Toronto Maple Leafs 2024 Defensemen Trade Deadline Targets

2024 Discover NHL Winter Classic - Vegas Golden Knights v Seattle Kraken
2024 Discover NHL Winter Classic - Vegas Golden Knights v Seattle Kraken / Steph Chambers/GettyImages
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Alex Carrier (Most Desirable)

Given the narratives surrounding the Leafs blueline, Carrier seems more like a dark horse candidate for a deadline acquisition. Despite standing at only 5-11 and 174 lbs, he is good at both ends of the ice, using his stick to break up plays in his own zone.

He has proven this against top competition again and again and could be a real impact player if given the chance.

He also carries a team-friendly $2.5 million cap hit which could go as low as $675k if there are three teams involved. However, his size may be a limiting factor as a Leafs trade candidate as the consensus seems to be that the team needs a bigger bodied stay-at-home defender who can clear the netfront.

Treliving’s past actions also seem to suggest that this is the probable direction that the Leafs will go.

Adam Larsson

Larsson is a top pairing defenceman who has been the defensive anchor for the Seattle Kraken since the inaugural season of the franchise in 2021.

As a top pair d-man, he routinely faces top competition and has posted sound numbers as a result. Over the past three seasons, he sits 75th in terms of xGA/60 and 140th in GA/60 at 5v5 out of 234 defenders to log over 1000 minutes.

On the flipside, he ranks 163rd and 90th in xGF/60 and GF/60 respectively, of the same sample group. This points to the fact that he is probably performing better defensively by limiting quality chances against but is getting screwed over by bad goaltending with a poor actual goals against.

He also clearly struggles offensively and if acquired would be utilized in defensive situations almost exclusively. However, Larsson does bring a ton of value in that department, he sits fifth in penalty-kill time on ice over the past three seasons and despite the Kraken's struggles, it has been steadily improving.

His fancy stats aside, at6-3 and 209lbs Larsson comes with the traditional tools of a defensive defender as well. He has amassed over 100 blocks and hits every single year since 2015-16 besides the 2019-20 season where he only played 49 games.

That season was the pandemic and still he had a respectable 82 blockes and 112 hits. He brings a lot to the table but at a very cap friendly $4 million until the end of next season, he could be a very valuable option.