TLN Player Power Rankings: One Month to the Trade Deadline Edition

The Leafs played two games before the All-Star break and lost by a combined total of 6-1. That doesn’t give a whole lot of players to positively rank this week. Let’s assume Bernier was #1, Kadri was #2, and the rest of the team was tied at 20. 

Instead of just ending the Power Rankings here, we’ll do something a little different this week and rank the top ten players the Leafs should be trading by the deadline. Deadline is underlined since there are other Leafs that might be worth moving, but don’t necessarily make as much sense as in season deals.

1. Leo Komarov

It’s not the first time I’ve made my argument for why Komarov needs to be traded, but it’s worth bringing up again. Komarov now has NHL All-Star on his resume, but he also has a disappointing January to his name. Komarov is likely to continue normalizing his production, and fall back into the role of good third line winger, potentially in season some great early numbers can still bury his typical output. 

Considering that Komarov is almost a point per game player against Western Conference teams that might be the ideal landing spot for him. And while a 1st might not be possible anymore, a second and a prospect would still be worth giving up on Komarov, but anything less and the case is strong enough to keep him around


2. James Reimer

With Reimer leading the league in save percentage, it’s likely that there are teams that find Reimer as an affordable rental well worth pursuing. There are plenty of playoff bound teams that Reimer could be an upgrade for, and there are plenty of teams struggling to hold onto a spot that could use a strong 1B option for the last quarter of the season.

Given Reimer’s injury history, I’m reluctant to view him as a future, long term option for the Leafs, so it’s probably best to cash in the chips on him rather than let him walk on July 1st for nothing.

3. Roman Polak

After a couple of seasons of being annoyed by him whenever he sets foot on the ice, it’s time to radically change our tune on Roman and start viewing him as that depth defender that teams love when going on playoff runs. It’s likely going to be Calgary setting the price for stay at home defenders when they deal Kris Russel, but depending on the number of teams looking for his services, it’s not unrealistic for the Leafs to pick up a decent return for Polak either.

Polak’s right handed shot also makes him a bit of a rarity, and any injuries over the next month could make him increasingly valuable.

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4. P.A. Parenteau

Parenteau’s offense this season, and his very affordable contract make him an easy sell at the trade deadline. Not many playoff teams would sweat spending a second round pick on him, though I can’t imagine too many teams are thinking of going much higher than that. 

Parenteau might be a good, quick easy sell sooner rather than later, that might force teams to move onto other options, and many of those other options could be Leafs players.

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5. Tyler Bozak

There’s no need to dissect the holes that exist in Bozak’s game, but we’ve at least seen on thing this year. Bozak can still put up offense without Kessel, and at $4.2M he’s not a huge cap hit for teams that could use another option at center.

Dealing that much salary might be easier in the off season, but few players with Bozak’s numbers will be available in season, and the Leafs aren’t shy about taking salary back. In fact, they have a ton of space for it. 

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6. Jonathan Bernier

Bernier’s been hot and cold, mainly cold this season, but the list of teams experiencing those problems with their goaltenders are growing everyday. In the event that James Reimer isn’t moved, Bernier could be an option for a change of address, as he’s certainly demonstrating that a change of scenery could be good for him.

With only one year left after this one, it gives his new club a relatively low risk opportunity to see if they can turn him around.

7. Brad Boyes

At $700k, Boyes is a veteran presence, and depth offense that teams can certainly use in the playoffs. He’s also the kind of player who can cheaply fill in for injured players as you don’t want to lose your spot in the standings down the stretch. Boyes isn’t going to get the Leafs a huge return, but he’s easily moved no matter how much the Leafs have been holding down his value by under utilizing him this season.

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8. Matt Hunwick

Like I said with Polak, teams need defense. Hunwick’s played a lot this season, averaging well over 20 minutes night, and seeing plenty of penalty kill time. He’s a good fit for a team that wants depth, and the extra year on his deal is cheap enough that no one is going to sweat over him not being a true rental.

9. T.J. Brennan

Technically not a Leaf, but Brennan could be a player that draws some attention at the deadline. Leading the AHL in scoring as a defenseman is impressive, and there aren’t going to be a lot of good, cheap, offensive defensemen available between now and the deadline. It seems foolish that someone wouldn’t take a chance on T.J. for their bottom pairing.

10. Mark Arcobello

With all due respect to other UFAs, Nick Spaling, Michael Grabner, and Shawn Matthias, my money is on Arcobello being moved ahead of them. They all carry more salary than Arcobello, and their numbers haven’t been significant enough to warrant a lot of interest. That being said, if the Leafs have the opportunity to retain salary on those players, one of them will be out the door.

As for Arcobello, being moved is a part of who he is, so you have to assume that at the deadline the Leafs will fish for a late pick for him. 

  • MatsSundin#13

    It is so hard to resist drooling over what kind of return Komarov could bring back, but I really think it would be for the better if the Leafs didn’t trade Komarov. Trading him would take the air out of the “work-hard blue-collar” balloon that the Leafs have going right now.

    • I like this question because between Parenteau, Reimer, and Komarov I feel there’s a potential for a good haul that would go beyond a 1st.
      On the other hand, this would be clearing over $13M in 2016-17 Salary without taking anything back and that gives the Leafs a lot of flexibility in the offseason.
      I guess I’d want it to be at least a pick in the 10-20 range.

  • MatsSundin#13

    Should the leafs get a first from the Penguins and wheel and deal for another first rounder. I would like to see them try to package one of these first round picks and J.V.R. and try to get a second top ten pick. Vancouver gave up Schneider and got New Jersey’s top pick which ended up being Bo Horvath who in his second year is really starting to develop as an N.H.L. player. Mind you Schneider played in the all-star game as did Luongo. So the Canucks traded two all-star goalies in two years.

    This is a deep draft and speculation has it that there should be one or two of the best defencemen available from the 7th to 10th pick.

  • Harte of a Lion

    I don’t understand why NJ doesn’t value JVR as highly as Leaf fans do. He is a Local boy on an affordable contract for the next 3 playoff runs and 2 1/3 years.
    He has shown the ability to stay healthy (once he arrived from Philly) and is good for 25/25 to 30/30 every year when scoring has become more difficult for everyone not named Kane.

    They have some kids I’d like to see come back –> Zacha, Blackwood or send us one plus their first.

    Am I over valuing him or is NJ seeing something I’m not?

    We could also take Clowe unless they want him To help get to the cap floor.
    His contract is probably insured… only Columbus is dumb enough to to forget to insure a 5.5 million dollar player with a skull as fragile as an egg shell, thank our lucky stars for a gm worse than Nonis.

    • Gary Empey

      I don’t know you came up with NJ doesn’t value JVR highly.

      Generally speaking when a team is sitting tied for the worst record in the NHL, every player has a question mark beside his name.