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Sheldon Keefe very excited by one new Leafs addition


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Mike Armenti
March 9, 2024  (11:02)
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Sheldon Keefe
Photo credit: NHL

Coming away from the deadline, it may not look like the Leafs have done a lot, adding only Ilya Lyubushkin, Connor Dewar and Joel Edmundson, but what GM Brad Treliving did do was check a few important boxes without selling the farm and parting with top assets for rentals.

In Lyubushkin, the Leafs are getting another right-shot defenseman who has shown tremendous chemistry with Morgan Rielly. In Dewar, the Leafs are getting another depth forward who can play both center and wing and can really help the team's struggling penalty kill. In Edmundson, though, Keefe sees a lot of value, despite the fact that others may not see the addition the same way he does.
The Leafs pulled the trigger on a deal for Edmundson on Wednesday and when asked about the addition before Thursday's game in Boston, Sheldon Keefe had this to say about what Edmundson brings to the Leafs:
"A lot of experience, in particular in the playoffs. He has won. He is a big guy who is competitive and protects the net very well. He is not fun to play against.

He is another guy who adds to the depth of our defense and gives us some extra size and presence back there. I would say we have been an undersized defense in a lot of ways in terms of our length. He adds that." - Keefe on Edmundson

In terms of where he fits in, Edmundson is versatile. He can play on either the left or right side, can help clear the front of the net, play in the hard areas and help with the team's struggling penalty kill. More than anything else, Keefe seems happy to finally have a hulking defenseman with some reach available to him. Edmundson stands 6'5 and 221 lbs.
"I just think he gives us an additional option on defense. He is a guy who can help us protect our net. He adds a different dimension in terms of the size and strength he brings to the backend. He brings penalty-kill help, leadership, and experience. You can never have enough of that.

He is a guy who has been through it. He is unique and different from the group that we have in terms of size and presence. Talking to him today, he is excited to join us and we're certainly excited to have him." -

The Leafs are in Montreal tonight to take on the Canadiens and Edmundson is expected to make his anticipated Leafs debut. It may take some time to get him comfortable with the system and to find him the right D partner, but with how excited Keefe is to have Edmundson, it will be interesting to see how the Leafs' bench boss plans to deploy him over the next few weeks leading up to the playoffs.
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Sheldon Keefe very excited by one new Leafs addition

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