Dakota Joshua reportedly has interest in playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs

Toronto Maple Leafs Dakota Joshua
Photo credit:Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
22 days ago
While the Stanley Cup playoffs still rage on, the offseason rumour mill has continued to spin.
There’s no shortage of storylines for the Toronto Maple Leafs, ranging from another early playoff exit to the firing of Sheldon Keefe and subsequent hiring of Craig Berube to Mitch Marner landing in the top spot on Daily Faceoff’s trade targets list.
Toronto has a number of things in the wait this offseason, with more than a few roster holes to fill. Tyler Bertuzzi, Max Domi, TJ Brodie, Joel Edmundson, Mark Giordano, Ilya Lybushkin, Martin Jones and Ilya Samsonov are all pending unrestricted free agents, while Connor Dewar, Noah Gregor, Nicholas Robertson and Timothy Liljegren all will need new deals as pending restricted free agents.
With a hair over $18.5-million in cap space to work with, names have already begun to surface as potential fee agent options, including that of Vancouver Canucks winger Dakota Joshua, who will look to cash in this summer as a free agent.
And on Thursday’s edition of The Leafs Report, James Mirtle and Jonas Siegel shot down rumours that Joshua, who was drafted by the Leafs in the fifth round of the 2014 draft, wouldn’t be interested in returning to the club that drafted him:
Mirtle: “I’ve heard some people say that Joshua wouldn’t want to be in Toronto because he was a draft pick and he played four years in college and walked. I’m told that’s not true. He would be interested in Toronto. The reason he didn’t sign with Toronto when he was a pick, was he thought it would be hard to break into the forward group at the time, given all the good young forwards they had at the time, and he thought going somewhere else he would get more of an opportunity in the NHL faster. That’s why he made that choice.”
Siegel: “He started his career obviously playing for Craig Berube in St. Louis, then obviously took off in Vancouver.”
Joshua, 28, is coming off a breakout career year with the Canucks, racking up career highs in goals, with 18, assists with 14, and points, with 32. In 13 playoff games, he added four goals and as many assists.
Contract talks between Joshua and the Canucks have reportedly hit a standstill and aren’t close on talks, opening the door for a team like Toronto to swoop in.
According to Evolving-Hockey’s contract projections, Joshua’s next deal is projected to be a two-year deal paying him $2.049-million per year.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@thenationnetwork.com.

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