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Predicting which Maple Leafs defencemen and goaltenders remain on 2024-25 roster

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Photo credit:© Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Seney
27 days ago
After predicting which Maple Leafs forwards will be returning next season, it’s time to dive into the defensive corps and goaltenders.
It’s setting up to be a very entertaining offseason in Toronto after Craig Berube was hired as head coach and management hinted that changes could be coming to the roster. Here’s my prediction on how the blueline and goaltending depth could shape up next season:
Morgan Rielly
Chances of Staying: 85 percent
Rielly doesn’t have all the tools to be a legitimate #1, but he’s certainly a very solid #2. He led all Leafs’ defencemen in regular season points with 58, and frankly it wasn’t even close. Unfortunately, he couldn’t continue the production into the Stanley Cup Playoffs and only chipped in with three assists in seven games. Rielly’s signed through the 2029-30 season at $7.5 million per season and it’s worth noting his $9-million signing bonus has been fully paid out. There’s certainly a strong chance he returns next season, but there’s also a chance Brad Treliving sees what his trade market is this offseason. Rielly has a full no-movement clause until the 2028-29 season.
Jake McCabe
Chances of Staying: 100 percent
McCabe’s cap hit is just $2 million next season, thanks to Kyle Dubas having Chicago retain half his salary in a previous trade. This value is too hard for Treliving to pass up. He came into his own this season for the Leafs and was their best all-around defenceman during the first-round playoff series against the Bruins. It’s been well documented management loves what they saw out of him on and off the ice this season and instead of any possible movement, it’s more likely we see a contract extension announced at some point this summer.
Simon Benoit
Chances of Staying
: 100 percent
Benoit went from an after thought during training camp to signing a three-year extension. His size and physicality was something the Maple Leafs desired and if he’s able to limit his timely turnovers, he can take his game to even bigger heights. He played a ton with McCabe throughout the regular season and playoffs and the two should be paired together on the second pair to start next season. Berube is going to love Benoit’s game.
Joel Edmundson
Chances of Staying
: 70 percent
Edmundson is a pending unrestricted free agent this summer and will certainly garner a ton of interest on the open market. Treliving gave up a third and fifth-round draft pick to land Edmundson ahead of the trade deadline and while it took him a couple of weeks to get settled in Toronto, the 6-foot-5 blueliner showed his worth in the playoffs. He has a history with Berube from their time in St Louis together, which included winning a Stanley Cup. The Leafs GM is likely to consult with his new head coach and should the finances add up, Edmundson will likely be re-signed. The Maple Leafs have just over $18 million in projected cap space so Treliving will need to be smart on where he spends his resources.
Ilya Lyubushkin
Chances of Staying:
50 percent
Like Edmundson, Lyubushkin was brought in via trade as the Maple Leafs needed some more physicality on their blue line. The 30-year-old handled his role pretty well considering he was, at times, playing top-pair minutes with Rielly. He’s best suited on a bottom pair and Toronto was asking a lot. If he’s willing to take a discount and lesser role next season, there could be a match. Don’t expect to see Lyubushkin getting top-pair minutes, even if he does come back.
Timothy Liljegren
Chances of Staying:
50 percent
If any of the Maple Leafs defencemen get traded this offseason, it feels like Liljegren would be the one. The former first-round pick has spent the last seven seasons playing for Sheldon Keefe in the Leafs’ organization and unfortunately still hasn’t reached his full potential. He’s a pending restricted free-agent and while the Maple Leafs need some righties on the back end, Liljegren may not be the best option. There’s been several questions about his decision making and ability to handle pressure in the playoffs.
Conor Timmins
Chances of Staying: 65 percent
Timmins came out flying in preseason and was giving himself a chance at some power-play time during the regular season, however injuries and illness derailed most of his season. He’s signed for the 2024-25 season at $1.1 million and will be a pending restricted free-agent at season’s end. He managed to appear in 25 regular season games, recording 10 points but didn’t make an appearance in the playoffs. It’s likely he starts next season as the Leafs’ seventh defenceman.
Mark Giordano
Chances of Staying
: 0 percent
The oldest player in the NHL is likely heading to retirement. Giordano has been nothing but class since joining the Maple Leafs in 2021-22 and this season he went through a lot, on and off the ice. Scoring a goal after his father’s passing and pointing to the sky was one Leafs’ moment that hit right in the feels this season. While his playing days may be over, don’t be shocked if Giordano lands a job in player development at some point.
TJ Brodie
Chances of Staying
: 0 percent
Brodie struggled this season and his foot speed played a major role in his decline. He became the odd man out towards the end of the regular season and only appeared in one playoff game. He’s set to hit free agency this summer and Treliving, even with a long history with the player, is likely to move on. Brodie will land on his feet, but it won’t be at $4 million per season like we saw on his most recent deal.
Ilya Samsonov
Chances of Staying
: 0 percent
Samsonov confirmed at the end of the season, he’s looking for some stability and term on his next contract. The Russian netminder is a pending free agent and is not interested in signing another one-year deal as he’s played the last three seasons on one-year contracts and it’s wore on him mentally. The Maple Leafs put the netminder through the ringer this season by waiving him to end 2023 and then taking him out of game action for a couple of weeks to reset himself. It worked, Samsonov was better down the stretch but unfortunately couldn’t make one more key save when the Maple Leafs needed it most. A team like the Los Angeles Kings makes a ton of sense for him this summer.
Joseph Woll
Chances of Staying
: 100 percent
Treliving made it very clear during the end-of-season press conference, he loves Woll’s game and feels with a better offseason training program, the 25-year-old netminder can come back healthy enough to play a full NHL season. Woll hasn’t played more than 25 games in one season and is likely going to find himself sharing the crease with a new partner next season. The former third-round pick has all the tools to be a 1-A starter and if he’s able to consistently be available for action, the sky is the limit. Woll’s a great teammate and beloved by the team. It also doesn’t hurt he’s set to make only $766,677 against the cap in 2024-25.
Martin Jones
Chances of Staying
: 10 percent
If Treliving goes external to add to his depth, it’s likely via trade. If the Leafs GM can’t find a suitable deal on the trade market, he could very well circle back to Jones on another one-year deal. The 33-year-old appeared in 22 games last season and kept Toronto’s regular season afloat. The list of free-agent goaltenders this summer is thin, which could work in Jones’ favour as he should have a few potential suitors knocking on his door.
Matt Murray
Chances of Staying: 0 percent
It was an up-and-down and mysterious tenure for Murray with the Maple Leafs, who he wasn’t able to get back into game action until the later stages of the regular season and that was at an AHL level. Murray enters free agency as a 30-year-old who will be looking for a ‘prove-yourself’ contract. His decorated resume will certainly work in his advantage on the free-agent market, it’s just not likely the Maple Leafs will be one of the potential suitors.
Treliving has found his new voice behind the bench and now he’ll be tasked with trying to find a roster that compliments Berube’s coaching style. The Maple Leafs currently only have one goaltender and four defencemen signed from last season’s roster. Change is inevitable in a salary-cap world and there should be plenty of it this summer in Toronto.

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