There are three large methods a crew can change its roster over the summer time within the NHL. The primary is the NHL Entry Draft, the second is free company, and the third is trades that may happen round these two occasions. For the Toronto Maple Leafs and new basic supervisor Brad Treliving, making the most of all three might be key to his getting his tenure off to a stable begin.
Let’s check out one prediction for every state of affairs and attempt to predict one large draft transfer, one potential commerce, and who the Leafs would possibly goal in free company.
The Maple Leafs’ Draft Technique
Because the NHL Draft approaches, the Maple Leafs possess a first-round decide (No. 28), but the end result of their choice stays unsure. A deep draft this yr, there are a handful of names the Maple Leafs is perhaps taking a look at, however Treliving gained’t be part of that course of. Leafs director of novice scouting Wes Clark might be working issues.
Joshua Kloke of The Athletic took a take a look at some potential names and talked about Riley Heidt, Mikhail Gulyayev, Oscar Fisker Mølgaard, Otto Stenberg, Etienne Morin, Lukas Dragicevic, Bradley Nadeau, and a pair others within the vary of the Maple Leafs. He additionally provides:
Tom Willander has usually been projected as one of many first defencemen to go within the first spherical. But when the well-rounded, cellular two-way right-shot blueliner slips to No. 28, I don’t see how the Leafs may move on him …
supply – ‘Maple Leafs draft board: 10 names to contemplate with the No. 28 decide’ – Joshua Kloke – The Athletic – 06/08/2023
I’m undecided it’s the draft choice that may get essentially the most consideration for the Maple Leafs on the draft. As an alternative, a commerce is perhaps within the works and that would embrace the dumping of Matt Murray‘s contract. If there isn’t an LTIR play to make right here, the Leafs want to maneuver that deal to make different strikes and among the finest locations to search out groups who will tackle unhealthy contracts is on the draft, the place feelings run excessive as a result of a participant abruptly turns into out there on the draft board nobody anticipated to be there. This yr, that situation may pop up typically with so many proficient gamers doubtless various in place on every respective crew’s record.
The Maple Leafs’ Commerce Technique
Past shifting Murray, one ought to look ahead to the Maple Leafs to attempt to commerce the rights to a pending UFA or RFA. Toronto has a few gamers who’re unlikely to return, however contemplating this summer time’s free agent class isn’t swimming with top-level expertise, there is perhaps an urge for food to attempt to purchase the rights to somebody like Alex Kerfoot, Michael Bunting, Ryan O’Reilly or one of many greater than 10 pending UFAs and RFAs the Leafs have on their roster.
The returns gained’t be nice, however that’s not likely the purpose. If the Leafs can get something versus letting these gamers all stroll for no return in any respect, count on Treliving to strive. Since he’ll not be sitting on the draft desk, he would possibly as effectively work the telephones.
The Maple Leafs and Free Company
Ought to the crew not commerce any of the “core 4” — Auston Matthews, William Nylander, Mitch Marner, and John Tavares — there’ll should be inexpensive signings achieved round these gamers and others like Morgan Rielly. The primary is probably going a brand new deal for Ilya Samsonov. A pending RFA, he’s going to be the man in Toronto subsequent season, together with Joseph Woll or one other addition.
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Past that, the Leafs ought to most likely deal with protection. They’ll add just a few gamers on a budget at ahead and even when they lose a handful of names, are nonetheless comparatively deep. Their blue line wants essentially the most work, particularly if Mark Giordano, Erik Gustafsson, and/or Luke Schenn aren’t again. A reputation like Carson Soucy is perhaps of curiosity. He can play either side and registered three objectives and 13 assists for 16 factors in 78 video games this previous season with the Seattle Kraken. He’s a giant stay-at-home defenseman measuring in at 6-foot-5, 208 kilos who recorded 143 hits and 96 blocked pictures. He obtained his first actual style of playoff expertise and whereas they’ll be price related to signing him, it’s not prone to be a break-the-bank sort of deal.