Toronto Maple Leafs: Three Players the Leafs Should Target in Trades

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Mar 18, 2014; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils center Travis Zajac (19) skates with the puck while being defended by Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron (37) during the third period at Prudential Center. The Bruins defeated the Devils 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Travis Zajac – centre – New Jersey Devils

Four years removed from back-to-back 60 point seasons, Zajac has battled injuries and inconsistency and hasn’t topped 48 points since 2009. Signed to an 8-year deal with a 5.75 mil/yr cap hit, Zajac is paid to produce like a top-line centre. On the surface, he hasn’t.

Apr 1, 2014; Buffalo, NY, USA; New Jersey Devils center Travis Zajac (19) and Buffalo Sabres center

Cody Hodgson

(19) during the game at First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

But advanced statistics reveal a strong complementary player.

Zajac finished 12th in Corsi% in the NHL last season (!) with a 58.1% rating, ranking with stars like Jonathan Toews (59%) and Anze Kopitar (61%).

And, even more pivotal for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Zajac is strong on faceoffs. Last season, he took the 19th most faceoffs in the NHL and won 54.6% of the time.

Strong on possession and draws, the Toronto Maple Leafs would be huge beneficiaries if Zajac could be pried away from the Devils after four seasons of poor point totals.

Leafs Suitability Grade: B+                

Check the Zajac highlights here:

What do you think, Leafs fans? Should the Toronto Maple Leafs aim for any of these second-tier stars as trade targets this season?