3 under-the-radar trades that will shake up the Maple Leafs at the deadline

Blockbuster trades are ideal for many reasons, but let’s not count out potential under-the-radar moves that could shake up the Maple Leafs.

Vegas Golden Knights v San Jose Sharks
Vegas Golden Knights v San Jose Sharks / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages
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Anthony Duclair would rediscover his scoring potential in Toronto

One major advantage of acquiring Anthony Duclair is that the San Jose Sharks would likely retain a portion of his salary, making life easier for Toronto should they opt to add one more forward to their lineup. The 2023-24 season has predictably not been kind to Duclair as he’s taking up space on what is a lowly Sharks team looking to move their seasoned veterans. 

Amidst the chaos, he still has 11 goals in 50 games for one of the NHL’s worst teams, along with a solid 13.8 shooting percentage. These factors alone could entice one of the NHL’s most all-out offensive-minded teams to add another piece and continue to dare opponents to outscore them. Duclair, who scored an outstanding 31 goals in 2021-22, would give that edge to Toronto. 

Duclair is also an under-the-radar forward who can simultaneously carry a defensive mindset, evidenced by his 23 takeaways and ability to help the Sharks attain a surprisingly decent on-ice save percentage of 90.7 at even strength and 91.6 at 5-on-5 if he’s in the game. 

While Duclair is a forward who will add yet another potential scoring asset to Toronto, he still holds a lot of value on defense. There would be a lot for fans to like if the Maple Leafs brought in one of the NHL’s more successful journeymen. 

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(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference as of February 20th)