A Way Too Early Trade Deadline Checklist for the Toronto Maple Leafs

Even with the trade deadline just under 2 months away, I thought it'd be a good idea to speculate on some moves the Toronto Maple Leafs could make come deadline time.
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The Toronto Maple Leafs currently sit in 3rd in the NHL's Atlantic Division, and if all goes according to plan, they'll have no problem making it into the playoffs.

However, the Toronto Maple Leafs are a very flawed team, and have made it this far in the season due to the MVP-style of play from William Nylander and Auston Matthews, along with hot goaltending from Martin Jones and Joseph Woll.

The Leafs have some massive holes on their roster that need to be fixed if this team wants to contend for the Stanley Cup.

Let's start with the forward group and what can be done to improve it.

A Way Too Early Trade Deadline Checklist for the Toronto Maple Leafs


The Leafs forward lines have been in flux all season. Other than Auston Matthews and John Tavares playing center at both lines 1 and 2, respectively, coach Sheldon Keefe has been trying all sorts of line combinations with his forwards.

Despite me saying that, the Leafs forward group probably ranks in the top-5 of the NHL and really doesn't need a whole lot of additions.

Additions never hurt, however, and one thing the Leafs could really use is a top-6 winger.

If Tyler Bertuzzi can recapture his scoring touch like he did in last year's playoffs, this will not be an issue, but there are some intriguing names out there on the market if the Leafs want to make a splash.

One name is Andrei Kuzmenko, who despite having 74 points last year, has had his role reduced mightly this season and hasn't registered a point in almost a month. If given the right opportunity, he could flourish with the Leafs.

The big issue with Kuzmenko is he would be a very high-risk, high-reward type of aquisition. His contract is paying him $5.5 million over this year and next, which is less than ideal for the Leafs to take on, especially if he fails to live up to his potential.

Another interesting name is Anthony Duclair, who may not be a true top-6 forward anymore, but he would fit really well on this Leafs team.

He's fast, versatile, cheap, and has past chemistry from the 2015 World Juniors with Max Domi, where the 2 of them dominated the tournament together.

The Leafs could also be facing off agains the Florida Panthers in the first round of the playoffs, Duclair's former team.

Maybe he'll want some revenge for them trading him away last summer?

Now let's look at the defense and goaltending.