Toronto Maple Leafs Off-Season Predictions - Draft, Free Agency and Trades

Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins - Game Five
Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins - Game Five / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages

The Toronto Maple Leafs won't play a game for several months, but weirdly, some of the most exciting moments of the hockey calendar are when there are no games being played.

The next several months will be filled with rumours and speculation, but also with a ton of action - the Toronto Maple Leafs team as it stands today likely won't look anything like the one we see in October.

The Leafs will have to hire a few assistant coaches, deal with the Mitch Marner situation, go to the draft, deal with free-agency, find a goalie and a top defenseman.

Along the way there will also probably be several trades.

It is likely going to be a very eventful off-season, so let's kick it off with some predictions.

Toronto Maple Leafs Off-Season Predictions - Draft, Free Agency and Trades

Coaching - the Leafs will have to hire assistant coaches, but I don't really care who they hire. I don't really even think head coaches make much difference, so I really could not care less who they hire to be the coaches assistant.

Free Agency - Look for the Toronto Maple Leafs to let most of their free-agents walk away. Max Domi, Tyler Bertuzzi, TJ Brodie, Joel Edmundson, Ilya Lyubushkin, Mark Giordano, Martin Jones and Ilya Samsonov are all un-restricted Free-Agents.

The Leafs shouldn't re-sign any of them. I predict that they will sign Domi and Edmundson, and let the rest walk. They should not sign either of those players, but I don't really think Brad Treliving is a very good GM and I can't trust him to do the smart thing here. All should walk, but I don't think the Leafs are that well run.

Signing UFAs - I fully expect the Toronto Maple Leafs to massively overpay with a seven-year over-the-top offer to Brandon Montour which he will never, ever come close to living up to.

Restricted Free Agents - The Leafs have a great chance to sign Nick Robertson and Timothy Liljegren to long-term deals that are overpayments today but which turn out to be very team-friendly down the road.

They will pass on this chance because they are risk-adverse and don't seem to be smart enough to ever take advantage of the salary cap.

Draft - The Leafs will keep their first round pick. This is a horrible move because the value of late first round picks in a trade far outweighs the expected rewards of actually drafting. Again, it seems the easiest way to predict what the Leafs will do is go with the idea that most represents safe, boring, low-risk and dumb.

Trades - The Leafs wouldn't be dumb enough to trade Mitch Marner. As much as I think their GM is bad, I won't insult him so totally by assuming he will make the worst decision in franchise history, so expect the Leafs 2nd best player to be back and re-signed.


The smart GM would trade one of Matthew Knies or Easton Cowan for the kind of defenseman you usually can't get without drafting. I don't think either player should be traded, but obviously the Leafs are stacked at forward and need top defenseman. The smart GM has to take risks and do unpopular things to win. I don't think the Leafs will ever consider this, but that's a shame because it's really the only way they are getting the defenseman they need.