Potential Trades the Toronto Maple Leafs Could Make to Move Mitch Marner

Boston Bruins v Toronto Maple Leafs - Game Three
Boston Bruins v Toronto Maple Leafs - Game Three / Claus Andersen/GettyImages
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The Toronto Maple Leafs season is over and as we head into the off-season the two biggest questions are who will be the new coach, and what will happen with Mitch Marner?

Fairly or unfairly, Marner has been the whipping boy over the last few seasons by Toronto Maple Leafs fans and there are many in the media saying they think it is time that the "Core Four" get split up. It is evident that there is only one player in that group of four that realistically makes sense to move and that is the hometown kid.

John Tavares has an unmovable contract, while William Nylander and Auston Matthews both just signed extensions, which leaves Marner to be dealt.

If general manager Brad Treliving does decide to make a trade he needs to be smart about it and either get a top rated defenseman back or get prospects that could jump into the line-up, leaving the team with a lot of cap room.

He are three potential trade options:

Columbus Blue Jackets

To Columbus: Mitch Marner
To Toronto: Adam Fantilli and David Jiricek

It is no secret that the Columbus Blue Jackets have had a lot of interest in acquiring Marner ever since he became an restricted free agent back in 2019. When Marner was without a contract, there were reports that two teams had presented him with offer sheets, but he decided not to sign either of them.

Former NHL forward and now TV analyst Matthew Barnaby reported that the Blue Jackets were one of those two teams that offered him a contract, however Marner did not signing one of the sheets.

As everyone is aware, Marner has a full no movement clause meaning he would have to accept an offer to Columbus, but you would have to expect he would have some sort of interest. It is unlikely that the Blue Jackets would have gotten to the point that they presented him with an offer sheet if there wasn't mutual interest.

The two players that Treliving could target would be Adam Fantilli and David Jiricek.

Fantilli was the third overall selection in last summer's NHL Entry Draft and had a productive rookie season collecting 27-points in 49 games until a calf injury ended his season in late January. Prior to the injury he was learning the NHL game and even averaged nearly a point per game in December.

The Nobleton, Ontario native would give the Leafs a potentially elite player on an entry-level deal.

The second part of the trade would be 6'4" right handed shot defenseman David Jiricek who was drafted sixth overall in 2022. This would be a second player the Leafs could insert into their lineup who basically doesn't have a cap hit.

This past season Jiricek bounced back and forth between Columbus and Cleveland throughout the entire season playing 43 games in the NHL and 29 games in the AHL combining for 29-points between the two leagues. The Czech defenseman projects as a top four pairing defender and could potentially become a top pairing blue liner.

Acquiring recent third and sixth overall selections may be a tall ask from the Columbus Blue Jackets and something the Maple Leafs would have to entice the Blue Jackets with. One option would be waiting until July 2 to make the trade as once July 1 arrives Marner will receive a $7.25 Million bonus which leaves him with just 775K left to pay him for the remainder of the season. The Blue Jackets could get one of the top players in the league with nearly no money owed to him for an entire season.