Incoming Adam Larsson and outgoing Nick Robertson highlight our Maple Leaf trade deadline predictions

Photo credit:Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Jon Steitzer
1 month ago
With the trade deadline approaching and trades now beginning to happen, it seemed like a good time to get the TLN brain trust to weigh-in on a few deadline related questions. Our panel of eight of the sharpest hockey minds have given their predictions (and trade proposals) for the Leafs and the NHL leading up to Friday’s big event. This time we kept the responses anonymous to try and get some hotter takes out of this group, but see if you can get them to fess up to their trades on twitter.
Question 1: Who is your favourite “reasonable” target for the Maple Leafs?
This group really loves Adam Larsson and you’ll see a lot more of that when we get to our trade proposals. There is a definite theme around defence and maybe we should have had a follow up question picking a forward as well.
As for Larsson, it’s hard not to draw comparisons to Jake Muzzin even if his on-ice numbers don’t compare to Muzzin in his prime. Larsson is the blend of physical, defensive minded, but also capable of moving the puck fairly well and is established enough to seem like a safer bet than a lot of rentals out there. His contract is excellent cost control for the next two seasons as well. I might have gone with Ferraro, but I can be convinced that Larsson is a strong option too.
Question 2: Who is least likely to be a Leaf after the trade deadline?
There is always someone who gives you a couple of names when you are expecting one, so I cut their vote in half. Still, it seems that the belief is that Nick Robertson has likely played his last game for the Leafs.
I don’t think this is born of anyone being disappointed in Robertson, just an acceptance that he’s someone the Leafs would part with that rebuilding teams would want.
As for the rest of the pack, Jones is someone that is easy to cut ties with, Gregor no longer seems like a fit for the Leafs and could be given a change of scenery, while Kampf and Timmins represent a chance for the Leafs to free up a bit more salary cap space. I went with Jones as my choice because he seemed like the low hanging fruit.
Question 3: Will the Leafs still have their 2024 1st round pick after the deadline?
It’s me. The guy who thinks the Leafs will hold onto their first. I wasn’t completely alone in this as a couple of people think the Leafs will recoup a first in trades before the draft (hopefully earlier picks so they can take a run at drafting Tij Iginla), but for the most part the TLN crew has made their peace with the fact that Treliving needs to move the first in order to upgrade the Leafs in a meaningful way. We’ll see some of those ideas in the proposals below.
Question 4: What team will have the biggest trade deadline?
Those who picked the Golden Knights are off to a good start but I’d still give the edge to the Stars for the best trade deadline so far. With money to burn, I wouldn’t doubt the Knights go big once more, although myself and two others picked the Rangers, who are having a strong season and aren’t shy about upgrading in that situation.
As for the Oilers, I’ll let the person who picked them make their case if they’d like, but with minimal wiggle room in the salary cap it seems the Oilers will at best pull off one upgrade.
Question 5: What’s a Leafs trade proposal you’d like to toss out there?
Buckle up, we’ve got some doozies.
The Leafs trade Nick Robertson and the 2024 3rd round pick to the Blues for Alexey Torpchenko
I’m sure this trade isn’t anonymous for those of you who follow a certain TLN writer on twitter, but as far as critiquing this deal, the value seems fair. The Blues get a decent young scorer and a solid pick for a bottom sixer who brings some edge to the Leafs. I’m not sure how excited the Blues are to move on from Toropchenko, but this would be a reasonable deal.
The Leafs trade Timothy Liljegren, Nick Robertson, Conor Timmins, and David Kampf to the Sharks for Mario Ferraro and Mikael Granlund
There is a bit of an upgrade for the Leafs in going from Kampf to Granlund as a 3C and from Liljegren to Ferraro, it’s just a matter of if Robertson and Timmins are enough of an addition to the deal to make it worthwhile for the Sharks. Kampf also has a limited NTC (for reasons only known to Brad Treliving) and this would seem to be dependent on the Sharks not being on that list or Kampf really wanting to play with Tomas Hertl.
The Leafs trade David Kampf, Nick Robertson, and Ryan Tverberg to the Blue Jackets for Boone Jenner
Robertson and Tverberg are pair of decent futures but are they outstanding enough to pry the captain out of Columbus? And like the deal above, Kampf’s NTC would be a factor.
Now let’s get to the trade proposals for Adam Larsson. We’re just going to fire them all off at once:
  • The Leafs trade Timothy Liljegren and Nick Robertson to the Kraken for Adam Larsson
  • The Leafs trade the 2024 1st, a 2025 5th, Conor Timmins and Nick Abruzzese to the Kraken for Adam Larsson
  • The Leafs trade the 2024 1st and Fraser Minten to the Kraken for Adam Larsson and a 2024 3rd
  • The Leafs trade the 2024 1st, Nick Robertson, Topi Niemela, and Conor Timmins to the Kraken for Adam Larsson (50% retained)
  • The Leafs trade the 2024 1st, Fraser Minten, Timothy Liljegren, Conor Timmins, Noah Gregor and 2 5th round picks to the Kraken for Adam Larsson (50% retained), Will Borgen (50% retained), and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare
Like I said, this group really likes Adam Larsson and there are a fair number of variations on how to acquire him right there.
Question 6: What’s a bold prediction you have for the trade deadline?
  • The Panthers trade for Noah Hanifin and get worse.
  • Markstrom will be dealt but it won’t be to the Devils.
  • Guentzel to the Oilers.
  • I don’t know who, but someone big not many people – if at all – have talked about will be dealt by the trade deadline.
  • Oilers get Jake Guentzel, Lightning get Hanifin, Leafs get one of Seattle’s defencemen
and a couple that seem like universal truths regarding the Leafs:
  • Whatever Brad Treliving does won’t seem like enough. His cupboards are bare and cap space is a major issue, it’s going to take a lot of creativity to move the needle.
  • Leafs fans will be underwhelmed.
It’s safe to say that nothing will ever be good enough especially when teams are out there trading for Guentzel, Hanifin, and possibly Chychrun.
And as for the cupboards being bare, it’s certainly true but I’m going to drop my own mini-rant in here and say this isn’t the first year that the Leafs have had an “all-in” mentality and in fact it’s not the second time either. With the Leafs take that approach consistently, I’m not sure you can fault Kyle Dubas for having such a competitive team he was constantly trying to put it over the top, the same way Treliving will likely spend the Leafs futures like they are Amazon gift cards this year. Unless someone makes a deliberate decision to restock or the Leafs take a step back, that’s just the reality. End of rant.
Now, it’s your turn. We have a wonderful comment section that is criminally under used and plenty of other social channels for you to tell us what you think of us and perhaps share some deadline predictions and proposals of your own. If we get a few interesting trade proposals maybe we’ll run our critiques of them later this week.

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