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The best is yet to come for Connor Dewar

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Photo credit:John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Bennett Jull
24 days ago
Connor Dewar was acquired by Brad Treliving in the final seconds of the trade deadline back in early March. His first stint with the blue and white showed glimpses of his ability, and perhaps he was being hampered with what we now was a shoulder injury. Let’s dive into his past and examine his 2023-24 season (particularly his time with the Maple Leafs), and look ahead at where he could fit going forward.
Dewar was born in The Pas, Manitoba, located ~520 km (320 miles) North of Winnipeg. He is of Red River Métis descent. He grew up playing on a backyard rink before moving to Dauphin, Manitoba. After a strong ‘AAA’ career, the Everett Silvertips drafted Dewar in the 5th round of the 2014 WHL draft. He played in 143 of a possible 144 WHL regular season games over his first two years and caught the eye of Toronto, who actually invited him to their 2017 Developmental Prospect Camp. Dewar would finish his junior career as captain of the Silvertips, and was drafted 92nd overall by Minnesota in the 2018 NHL draft.
After developing in Minnesota’s system over the next couple of years, Dewar made the team out of camp in 2022-23 playing in 81 games for the Wild. This past season he suited up for 57 games in the State of Hockey, notching 10 goals in 57 games. His intensity, attention to detail, motor, and penalty killing were a number of reasons why Brad Treliving spent a 4th round pick on him at the deadline.
As for his time in Toronto, Dewar scored once in 17 regular season games while adding four assists. He was inserted onto a 4th line with David Kampf and Ryan Reaves, and I’d argue that at times they gave Toronto the best minutes a 4th line has in a long time. While his offensive numbers didn’t overly impress, his penalty killing ability and tenacity certainly made him an intriguing option for Toronto last season. Dewar can play center or on the wing, which adds another dimension.
It’s important to note that he probably played through injury or discomfort for a period of time towards the end of the year. It was announced that Dewar underwent shoulder surgery almost as soon the season ended. He is expected to recover by training camp. Dewar’s contract is up at the end of this season, and he is a restricted free agent.
At the age of 24 and with limited offence, Dewar will more than likely end up with a one or two year deal. He does possess strong defensive numbers, and his versatility adds to his stock. I anticipate he ends up with an AAV of ~$1.25M. With multiple holes remaining in the current roster, it’s tough to predict exactly who he plays with, but I believe it’s almost certain he ends up on the 4th line.
It seems as though there is a perpetual battle to play on Toronto’s 4th line. Whether it be in training camp to start the year, after the trade deadline before playoffs, or anywhere in between, the 4th line hasn’t felt settled for a long time. Dewar gave the Leafs solid minutes, and probably has the inside track on a 4th line spot for the fall.
Auston Matthews, John Tavares, William Nylander, David Kampf, Calle Jarnkrok, Matthew Knies, and Mitch Marner are all undoubtedly above Dewar on the depth chart. Bobby McMann, Pontus Holmberg, and Ryan Reaves will all make the team out of camp. That’s 10 forwards not including Nick Robertson, who is also an RFA. Toronto has a couple of prospects that will knock on the door once again to make the team out of camp, and they will certainly be active in the free agent market. Only 12 forwards play at a time… we shall see where Connor Dewar slots, but his abilities certainly make him a strong option to be there on opening night.

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