Columbus Blue Jackets
My top choice for players to try and acquire from the Columbus Blue Jackets is Andrew Peeke. Peeke is a 6'3", 210 Lbs right-shooting defenseman who will be 26 years old in March. He missed some time with injury but has six assists in 20 games. Peeke is averaging 15:40 minutes of ice time and has registered 35 hits and 40 blocked shots. He plays the way Treliving likes his players to play.
(All stats from hockey-reference.com)
Another thing that appeals to me about Peeke is that he is under contract for two more seasons beyond this season, and his salary cap hit is only $2.75 million. It would be nice to see him patrolling the Leafs blueline for the next few seasons. (All salary cap info from capfriendly.com)
Erik Gudbranson is a 6'5", 222 Lbs, 32-year-old right-shooting defenseman. He has three goals and 11 assists for 14 points in 46 games. Gudbranson is averaging 19:28 minutes of ice time and has registered 40 hits and 112 blocked shots. He is a shot-blocking machine and could help keep more pucks away from the Leafs goaltenders.
Gudbranson, like Peeke, is under contract for two more seasons beyond this season. However, his salary cap hit is higher at $4 million. It will be harder for Treliving to add Gudbranson, but not impossible.
Two Leafs goaltenders, Ilya Samsonov and Martin Jones, will become UFAs this summer. So, if Treliving wants to add a goaltender with term, Elvis Merzlikins could be the guy. Merzlikins is under contract until the end of the 2026-27 season with a salary cap hit of $5.4 million.
His record this season is 9-10-7 with a 3.22 GAA and a .903 SV%. Both his GAA and SV% are around his career average, so I would expect much better from him on the Leafs, but if the Leafs improve their defense, that will help.