Leafs cannot move on from Marner or Nylander so soon

TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 10: William Nylander
TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 10: William Nylander /

Never short of any trade speculation in Toronto, Mitch Marner has joined William Nylander as possible forwards that could land the Leafs a big fish

If there’s one thing Leafs Nation loves, it’s a good trade rumour. On Tuesday, they got a dandy in the form of a proposed trade between the Leafs and the rival Montreal Canadiens.

Travis Yost of TSN wrote an article talking about the possibilities of a trade involving Shea Weber coming to Toronto, for either William Nylander or Mitch Marner.

I’ll leave that trade for others to speculate on. What I am focused on is this: Why can the Toronto Maple Leafs not have nice things?

We are talking about two of the best players the Leafs have to offer. More important, these two individuals signaled a change in culture for Toronto, in terms of drafting players.

Gone was the truculence era, and it’s drafting of players like Tyler Biggs and Frederik Gauthier, who were touted as guys that could fill bottom six holes down the road. With the Leafs taking Nylander eighth-overall in the 2014 NHL Draft, they made the move to take the best players available to build a steady core for their future.

They repeated this sentiment with Marner, who was knocked for being too small for the NHL, but put up 126 points with the London Knights during the 2014-15 season.

So far in his career, Nylander has 88 points over 125 career games, good for 0.70 points per game. Marner has 77 in 99 games for 0.78 points per game.

Last season, the trade speculation started with Nylander. The Leafs were in need of a top pairing defenceman to push them over the top. A popular rumour was Dougie Hamilton for the budding star winger.

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This season, the focus has shifted to Marner and what his future is within the organization. The need for a top defender is evident, but the cost is too high for the Leafs to afford to give away talents like Nylander or Marner.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson is another name discussed in a swap for either of the Leafs forwards. Though from the sounds of it, the price would be higher than that alone. Ekman-Larsson is a UFA in 2019, so that doesn’t seem like an avenue the Leafs will go down.

These two are coming into top form for the first time this season after both going through slumps. Nylander and Marner are 21 and 20-years-old respectively.

The duo haven’t even had the chance to scratch the surface on what their potential is in this league. You have to give them a chance to prove how good they can be, otherwise, another team will.

Next: Will Lou Lamoriello return next season?

While we won’t discuss the latest trade rumor in this article, it doesn’t mean you can’t! How eager are you to see Weber in Toronto and would you be prepared to give up Marner or Nylander for the defenceman? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.