The Anaheim Ducks Trio of Defensive Prospects
In the latest segment of TSN’s Insider Trading, Pierre LeBrun discussed how the Ducks will need to make a decision at some point about their blue line. They have Hampus Lindholm, Sami Vatanen, Cam Fowler, Kevin Bieksa, Simon Despres, Clayton Stoner, and Josh Manson under contract going into next season. They might lose someone to the expansion draft depending on how they choose to protect their players. This is where the Leafs could try to take advantage by looking at their prospect depth on defence, more particularly Shea Theodore, Jacob Larsson and Brandon Montour.
LeBrun is right to point out that the Ducks will need to make a choice on these prospects because they appear to be NHL ready, especially Theodore who has already played 23 games this season.
It is unlikely that the Ducks move him, which means that Montour and Larsson are more ideal targets. Larsson has spent time in Sweden this season, while Montour has continued his strong play in the AHL.
Either one would make sense for the Leafs to pursue in the offseason because both teams have specific needs. Anaheim needs a forward prospect that can give them a spark while the Leafs need stability on the back end.
A possibility would be to try and include Jame van Riemsdyk for one of the prospects mentioned above and the Leafs try to get a pick in return. What is also a possibility is Kasperi Kapanen, which might not be enticing for Leafs fans, but their depth at forward is strong and they need to take advantage of that. The question is whether the Leafs are looking at the Ducks to solve their search for defence, or is a player like Shattenkirk more realistic?