The Toronto Maple Leafs continue to make additions to the team in free agency betting on Ondrej Kase to bounce back from an injury-riddled season.
If there is something the Toronto Maple Leafs have been able to do successfully is to try to find bargains in free agency and they are hoping Ondrej Kase is the next buy-low, high reward addition.
Kase has been able to play a top-six role during his time with the Anaheim Ducks and was rewarded by scoring 20 goals in 66 games. He isn’t afraid to be physical, has great offensive instincts and is a capable playmaker.
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There is an obvious risk associated with signing Kase considering his injury history which is associated with a concussion he suffered in 2018-19. The potential he brings however is that he can easily play in a middle-six role or challenge to be on the top two lines.
Toronto is definitely stacking the cards between Kase and the addition of Michael Bunting which was another bargain deal for Dubas. If you look at the new players the Leafs have brought in during free agency, many of them will be counted on to take on larger roles than what they have dealt with in the past.
It was a bit surprising to see the Boston Bruins not offer Kase a qualifying offer which allowed him to become a free agent. This likely had something to do with his injury and now Toronto will have to hope that they can help Kase get his health back on track.
Is Nick Ritchie the next target for the Toronto Maple Leafs in free agency
The Leafs clearly saw the prices for top-six wingers in free agency and were willing to wait for the market to settle before they made their attempt to sign whoever was left.
Could that mean adding Nick Ritchie who along with Kase, was also allowed to walk to free agency. He is certainly the type of player the Leafs don’t have given he’s six-foot-two, 234 pounds and plays like it.
It helps that he is a natural left winger which is something the Leafs need to add to their roster. He isn’t just a physical presence considering he scored 15 goals in 56 games last season.
Whether Toronto can convince him to bet on himself on a one-year deal will be tough considering he will likely have many offers on the table. Frank Seravalli reported that the Leafs have been in contact with Ritchie so at least the team has been proactive in trying to recruit him.
What do you think about the addition of Kase? Where do you expect him to play in the lineup? Let us know in the comments below.