Former Leafs draft pick Dakota Joshua open to re-joining the team this summer

Ryan Smitheram
May 31, 2024  (11:32)

Dakota Joshua
Photo credit: USA Today Sports

Pending Vancouver Canucks free agent Dakota Joshua is reportedly open to joining the Toronto Maple Leafs 10 years after he was drafted by the team.

A fifth-round selection in the 2014 draft, Dakota Joshua decided not to sign with the Leafs at the time. Instead, he completed four years at Ohio State University before spending two seasons in the AHL and ECHL prior to signing an NHL contract with the St. Louis Blues in July of 2019.
The 6'3, 206-pound center joined the Canucks on a two-year deal ahead of the 2022-23 season that carried a cap hit of $825K. This past season, he set career highs in goals (18), assists (14) and points (32) in 63 games.
According to James Mirtle of The Athletic, Joshua is open to re-joining the team that drafted him 10 years ago.
"I've heard some people say that Joshua wouldn't want to be in Toronto because he was a draft pick and he played four years in college and walked. I'm told that's not true. He would be interested in Toronto. The reason he didn't sign with Toronto when he was a pick was he thought it would be hard to break into the forward group at the time, given all the good young forwards they had and he thought going somewhere else, he would get more of an opportunity in the NHL faster. That's why he made that choice."

The Leafs have over $18M in cap space, and are expected to undergo a significant roster shakeup this off-season.
A big, strong, physical center, Joshua certainly fits the mold of the type of player GM Brad Treliving prefers. Not only that, but Joshua got his start in the NHL playing for Craig Berube in St. Louis, so there is some familiarity there as well.
While he set career highs this past season, Joshua should still come in at a fairly cheap contract with Evolving Hockey projecting a 2-year deal worth $2.04M per season. Considering the Leafs are paying David Kampf $2.4M to play on the fourth line, $2M for a guy that can play in the middle six is fairly reasonable.

31 MAI   |   292 ANSWERS
Former Leafs draft pick Dakota Joshua open to re-joining the team this summer

Should the Leafs sign former Maple Leafs draft pick Dakota Joshua this summer?

Yes, he adds more size and strength to the lineup21071.9 %
No, he caught lightning in a bottle8228.1 %
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