Leafs GM identifies 3 players who he believes may help put the Leafs over the top in the playoffs

Dean Chaudhry
September 8, 2023  (5:17 PM)

The Toronto Maple Leafs are an ever-changing organism that revolves around their core players. Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, William Nylander, John Tavares, and Morgan Rielly are the main pieces that Kyle Dubas and now Brad Treliving are trying to build around and with how tight the salary cap has been, it hasn't been easy to retain players when their contracts expire.

Nevertheless, the Maple Leafs came out of this off-season looking better than how they ended the 2022-23 playoffs. Adding Tyler Bertuzzi, Max Domi, Ryan Reaves, and even John Klingberg addresses several different needs that the Leafs believe will push them over the top in 2023-24:
"There was some good players we wanted to keep, but for different reasons they didn't stay," Treliving said, presumably referring to the likes of Ryan O'Reilly, Noel Acciari and Luke Schenn. "Then you look at it, a little bit was looking at the DNA of our team. We looked at the bricks and mortars of trying to create more offense and there's a style of play that I think you need to have. Not only do I think it's part of what I like, but you look around the league, there's a type of style you need to have success in the playoffs. And it's not changing anytime soon."
The NHL playoffs, specifically, bring about a different style of hockey. You need skill and you need speed, but a lot of the successful teams have size and physicality along with the other intangibles and that's what Treliving and company were looking to address this summer:
"You need skill matched with people that can play when it's tight and there's no space," Treliving said.
As for the skill aspect, the Leafs already had that in spades but being able to add Matthew Knies into the mix makes things even more tantalizing. The 2nd round pick from 2021 already got a taste of playoff hockey and did a great job before suffering a series-ending injury in the second round:
Crediting Dubas for "a great pick," Treliving was also quick to add that 2021 second-rounder Matthew Knies, after getting his feet wet late last year, may end up playing a significant role for the Buds up front.
"Those are three guys that should be able to fit and push into your top nine somewhere," Treliving said, referring to Bertuzzi, Domi and Knies. "I'm excited about it," he continued.
Overall, the Maple Leafs are excited about their prospects entering the 2023-24 season and with the roster they have on hand, they should be labelled as a top contender to win the Atlantic Division and perhaps even the Stanley Cup.
Leafs GM identifies 3 players who he believes may help put the Leafs over the top in the playoffs

Which of these 3 Leafs will have the biggest impact in 2023-24?

Matthew Knies21032.9 %
Max Domi7812.2 %
Tyler Bertuzzi35054.9 %
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