According to multiple NHL teams, the Maple Leafs have four players on their trading block this off-season. Those players appear to be Andreas Johnsson, Alexander Kerfoot, Frederik Andersen, and Pierre Engvall. I will take a look at each of these players and describe what I feel is an adequate return for each on the trading block.
Realistic Trading Block Returns For Each Player
I believe that Andersen offers the best possible return for the Maple Leafs. The best option for them would be to try and use Andersen to acquire a top-four right-handed defenseman. If that does not work out, they could try to get another first-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft. That first-round pick could now help the Maple Leafs acquire a defenseman.
New Jersey has three picks in the first round. If they have decided it is time to move on from Cory Schneider, they could buy him out and trade a first for Andersen. Another possible spot for Andersen could be Calgary. They only have one first-round pick (#19), but might be willing to part with it for a starting goaltender. Andersen does have a modified no-trade clause, so it is unknown to us who he has on his no-trade list.
The biggest reason for trading Johnsson is to remove his $3.4 million salary-cap hit and make cap space for signing free agents. I think the Maple Leafs should be able to get a second-round pick for Johnsson. At the very least, they should be able to get a third-round pick and a prospect.
Teams who might be a willing trading partner are Detroit, Ottawa, and Montreal. All three of these teams have three picks in the second round. They all happen to also be in the same division as the Maple Leafs. They could trade him outside the division to Carolina, Nashville, Los Angeles, or San Jose. These four teams all have two second-round picks each.
Trading away Kerfoot would be for the same reason as trading Johnsson. The Maple Leafs need to create cap space if they are going to try and improve their defense in free agency. Just like Johnsson, the Maple Leafs would love to take back no salary in a Kerfoot trade. Removing his entire $3.5 million cap-hit would help the Maple Leafs greatly in free agency. A realistic return for Kerfoot would be a fourth or fifth-round draft pick.
As a third-line player making just $1.25 million for the next two seasons, I can see the Maple Leafs getting a third or fourth-round pick for Engvall. I can also see them trading him in a one for one deal to acquire a similar player who has a lower cap hit.
Engvall works extremely hard and plays with his heart on his sleeve, but for $1.25 million, the Maple Leafs should be able to find a similar player for under $1 million. For a player who mostly plays on the fourth line, paying him more than $1 million is a bit much.
Final Thoughts On Trading Block
The Maple Leafs currently have just over $6.1 million in available cap space for next season. If they trade Johnsson and Kerfoot without taking any salary back, that will give them just over $13 million to spend. That amount could go along way in improving the Maple Leafs defense. If they trade Andersen for a first-round pick, then they will have just over $18 million. Time will tell on whether or not any of these deals happen.
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