The Toronto Maple Leafs Should Trade Their First-Round Pick For Top Defensemen

Maple Leafs Should Target Jakub Chychrun In Trade With Senators
Maple Leafs Should Target Jakub Chychrun In Trade With Senators / Richard T Gagnon/GettyImages
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The Toronto Maple Leafs have the 23rd overall pick in the first round of the upcoming 2024 NHL entry draft.

The Toronto Maple Leafs drafted Easton Cowen with the 28th overall pick just last year, and after tearing it up in the OHL, he should be making an impact in the NHL next season.

This may be a silly suggestion after what appears to be a late-round gem, but the Leafs should trade their first-round pick.

With four years left on Auston Matthews's contract, the Leafs are strategically locked into a four-year Stanley Cup window. With one more year on Mitch Marner and John Tavares's deals, the front office is considering a big move with their first-round pick.

If executed well, this move could give the 'core four' one more shot before big decisions have to be made, showcasing the team's thoughtful planning and commitment to success.

It is of utmost importance that the Maple Leafs address their blueline. With little top-end defensive talent on the free-agent market this year, the team is exploring all options. In the last year and a half, we've seen Mattias Ekholm, Jakub Chychrun, Sean Walker and Noah Hanafin all go for first-round picks.

All four of these guys would have made a significant impact on the Leafs blueline, and knowing a first-rounder is about the ballpark for this type of player, I have found three defensemen the Maple Leafs should be making calls about before they hit the clock on draft night.

All Salary Cap Info from CapFriendly. All Stats From NaturalStatTrick.