It’s been a while since we did one of these! We even waited until late in the day to get around to this; it’s probably technically Tuesday as your eyeballs glance over this. But we’re back to our question-answering ways this week; here’s what was on everybody’s mind.
@daygs33 asked: If the Oilers are willing to trade the 4th overall pick, what are the chances that the Leafs go after it, and if they do, what would it take?
All signs point to the Oilers being very happy to trade the pick for immediate improvement, but I don’t know if the Leafs are the team to do it. I’m sure they had an inkling of who they’d pick at #4 and were more than ready for potential outcome of doing so, but the Oilers will likely be looking for a big name defenceman. Morgan Rielly would be the beginning and the end of the conversation for them, and I believe that to be a non-starter.
@Liam_Boland asked: Who do you see Nikita Zaitsev being paired with next season?
Based on the current roster, I’d like to see him play with Morgan Rielly. The two will spend a ton of time together on the powerplay, so building long-term chemistry seems like a wise decision. Not to mention, I’m not sold on breaking up the Gardiner-Corrado pairing the Leafs put out late last year; they were great.
@MoemanHD: What are the true chances, in your opinion, that the Leafs don’t take Auston Matthews?
I suppose there’s an outside chance that Matthews decides to become a professional hopscotch player between now and June. Greater than zero, at the very least.
@PatLWhite: Are there any teams that the Toronto Marlies should be afraid of in the playoffs? Do you expect them to dominate the Devils in this round?
Albany might actually be Toronto’s biggest threat. They’re a veteran team that was a possession powerhouse in the regular season. At the end of the day, anything can happen in a seven-game series, and Albany (along with Grand Rapids and Ontario) are far from slouches.
We’ll get into a bit more detail in our soon-coming series preview, though.
@LeafsHokyFan31: Is it a lock that a Leafs player wins the Calder Trophy next year?
Auston Matthews, William Nylander, Mitch Marner, Nikita Zaitsev, Zach Hyman, Garret Sparks and Nikita Soshnikov should all realistically be on the Leafs next year and eligible for the Calder Trophy. Maybe another European signing or two if they’re feeling frisky. Maybe Andreas Johnson makes the team out of camp.
Needless to say, I think it’s a foregone conclusion. Frederik Gauthier is going to run the tables and be the first unanimous Calder Trophy winner of this decade. How can you say no to that man’s hat?