What Should the Toronto Maple Leafs Do With Their RFAs?

Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins
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Max Lajoie

Originally drafted in the fifth round, 133rd overall in 2016 by the Ottawa Senators, Lajoie has been a tweener in the NHL for years.

He was traded to Carolina in 2021 before signing as an unrestricted free agent with the Maple Leafs last summer.

He played 56 NHL games with the Senators in 2018-19 but has since been unable to hold onto an NHL job. He has played 21 total games in the NHL between three teams in the years since, including seven with the Leafs this past season.

He could stay on as a call-up option with the Leafs, the depth in the AHL never hurts. However, I would assume the Leafs do not tender a qualifying offer and make him a UFA once again to negotiate with the 31 other teams.

Keith Petruzzelli 

Petruzzelli was drafted by the Detroit Red Wings in 2017 and at the time was seen as a solid goaltending prospect.

He spent the next four seasons with Qunnipiac University and was a standout netminder, being named a Hobey Baker finalist, and winning ECAC’s goaltender of the year and first all-star team honours in 2021.

The following season he signed a minor league contract with the Marlies where he played with the Newfoundland Growlers and looked like a hidden gem.

He played 27 games with the Growlers in 2021-22, posting a .927% save percentage (SV%) and being named goaltender of the week and month multiple times as well as ECHL all-rookie and second team all-star honours. He subsequently signed his two-year ELC in 2022, spending the majority of the past two years with the Marlies.

Since signing, he has slipped down the organizational depth chart. He has played 42 total games with the Marlies over the past two years, sporting a .888% SV% over that time.

Especially with the emergence of Dennis Hildeby and with both Russian goalie prospects Artur Akhtyamov and Vyacheslav Peksa battling for time this upcoming season, he likely gets pushed out of the mix and moves on. Although the goaltending depth never hurts so, he might be kept on with a minor league contract. 


The key takeaway is that the Leafs have plenty of depth throughout the organization that makes these decisions tough. All-in-All; I think the Leafs should let Ellis, Petruzzelli, and Lajoie walk. I would attempt to re-sign everybody else.