Projecting the Toronto Maple Leafs Playoff Roster

Over the weekend, the Toronto Maple Leafs clinched the playoffs for the eighth straight season. They got Mitch Marner and Morgan Reilly back in the lineup and have Timothy Liljegren and Joel Edmundson nearing a return. It appears the Maple Leafs will be back at full strength come playoff time, so let's talk about what I think the Maple Leafs lineup should look like for game one of the playoffs.
Toronto Maple Leafs v New Jersey Devils
Toronto Maple Leafs v New Jersey Devils / Elsa/GettyImages
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After clinching a playoff spot last weekend, the Toronto Maple Leafs are pretty much lined up to face the Florida Panthers in round one of the NHL Playoffs.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have already started to get healthier recently and after getting Mitch Marner and Morgan Reilly back in the lineup this week, Timothy Liljegren will be back tonight.

The Maple Leafs also got Joel Edmundson back for their last game against New Jersey on Thursday.

With everyone but Calle Jarnkrok healthy, it would give them 15 serviceable forwards and nine serviceable defensemen. Sheldon Keefe is going to have tough decisions to make on the final roster for round one.

Let's discuss who will be in the starting lineup and who will get snubbed.

Projecting The Toronto Maple Leafs Playoff Roster

Since Mitch Marner has returned to the lineup, Sheldon Keefe has experimented with spreading the superstars throughout the Maple Leafs lineup having Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander all on different lines.

Whether or not Sheldon Keefe keeps the talent spread out or not, all nine forwards in the Leafs top nine are locks to be on the playoff roster. Where Keefe has decisions to make is on the fourth line. More specifically what to do with Ryan Reaves.

Reaves can be a valuable playoff asset, just having his presence on the bench is an intimating factor and would be a net positive going against either the Boston Bruins or Florida Panthers, two very physical teams.

But I don't think Reaves's physicality is enough to justify him playing in the playoffs over Nick Robertson or Calle Jarnkrok once he is cleared to play. Sure, these two are not the prototypical fourth-line players, but neither was Jason Spezza. Winning those minutes is far more important than what style of play they are conducted in.

No matter who Sheldon Keefe decides to start in the series, between Calle Jarnkrok, Nick Robertson and Ryan Reaves, Keefe has multiple different options that can fill different roles if the Leafs need to adjust mid series.

If I had the keys to the team (it is probably a good thing I don't), I would probably give the nod to Nick Robertson, who has taken advantage of every opportunity this season. However, Sheldon Keefe will likely go with Calle Jarnkrok as he tends to trust his mentors more and refuses to give young guys chances to grow.