He was a Leaf, and now he's on pace for nearly 40 goals with the Seattle Kraken this season

Cole Hayes
January 31, 2022  (5:50 PM)

He wasn't a Leaf for long and he never actually played a game for the
Buds, but i think we need to take a few minutes to talk about the season that Jared McCann for the Seattle Kraken.

Leafs fans were over the moon when the Kyle Dubas pulled off a deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins to acquire the 25-year-old forward just prior to the expansion draft. At first, it appeared as though the Leafs would likely protect 7 forwards, 3 defensemen and a goalie. Unfortunately, the truth was that he was acquired in order to dissuade the Kraken from taking Alexander Kerfoot, who is also having a career year, albeit not as impressive as the one McCann is having on the west coast.
McCann is scoring at a 56-point pace this season, which may not leap off the page. What does stand out is his 36-goal pace. McCann makes $2.9 million for the remainder of this season, but I think it's safe to say that the cap hit on his next deal will be well above that. This season, McCann has proven to be a solid complementary piece that can certainly help build a winning culture in Seattle.
McCann has an excellent shot, which has been on full display in Seattle. The reason many Leafs fans were initially excited when they acquired him was because of his offensive skill set, along with his inexpensive contract and the ability to play both wing and center. He would have been a great fit next to one of Auston Matthews or John Tavares and would like have spearheaded the Leafs' second powerplay unit.
Unfortunately the Leafs valued Justin Holl more than they did Kerfoot and McCann at the time. Looking back, the Leafs should have protected both of the forwards, but you know what they say about hindsight.
Can you imagine having McCann over Holl on this current Leafs roster? Alexander Kerfoot's career year definitely helps soften the blow, but with that being said, it hurts knowing that McCann has slipped through the Leafs' fingers here - especially knowing what we know now about Nick Ritchie. Sure, it may be a bit of revisionist history, but that doesn't make it sting any less.
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