Leafs reporter lists a few potential pieces that the Leafs could move in a deal to acquire a defenseman

Published November 12, 2023 at 10:18

The Toronto Maple Leafs ended their 5-game home stand on a winning note this weekend, securing victories over the Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks, but even with the compass needle pointing north and the team heading in the right direction, the need for a defenseman is still apparent.

The Leafs have been linked pretty closely to Nikita Zadorov and/or Chris Tanev this week, and why wouldn't they? Not only are both quality NHL defensemen, but they also have that link to Leafs general manager Brad Treliving that shouldn't be ignored.

The Flames aren't the only team shopping defensemen, as the Carolina Hurricanes had Brett Pesce on the trading block all summer and may be willing to listen on offensive defenseman Tony DeAngelo as well - though, personally, I'd stay as far away from DeAngelo as possible. The Leafs could also look to a struggling team like Seattle, Nashville or Columbus in an attempt to pry a defenseman away.

As far as what the Leafs have to offer teams in order to try to acquire a defenseman, rest assured - the team has plenty to offer. However, that doesn't necessarily mean that fans are going to like it.

Sportsnet's Luke Fox mentioned in an article on Saturday that the Leafs have a number of pieces that could be enticing to other teams, starting with Nick Robertson, whose stock is steadily rising after his hot start in the AHL this season and his recent surge with the Leafs, recording 4 points in 4 games after his recent call-up.

Robertson is not the only piece that teams might covet in Toronto. Fox also mentions Fraser Minten and the Leafs' 2024 1st round pick as potential pieces that the team can look to move if they do wish to shore up their blueline. He also mentioned potentially using a sweetener to move John Klingberg's $4.15M off the books if necessary.

Personally, I don't know that I'd part with any of these pieces. Robertson is quickly showing himself to be an important piece, instantly helping to turn around the Leafs' 3rd line, alongside Max Domi and Calle Jarnkrok. Minten is the Leafs' top center prospect and may have a fast track to the NHL next season if he can come to training camp in 2024 and put forth a similar effort to the one we saw this fall.

That leaves the team's 2024 1st round pick. I'm not wild about moving the pick, especially with the Leafs' scouting staff showing that they can find tremendous value late in the first round and in the second round, as is evidenced by the selections of Cowan (28th overall), Minten (38th overall) and Knies (57th overall) in the last 3 drafts.

Obviously, in the NHL, if you're looking to make a deal for an impact player, you have to give something to get something. I just don't know if I like the idea of mortgaging the future by dealing an important piece for a few months of a defenseman. I'd be endlessly more open to the idea of moving a good, young piece if the Leafs were bringing back a quality defenseman with some term. We'll just have to wait and see how this one all unfolds.

November 12   |   564 answers
Leafs reporter lists a few potential pieces that the Leafs could move in a deal to acquire a defenseman

If the Leafs HAD to move one of Fraser Minten, Nick Robertson or their 2024 1st round pick in a deal for a defenseman, which one would you choose?

Robertson14024.8 %
2024 1st round pick26146.3 %
Fraser Minten16328.9 %
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