A More Positive Take on the Toronto Maple Leafs Trade Deadline Performance

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The Toronto Maple Leafs acquired four players before the 2024 NHL trade deadline on Friday.

Now that the dust has settled, I don't think the deadline was a complete bust for Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brad Treliving. He went out and acquired players the Leafs needed.

The Leafs didn't add a big name at the trade deadline like many hoped they would but added something needed for the playoffs, which is more depth. You or I may not like or even know the players they acquired but having 15 forwards and nine defensemen in the system who can play at the NHL level is good depth for the playoffs.

For those who don't know, Leafs general manager Brad Treliving has never been much of a trade deadline guy. He tends to make most of his moves in the off-season. However, I'm sure if the right trade had presented itself, Treliving would have acted on it. He made it clear to the other GMs that the Leafs wouldn't be trading top prospects Easton Cowan or Fraser Minten. I think that put a damper on a few of the GMs who had players the Leafs were looking to add.

During his press conference with the media after the deadline, Treliving said he tried to make some moves to address key areas, but at the end of the day, the guys already in the locker room are the ones who need to get the job done. He also pointed out that this group is driven and hungry. We will find out soon enough how hungry they are.

Toronto Maple Leafs Trade Deadline Additions

In total, the Leafs added two defensemen, one bottom-six forward, and an unsigned prospect. Will it be enough? We'll find out in a little over a month from now. Hopefully, Mark Giordano and Conor Timmins can be ready come playoff time, too.

Ilya Lyubushkin

Ilya Lyubushkin is a solid 6'2, 200 Lbs. right-shooting defenseman. He is a heavy hitter and punishes those who get in his way. Lyubushkin has played in five games for the Leafs since they acquired him a week ago. During his five games with the Leafs, Lyubushkin has one assist, seven blocked shots, and 15 hits. He is averaging 16:10 minutes of ice time and is partnered mostly with Morgan Rielly.
(Stats from hockey-reference.com)

Joel Edmundson

Joel Edmundson is another big (6'5, 221 Lbs.) defenseman brought in to make the Leafs end of the ice an unforgiving place. He registered one goal and five assists for six points in 44 games with the Washington Capitals before being traded to the Leafs on March 7th. Edmundson is a left-shooting defenseman who can play both sides. He logged 19:03 minutes of ice time on Saturday in his first game with the Leafs.

Connor Dewar

Connor Dewar is a 5'10", 183 Lbs bottom-six forward. He has ten goals and four assists for 14 points this season. Dewar gives the Leafs some scoring depth, and he is a strong defensive player and penalty killer. He will be a restricted free agent (RFA) this summer, so he could be with the Leafs for a few more years if things go well. Dewar didn't look out of place in his first game with the Leafs on Saturday.

Cade Webber

Cade Webber is a 23-year-old unsigned prospect. He was drafted in the 4th round of the 2019 NHL draft by the Carolina Hurricanes with the 99th overall pick. Webber is a left-shooting defenseman who is 6'6" and 194 Lbs. He is in his final year at Boston University in the NCAA. The Leafs will need to sign him, or he will become an unrestricted free agent (UFA). As Treliving said during the trade deadline, you can never have too many defensemen.


I am giving Brad Treliving a B grade for this trade deadline. He added size, physicality, and depth without giving up a top prospect or the Leafs 2024 1st-round pick. Each of the three players he acquired who have joined the Leafs all have a salary cap hit of under $1 million, which is a plus for a team that has little to no wiggle room.