4 Maple Leafs trade targets from Daily Faceoff’s NHL Trade Bait board

Photo credit:Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Seney
21 days ago
Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff released his top 20 trade targets heading into the offseason and several players should be on Brad Treliving’s radar.
The Maple Leafs general manager is expected to be involved in several trade conversations this summer as management has preached that ‘anything is on the table’. It’s quite likely Treliving makes multiple trades ahead of free agency which could include addressing all three areas of his hockey team. Here are four players from Seravalli’s list who could make some sense for Treliving to consider:

Filip Gustavsson

When the Minnesota Wild re-signed Marc-Andre Fleury for another season, Gustavsson’s name seemed to hit the trade market immediately. A big reason why is the fact the Wild have 21-year-old Jesper Wallstedt waiting in the wings, a former first-round pick, who performed well in the AHL last season.
Another factor for the Wild is cap space. Gustavsson has two years left on his deal at $3.75 million AAV, which doesn’t seem like a ton of cash, however, the Wild still have $14.7 million tied up in dead cap space thanks to Ryan Suter and Zach Parise. GM Bill Guerin currently has just $5.9 million in projected cap space to work with this offseason, according to our friends at CapFriendly.
The Maple Leafs should be all over Gustavsson. He’s 25 years old, has multiple years left on his contract at a very affordable number and while the stats don’t fly off the charts from last season, posting a .899 save percentage (Sv.%), just two years ago, in his first season in Minny, the Swedish netminder went 22-9-7, with a 2.10 GAA and .931 Sv.%. Here’s one of his best saves of the season, robbing the Calgary Flames after being left out to dry by his defencemen:
Treliving is in the market for a tandem partner for Joseph Woll and Gustavsson could be the perfect fit. The Wild ranked 21st in goals per game last season and could use some more scoring punch to their lineup. Perhaps a deal involving winger Nick Robertson would get Guerin’s attention?

David Savard

Savard was listed as #14 on Seravalli’s list and he’s a defenceman the Maple Leafs should be drooling over. There’s going to be a significant ‘in-the-division tax’ Treliving would need to pay to do business with the Montreal Canadiens, but considering the Leafs’ current depth on their blue line, it could be worth it.
Savard is a shot-blocking wizard, getting a piece of 163 pucks last season and he’s one of the best penalty killers in the league. As a right-handed shot, who plays with some jam, isn’t afraid of sacrificing his body, and has also won a Stanley Cup, there aren’t many boxes Savard doesn’t check for the Maple Leafs. He’s been a great mentor to the young defensemen in Montreal, which is one of the reasons why they didn’t unload him before the trade deadline this past season.
The Maple Leafs have Ilya Lyubushkin, Joel Edmundson, TJ Brodie and Mark Giordano all hitting free agency this summer, with Brodie all but gone, Giordano likely retiring, and some decisions to make on Lyubushkin and Edmundson. The latter having experience winning a Cup with Berube in St Louis, could factor into receiving a contract offer from the Leafs, meanwhile adding Savard would be a massive upgrade on bringing back Lyubushkin.
The last trade of substance from these two historic franchises may have been when the Leafs acquired Tomas Plekanec in 2018. In this multi-part deal, the Canadiens received a second-round pick as part of the package and used the pick to select Lane Hutson, who is now one of the organization’s top prospects. While Treliving could certainly have some interest, he’ll need to be careful about what assets he includes in the trade.

Juuse Saros

Back to the crease for our third target. Juuse Saros and the Nashville Predators have been linked to the Maple Leafs since the season ended as the two teams could make perfect trade partners this summer.
Predators GM Barry Trotz was reportedly open to listening to trade offers during the regular season as it was supposed to be a re-tooling year in Nashville with limited expectations, meanwhile, they ended up overachieving and now Trotz admitted he’s open to getting a contract extension done with Saros, who has one season left on his contract at $5 million.
Seravalli had Saros ranked as his #6 target, meanwhile, Mitch Marner was ranked #1. Saros, 29, has a career .917 Sv.% in 356 NHL games and he’d be a great 1-2 punch alongside Woll. Saros is used to playing heavy minutes and perhaps that’s one of the reasons his SV.% dipped to .906 this past season, so perhaps playing a little bit less could help his performance.
Regardless of the workload, the Maple Leafs are much deeper in net if they add Saros. If Marner is the asking price, Treliving should give it some thought. If there’s a way to keep Marner and also add Saros, wouldn’t that be even better?

Martin Necas

The Carolina Hurricanes have a big offseason ahead of them as they try to sort out their roster. Necas was ranked high at #4 on Seravalli’s list as it appears he could end up being the odd man out. Just goes to show you how deep the Hurricanes are if they feel they can move on from this kind of talent:
The former first-rounder is a pending restricted free agent and Seravalli reports Necas has approached management asking for more opportunities, which seemingly is going to be hard to come by with Andrei Svechnikov a lock for the top-six, Seth Jarvis turning into a star and Jake Guentzel likely to return.
Necas can fly and his speed is something the Maple Leafs could use more of. He works hard which is something Berube will love and at 25 years old, he’s in the prime of his career and there could be some big seasons ahead. In 2023-24, Necas posted 24 goals and 53 points in 77 games and also added another nine points in 11 Stanley Cup Playoff games. He was also just recently a huge part of the Czechia national team, leading his country to victory at the World Championships.
Necas’ is a high-end offensive talent who ranks among the faster skaters in the league and someone who spends a ton of time in the offensive zone:
 NecasLeague Avg. for ForwardsPercentile
Top Skating Speed (mph)23.8421.6099
Speed Bursts Over 20 mph601398
Off. Zone Time (ES)44.6%40.1%89
The Hurricanes forward is a touch one-dimensional as he’s not overly physical, and can’t fill in down the middle of the ice nor kill penalties, however, Necas has shown he can score in bunches and be an offensive game-breaker. Put it this way, if Marner does get traded, Necas would be a worthy replacement.

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