a trade. If his current usage pattern persists, exploring trade options may be a necessary step to ensure both the player and the team can maximize their potential.