After getting placed on unconditional waivers, Sean Day will be looking for a new home and the Toronto Maple Leafs should look to add him.
If there is one thing the Toronto Maple Leafs have been willing to do is try to find diamonds in the rough even if it’s tough to strike gold every time.
With the news that Sean Day has been placed on unconditional waivers by the New York Rangers, you can’t help but wonder if it’s worth it for the Leafs to give him a shot in their development system. Of course, there’s no guarantee that Day would be able to turn his career around in Toronto but it seems to be worth the try.
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For those who may not know, Day was a part of a rare group of players that was granted “exceptional status” into the OHL as a 15-year-old. The fact he never really took off during his junior career should have been a small warning towards his potential as an NHL player.
It was no surprise to see him selected in the third round of the 2016 NHL Draft since it’s tough to take a chance on a player who had 22 points in 57 games in his draft year. At the same time, Day seemed to turn things around when he was traded by the Mississauga Steelheads to the Windsor Spitfires and the Kingston Frontenacs.
He would eventually show off his offensive ability but the move to professional hockey was a slot one. During the 2018-19 season, Day had 14 points in 46 games with the Hartford Wolf Pack but was able to have 15 points in 19 games with the Maine Mariners of the ECHL.
For some defenceman, it takes time for them to get on the right development track and the problem for Day was that he got lost in the shuffle of a loaded deck the New York Rangers have on the blue line. This seemed to make the decision to buyout Day an expected one for those who follow the team.
If Day decides to continue his pursuit of a hockey career, you have to think he would be interested in returning home. At 22-years-old, there is still reason to believe that Day can be a late boomer much in the way the Leafs were able to find with Justin Holl.
"“Other guys in this year’s draft are compared to each other,” Day told Sportsnet’s Gare Joyce. “I’m going to be compared to John Tavares, Aaron Ekblad and Connor McDavid. I accept that, but it’s hard to win.”"
It’s crazy to think that not too long ago, Day was in the conversation as a promising player and in the conversation as a potential No. 1 pick in the NHL. You get the sense in that quote that maybe the expectations played a role in his struggles and it wouldn’t be surprising.
Do you think the Leafs should look at signing Day? Would it be a risky signing? Let us know in the comments below.