Colin White could make for a great centre option on the Maple Leafs next season

Photo credit:Tom Horak-USA TODAY Sports
Nick Barden
1 year ago
The Ottawa Senators are waiving Colin White for the purpose of a buyout and it’s time for the Maple Leafs to go out and get him on July 13th.
At 25-years-old, White provides something that Toronto needed last season — a full-time fourth line centre. Jason Spezza played a key role there for most of last season, but with his age and the fact that he’s now retired, there’s now room for someone new.
This is literally the perfect fit for both sides. White can come in on a one or two-year deal to prove that he can still provide some wealth in the NHL and the Maple Leafs get him on a cheap contract. If it works out, great, if not, well, the contract could be buried.
One of the many reasons why I think the 25-year-old would be a great fit is because of his defensive game. While he doesn’t bring much offense to the table, his statistics in his own team’s zone are fantastic.
Comparing White to a player alike such as Toronto’s own, David Kampf, you can see that they both share similar underlying numbers. The offense isn’t there, but they shine in their own end, defending the opposition.
Going more on point-production, White has 98 points in 224 games while Kampf has only produced 84 points in 317 games. With more points and a possible healthy season, White could come out as good or even better than Kampf. Big if there.
It’s possible, though, because back in the 2019-19 season, White had 41 points in 71 games. If he finds the right team, like Toronto, who can help rebuild him, there’s always a chance he can return to that form.
The only problem with this signing is the 25-year-old’s injury history. Once he signed his six-year deal in Ottawa with a $4.792 AAV, everything began to go downhill.
In 2019, White missed three to five weeks due to an injured hip flexor. Then, during the 2021 season, he suffered a number of lower and upper-body injuries, but only missed 11 games. But, last season, White dislocated his shoulder and had to have surgery, making him miss four-and-a-half months. He finished only playing 24 games in an 82-game season in 2022.
Looking at this injury history, though, I wouldn’t say White is that much of a liability. It’s not like he’s missed half of the season in each of his four years in the NHL. Missing 58 games last season was the most White has missed in a year during his NHL career.
This would be an incredibly low-risk, high-reward move for Toronto. The 25-year-old could work a lot with the Maple Leafs’ medical staff in a plan that could help him stay healthier and if it all works out, Toronto will do well and White gets a bigger contract at the end of it all.
When the 25-year-old was waived, a number of people suggested that he was a perfect fit for the Maple Leafs and it looks like he is. But the big question is — what does GM Kyle Dubas and co think about the player?
It’ll be interesting to see what happens with White on July 13th when he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
(RAPM chart via Evolving-Hockey.com & point values via NHL.com)
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