The Toronto Maple Leafs were able to get Travis Dermott signed to a reasonable deal and it will be up to the defenceman to get back on track.
While there was no doubting the Toronto Maple Leafs‘ ability to get Travis Dermott signed to a deal, the fact he didn’t get a significant raise does say something about his current situation.
To be fair, the Leafs held significant leverage in this negotiation considering Dermott had no arbitration rights. He certainly didn’t have any basis to hold out for a larger deal either so he essentially took what was on the table at $874,125.
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This means that Dermott will be one of the lowest-paid defencemen on the roster next season and he certainly has a tough road ahead of him. With the addition of TJ Brodie and Zach Bogosian, Toronto has a surplus of defenders including two right-shot options in Bogosian and Justin Holl along and three players capable of playing their offside in Brodie, Dermott and potentially Mikko Lehtonen.
Competition like this can bring out the best in players and for Dermott, this seems like the plan for the Leafs. Considering Rasmus Sandin and Timothy Liljegren will be trying to push for a look on the roster, Dermott will have his work cut out for him.
When he made his debut during the 2017-18 season, there was a lot of excitement but over the past two seasons, it’s been a grind for the 23-year-old. He has struggled with injuries which have impacted his productivity but there shouldn’t be one next season.
Dermott will have to show that he can be a dependable option on the bottom pairing but also capable of moving up in case of injuries. This is also a situation where the Leafs might consider moving out a player to make room for Liljegren or Sandin and Dermott’s contract makes him easy to trade.
At the same time, there has always been potential with Dermott but he hasn’t been able to seize the opportunity when called upon. At some point, the Leafs will want to see more progress from the former second-round pick from the 2015 NHL Draft.
What do you think about Dermott’s contract? Do you expect him to be a consistent producer in the lineup? Let us know in the comments below.