Toronto Maple Leafs 2022 Trade Deadline Previewby Christopher Gallagher March 3, 2022 0 comments
Once again, the Toronto Maple Leafs are one of the elite teams in the NHL through one half the 2021 regular season. They currently sit in third place in the Atlantic Division, trailing the Tampa Bay Lightning by two points. Guided by the play of their top line, the trio of Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, and Michael Bunting has led the way for the group. Atop the league lead in goals with 37, Matthews is also tied for fourth in points with 68. Bunting has entered his name into the Calder Trophy conversation as the game’s top rookie. Fresh off a five-point performance against the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night, the 26-year-old has amassed nine markers in his last five contests.
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Current Record: 35-15-4
Division Standings: Third in the Atlantic
Buyers or Sellers: Buyers
Looking to upgrade on the left side of their lineup, Miller would be the perfect fit for the team. The Vancouver forward is enjoying an outstanding season, leading the Canucks in goals (20) and assists (40) through 53 games. The 28-year-old possesses the ability to play on the wing and down the middle, and also has been one of the team’s top penalty killers. He is both fast and gritty, while maintaining the ability to provide a much-needed scoring boost to Toronto’s second line. With term left on his deal, the former first-round pick has one year remaining at just $5.25 million. With the Leafs needing to match salaries if they hope to acquire the 12-year veteran, he will command a substantial price on the market.
Klingberg reportedly broke off contract extension talks with the Dallas Stars prior to the start of the year. This has led the veteran defenseman to see his name floated often on the trade market. During a down year by his standards, the 29-year-old has racked up just 26 points in 45 contests. Klingberg has also seen his shooting percentage fall from 6.5 in 2020 to 1.4 in 2021 while playing one minute less on average per night. In need of a change of scenery, the 29-year-old would help solidify the Maple Leaf’s top four in the absence of Jake Muzzin. Furthermore, he would provide some much-needed depth on the blue line with the ability to chip in offensively. He carries a cap hit of just $4.25 million as a true rental.
Chychrun is one of the biggest names who could be on the move at the deadline. He would provide the Maple Leafs with a legitimate young defenseman who is capable of playing top pairing minutes night-in and night-out. Fresh off one of the best seasons of his career, the former No. 16-overall pick led all blue liners in scoring. He amassed 18 tucks in 56 regular-season games during the league’s COVID-19 shortened campaign.
He has struggled to get going during his 2021 campaign. The Florida native has amassed just 15 points in 42 contests while carrying the fifth-worst plus/minus in the league at -25. Arizona is looking to recoup a haul for the 23-year-old, as Chychrun is signed at just $4.6 million per year for the next three seasons, making him one of the most valuable contracts in hockey.
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