Toronto Maple Leafs: Centre and left wingers will be a priority to bolster depth
It’s no secret that the Leafs need their star players to be more productive in the playoffs but championship teams require depth to put them over the top. Just look at the Tampa Bay Lightning (although look past them being over the cap).
Losing Zach Hyman means Toronto now has to find two left wingers to fill in the top six, a third line centre and maybe another middle six forward. Those won’t come cheap unless the right player can be had at the right price.
What Toronto is looking for is what Alex Galchenyuk brought last season and maybe he liked the success he found with the Leafs to give it another shot but could find a better payday elsewhere.
The Leafs also need to consider players with more defensive upside and were heading in the right direction with the addition of Jared McCann only to lose him to Seattle. Could Nick Bonino be the alternative? He brings the elements the team needs down the middle but is he has multiple suitors, it will drive his price up.
Mikael Granlund has been on the Leafs radar in the past and he would be a logical middle-six forward who can play either on the second as a left winger or even at centre. Michael Bunting’s name has also been mentioned but his lack of experience at the NHL level makes it hard to determine where exactly he would slot in the lineup.
This could be another scenario where making a deal could make sense for Toronto if they can get a contract like Kerfoot’s going the other way. It will be interesting to see how many young players on the Toronto Marlies get an opportunity like Nick Robertson, Joey Anderson, and Adam Brooks.