On Tuesday morning we looked at a trade target from the Columbus Blue Jackets that the Toronto Maple Leafs should target at the deadline, today we look at the Anaheim Ducks.
In Columbus, the Toronto Maple Leafs should go after Boone Jenner as he would give the team a strong third line center, but the Anaheim Ducks may have a player that could bring similar value in a different way.
Unlike Columbus, the Ducks have multiple players that are pending unrestricted free agents this summer which include Adam Henrique, Jakob Silfverberg, Sam Carrick and Ilya Lyubushkin.
Carrick and Lyubushkin could both likely help the club, but they would not move the needle enough from what the Maple Leafs already have on the team that it would be worth wasting assets to acquire, while Silfverberg's best days are behind him and would just be in the press box.
The player the Maple Leafs need to target is center Adam Henrique.
Adam Henrique Should be Maple Leafs #1 Priority at Forward
Henrique was the steal of the 2008 draft as he was selected 82nd overall and currently sits tenth overall in points among his drafted peers while being the most defensively responsible forward of the group.
The now 33-year old is still playing top six minutes on one of the worst teams in the NHL and getting a lot of the tougher matchups. Henrique brings all the defensive ability that David Kämpf provides with more offence as he has collected 15-goals and 32-points this season, which is about the offensive output Kämpf has provided over the last two seasons combined.
Twice over his career, Henrique has received consideration for the Frank J Selke award as the top defensive forward in the league and has been averaging over 2:30 of penalty kill time this season which has led to a pair of shorthanded goals.
The Toronto native is responsible with the puck and despite playing in Anaheim has just nine giveaways on the season; add in that he has become strong of the face-off over the second half of his career and Sheldon Keefe could easily slot him into the third center role immediately.
Henrique is in the final year of a six-year deal that pays him just under $6 Million per season, so general manager Brad Treliving would need to get Anaheim to eat 50% of his cap hit and may need to find a second team to bring it down more. One possibility is seeing if the team can use Kämpf as part of the trade to unload his $2.5 Million cap hit.
Henrique does have a ten team no trade list that may get in the way depending if Toronto is on it.