Leafs news outlet outlines how the Leafs can acquire Tanev and Hanifin without losing a top prospect

Mike Armenti
February 9, 2024  (12:42)

Leafs defenseman Timothy Liljegren
Photo credit: NHL

With all of the trade talk in Toronto right now revolving around defensemen, there are really only two blueliners at the top of the pile that the Leafs might consider moving heaven and earth to bring in. Those two names happen to both be coming out of Calgary. I am, of course, talking about Chris Tanev and Noah Hanifin.

For weeks upon weeks, we've been pondering whether or not the Leafs should pay up and go for it or if they should simply retain their assets, punt on this season and go for it next year instead. After all, the prospect cupboard, aside from Fraser Minten and Easton Cowan, is pretty bare and the Leafs don't have a lot of picks in the first 3 rounds over the next 3 seasons. But does a trade for these two players really require the Leafs to empty the cupboards? Not necessarily.
LeafsNationNews took to social media on Friday to break down what a trade package for both Tanev and Hanifin might look like if you're the Leafs. Surprisingly, it's not all that farfetched for the Leafs to acquire both players without breaking the bank, provided the bidding war doesn't get too out of control.
Obviously, we know the asking price for Tanev. The Flames want a 2nd round pick and an additional asset, whether that be a prospect or a pick in the middle rounds of the draft. For Hanifin, LeafsNationNews predicts something close to the package that the Leafs paid for Ryan O'Reilly and Noel Acciari last season, so let's break this down.
Timothy Liljegren, a former 1st round pick in 2017, could easily be used as the centerpiece in a deal involving Tanev. The Flames would be getting a young, right-shot defenseman who would still be under team control, which would certainly be enticing. From there, that's where it gets a little tricky.
The Leafs sent prospect Mikhail Abramov and forward Adam Gaudette, along with a 2023 first-round draft pick, Ottawa's 2023 third-round pick and the Leafs' 2024 second-round pick to St. Louis in the O'Reilly/Acciari deal. Obviously, this would mean that their 2024 1st round pick would have to be included in the Hanifin portion of the deal. However, they don't have any second round picks for the next 3 years. Honestly, it shouldn't matter, since the Leafs aren't also getting an additional player from Calgary in the Hanifin portion of the deal, so a 3rd round draft choice in 2025 should be fine to fill that portion. In terms of the other balancing pieces in the deal, to match what the Leafs gave to St. Louis in Abramov and Gaudette,
LNN believes the Leafs could overshoot the Gaudette portion by including Alex Steeves, who is certainly more dynamic than Gaudette. LNN also suggests offering a better prospect than Abramov without dipping into the upper-level of prospects in Toronto. Someone like Ryan Tverberg, for example, might fit the bill there. Just for kicks, we can even sweeten the pot with a B prospect, such as Ty Voit.
If we look at this deal as a whole, this could be enough to secure a pair of rentals:
Calgary receives: Timothy Liljegren, Alex Steeves, Ryan Tverberg, Ty Voit, 2024 1st round pick, 2025 3rd round pick.
Toronto receives: Chris Tanev, Noah Hanifin
Is this enough to get a deal done? If it isn't, the Leafs do also have the option of including another young defenseman in Conor Timmins or a young prospect like Roni Hirvonen. Nicholas Robertson is also a wild card here, but if the Leafs are putting Robertson on the table, I'm sure they'd prefer one of Tanev or Hanifin to come with an extension.
At any rate, the purpose of this exercise was to point out that the Leafs don't have to mortgage the entire future to swing a deal to make their team better. Yes, the price to acquire a pair of impact defensemen would be large, but it might not be as large as most expect, given Tanev and Hanifin's pending UFA statuses.
9 FEVRIER   |   1020 ANSWERS
Leafs news outlet outlines how the Leafs can acquire Tanev and Hanifin without losing a top prospect

Toronto receives Tanev, HanifinCalgary receives Liljegren, Steeves, Tverberg, Voit, 2024 1st, 2025 3rdWho says no?

Calgary says no33632.9 %
Toronto says no35234.5 %
Done deal33232.5 %
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