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The Countdown: 3 defencemen the Maple Leafs should monitor on the trade market

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Photo credit:Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Seney
2 months ago
There’s been plenty of chatter and not a whole lot of action.
Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brad Treliving has done his fair share to spark trade rumors this season. From admitting he’s been looking to trade for defencemen since he took over the job, to then making an offer to the Calgary Flames for both Nikita Zadorov and Chris Tanev, it’s been an interesting start to the campaign.
The Maple Leafs sit 14-6-5 after an overtime loss to the New York Islanders and after last week where the Countdown showcased some potential trade assets Treliving could move for help on his blue line, this time around, let’s focus on three d-men who the Leafs should be keeping their eye on for today’s Countdown:

Adam Larsson, Seattle Kraken

Larsson has recently surfaced as a potential trade chip out of Seattle as the Kraken are looking to boost their offense up front. The defenceman is 6-foot-3 and 208lbs and as a Swede could find in nicely with the community the Leafs continue to create in Toronto.
He is signed through next season at $4 million against the cap and has modified trade protection against 10 teams of his choice. You’d have to figure a chance to play in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and with some players he’s very familiar with could be something he’d approve.
Larsson would be a huge upgrade for the Leafs penalty killing units and he’s someone who is coming off a career high 33-point season, showing he’s not just a one-dimensional blueliner. The former fourth-overall pick has been playing close to 24 minutes a night for the Kraken and could immediately be plug-and-played into the Leafs top four. He’s the type of d-man that could actually move the needle in Toronto. Adding Larsson could cost the Maple Leafs Nick Robertson, but may be something they consider.

Sean Walker, Philadelphia Flyers

Walker has been turning heads in his first season in Philadelphia and could eventually be someone the Flyers hold on to long term. The Keswick, ON native has been linked to the Maple Leafs throughout the early parts of this season and rightfully so, he’d be a huge upgrade over Conor Timmins and Simon Benoit.
The 29-year-old Walker is listed a 5-foot-11 and while he’s not overly physical, his 32 hits lead the Flyers blue line and would rank him 3rd in Toronto. Walker plays a complete game, where he’s not afraid to jump in the rush, he’s defensively sound, and he’s an above-average skater. A very heady player with a ton of smarts, Walker’s been a big part of the Flyers special teams unit, both on the power play and penalty kill.
The pending unrestricted free agent has recorded 11 points in 27 games with the Flyers and is owed $2.65 million. An affordable contract for Treliving to consider adding, it’s the acquisition price which could drive the Maple Leafs in another direction.

Nick Seeler, Philadelphia Flyers

The 30-year-old is 6-foot-2 and over 200lbs and is a shot-blocking machine. Seeler is having a great season with the Flyers and along with Walker, are two of the reasons the team is overachieving so far this season. If that continues, good luck getting these two players off of GM Daniel Briere.
Seeler is under a great contract at just $775,000 and doesn’t hold any trade protection. He’s recorded seven points in 27 games this season and is coming off a season in 2022-23 where he posted 14 points in 77 games. Seeler doesn’t see power play time but that’s ok as it won’t be needed in Toronto, however is someone Sheldon Keefe could lean on to kill penalties and effectively. He’s playing a bigger role this season on the PK and has flourished.
While Treliving likely prefers adding a right-handed d-man, Seeler is versatile to play both sides and will be someone to watch as the trade market continues to take shape before March’s deadline.
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