Toronto Maple Leafs 2024 Defensemen Trade Deadline Targets

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So much ink has been spilled covering the Toronto Maple Leafs defensive woes for years, this season there is actually merit to those claims.

So far this season, the Toronto Maple Leafs rank 24th in expected goals against per 60 (xGA/60) and 16th in actual goals against.

For reference, they ranked 13th and fourth in those statistics last year, respectively. This, combined with the extensive list of injuries makes acquiring a defenseman at the deadline a high priority. (All Stats and Information Via and

Luckily, as is the case every year, there is a fairly large market available and the Leafs brass should be able to find a fit somewhere.

There have been many reports about different defenders linked to the Leafs throughout the season and GM Brad Treliving has talked about the topic of acquiring a defenseman multiple times since being appointed to this position last summer.
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Toronto Maple Leafs 2024 Defensemen Trade Deadline Targets

He attempted to shore up the blueline in free agency, paying John Klingberg just north of $4 million on a one-year deal.

Unfortunately, that didn't work out as he played 14 games for the buds before being sidelined for the season with a hip injury. Thankfully, Treliving's other signings in Simon Benoit and William Lagesson have stepped up in the wake of the battered blueline. However, if need be, they would not cut it as legitimate top-four options in the playoffs.

This is where the trade market comes into play, the Leafs have their internal options as I have discussed before but there needs to be a larger buffer before we see Lagesson or Benoit playing meaningful minutes in a game seven.

There are trade chips that the Leafs have at their disposal to make a move, they still possess their first round pick at this year's draft and an additional eight picks from rounds three through seven for depth moves or to help supplement a trade package. They also have prospects that could be dealt but I would not be keen to move them before trading away the 2024 first, first.

In terms of making the cap work, that could be helped by utilizing the draft capital in the later rounds by incentivizing a team or a third party to retain. There is also roster players like Calle Jarnkrok, Connor Timmins, or if need be, Timothy Liljegren that could be traded for an upgrade to help make the money work.

As well, there is always the option of sending players down to open up caproom, as the Leafs are currently running a full 23-man roster and we have seen them carry less players in recent years to alleviate their cap load.