At some point, the Toronto Maple Leafs are going to have to make a decision on Travis Dermott’s future with the team.
After signing a one-year, $874,125 deal back in October, this season has been viewed as a big opportunity for Dermott to show that he should be in the team’s long-term plans. At the same time, this might be out of Toronto’s hands with the expansion draft coming up.
More from Tip of the Tower
- Cam Phillips making his mark on Toronto Argonauts offence
- Toronto Argonauts: 4 storylines ahead of matchup against Redblacks
- Federico Bernardeschi ready for new challenge with Toronto FC
- Toronto Argonauts overcome Roughriders in entertaining Touchdown Atlantic
- Buffalo Bills: Von Miller drawing inspiration from Bruce Smith
It would make sense for the Leafs to go with the option to protect seven forwards, three defencemen and one goaltender over eight skaters and a goalie. The unfortunate part for Dermott is the numbers game that could see if being exposed since Morgan Rielly, T.J. Brodie and Jake Muzzin would be the priority to protect.
So while the Leafs might not want to trade Dermott, they might see this as an opportunity to use him as a trade chip and avoid a scenario where they lose him for nothing. Seeing that the Pittsburgh Penguins called about his availability, as Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported, shows that he still has value around the league.
Fortunately for Toronto, Dermott is still a restricted free agency this off-season and a decision doesn’t need to be made until they need to submit their expansion list. So really, now is the time for the Leafs to give him this season to show what he can do even if it isn’t in a big role.
Toronto Maple Leafs: Is the time ticking on Travis Dermott’s future?
It’s been well documented that Dermott has strong supporters in both Kyle Dubas and Sheldon Keefe which is why he probably hasn’t been moved yet. This is also a player who was a second-round pick in 2015 and burst onto the scene in his first stint with the Leafs back in the 2017-18 season.
Now it is totally possible that Seattle sees Justin Holl as the more desirable target considering he is a right shot and has shown that he can play top-four minutes.
So really, another reason for Dermott being a subject of trade rumours is the same reason a lot of other young defencemen around the league are. There are teams that covet them and Dermott’s path to a bigger role is currently blocked by veterans.
Considering the Leafs like the depth they currently have, they are probably not willing to entertain a trade involving Dermott at this time but down the road, it’s certainly something they might consider whether they want to or not.
Do you think the Leafs should look at trading Dermott? What should they be looking to get in return for him? Let us know in the comments below.