4 Forwards The Leafs are in on Ahead of The NHL Trade Deadline
It’s no secret that the Toronto Maple Leafs are looking to add to their top six forward group. Kyle Dubas believes his team has a real shot at the Stanley Cup this year and is committed to finding the pieces before the NHL trade deadline that can help push his group over the hump.
Four Names Linked to The Toronto Maple Leafs
There have been many names linked to the Toronto Maple Leafs ahead of the trade deadline but here are the most prominent and realistic.
Eric Staal is a 36 year old center that would certainly improve the Leafs center depth now that Alex Kerfoot has found his game as a winger. Staal has a cap hit of $3,250,000 and would be a rental as he is a UFA next year, perhaps the Leafs could get him to sign a league minimum deal like fellow old timers Joe Thornton and Jason Spezza?
Staal has 10 points in 25 games with the struggling sabres this season, as a defensively responsible center he had 47 points in 66 games with the Minnesota Wild just last season.
Not radioing @FriedgeHNIC, but he said on @SNHockeyCentral that Eric Staal to the #Leafs is plausible & makes sense, since TOR is looking for a fit on the 2nd line & Staal can play both center & wing. The 36-year-old vet will be moved by the #Sabres before the deadline.
— Michael Augello (@MikeInBuffalo) March 11, 2021
Mikael Granlund would be an excellent addition to the Leafs top six, he knows how to play with good players and would fit nicely on the wing of Leafs captain John Tavares while also being able to play the center role.
Granlund would also be a rental as he is set to become a UFA this off-season season when his contract that carries an AAV of $3,750,000 expires. The Leafs would need to fork out some cash to re-sign him.
Granlund has just 10 points in 24 games this year but has been moved throughout the lineup and hasn’t been able to find his game yet. He has a career best 69 points (nice) in a full 82 game season not too long ago. Perhaps playing with elite offensive talent that the Leafs possess in numbers could spark him.
New on @TheAthleticNHL:
— Adam Vingan (@AdamVingan) March 9, 2021
Perhaps the most likely acquisition and certainly the name that has been tied to the leafs the most is Anaheim Ducks forward Rickard Rakell.
Rakell is on an amazing contract that carries a cap hit of $3,789,444 and he is signed through next season. The Ducks have made it known that he will not come cheap, but the Leafs aren’t afraid to spend either. He has 19 points in 27 games this season with the Ducks and a career best 69 point season that included 34 goals just a few years ago.
Frank Servalli reports teams are calling the Anaheim Ducks about Rickard Rakell. Toronto is probably one of them we’re not surprised at all, haha. Look at Rakell’s card and his transition especially. We believe Rakell would be very good fit for the Maple Leafs’ system. pic.twitter.com/UyF9oo447e
— Andy & Rono 📊 (@HockeyStatsCZ) March 10, 2021
Forsberg would be a higher end target that would require the Leafs to move a contract or two the other way, likely Alexander Kerfoot and/or Pierre Engvall.
Forsberg is an elite winger that would be an excellent addition to either of the Leafs top lines. The Predators have made it clear he is available and the Leafs have showed interest. He makes $6,000,000 on the cap and is signed through next season.
Filip Forsberg has an impressive 27 points in 27 games with the struggling Nashville Predators this season and a career best 64 points in just 67 games, he was on pace for 78 points in a full 82 game season.
Whichever route the Leafs choose to go, the deal will likely be completed by next week as the Leafs have a nice break in their schedule which would cut down on games missed due to the mandatory 14 day quarantine.
Don’t forget to like our facebook page to stay up to date with the latest breaking news and rumors!