For the July 21st expansion draft, the Toronto Maple Leafs are likely to protect their top four forwards, their top four defensemen, and goaltender Jack Campbell. Campbell set the franchise record for wins to start a season with seven wins in a row.
If this is indeed the case, who well be the top three exposed players from the Toronto Maple Leafs roster?
Forward Exposed By Toronto Maple Leafs
That leaves a long list of players left exposed for the Seattle Kraken to select in the 2021 NHL expansion draft. Out of all the players on the exposed list, only two are signed for next season. Those two players are Alexander Kerfoot and Pierre Engvall. Kerfoot was acquired in July of 2019 from the Colorado Avalanche in a trade that included Nazem Kadri, Calle Rosen, and a third-round draft pick.
If the Kraken are looking to draft players who have term left on their current contracts, then Kerfoot is their likely choice from the Toronto Maple Leafs. Losing Kerfoot would be a sizeable loss for Toronto. He has been good for them on the third line and has been one of their better forwards in the 2021 playoffs. Kerfoot currently has one goal and five assists for six points in six games during the 2021 NHL playoffs.
If the Kraken decides to choose a player who is an undrafted free agent or a restricted free agent this summer, then the biggest loss for the Maple Leafs would be if the Kraken select fan-favorite Zach Hyman. Hyman plays a very key role in Toronto’s top six as the guy who can win puck battles and get the puck to the goal scorers.
There has not been any news on whether or not Toronto wants to re-sign Hyman, but it would be hard to see why they wouldn’t want to. Hopefully, for Toronto general manager Kyle Dubas, the Kraken will not select Hyman and allow the Maple Leafs to re-sign him.
The likely forward to be chosen by Seattle if they choose a forward from Toronto will be Kerfoot.
Defenseman Exposed By Toronto Maple Leafs
The good thing for Toronto is they can protect their top-four defensemen in Morgan Rielly, T.J. Brodie, Jake Muzzin, and Justin Holl. Brodie is signed with the Leafs for four years at $5 million per season. They also do not need to worry about losing either of their top two prospect defensemen Rasmus Sandin, and Timothy Liljegren as they are exempt from the expansion draft.
The Toronto defenseman most likely to be picked by the Kraken would be Travis Dermott. Out of all the defensemen that Toronto will leave exposed, Dermott is the only restricted free agent. The rest of the exposed defensemen are all undrafted free agents this off-season.
By selecting Dermott, the Kraken would control his restricted free agent rights and can negotiate a deal that works for them, and Dermott. Dermott is a serviceable defenseman and is best suited on a team’s third pairing, but has the potential to move up into the top four with gained experience.
If the Kraken decide to select a defenseman from the Toronto Maple Leafs that is an undrafted free agent, then the best player available would be Zach Bogosian. If Seattle is looking for experience and size, then Bogosian would be a good fit for them. If they do happen to select Dermott, I would not be surprised if Toronto re-signs Bogosian for another year or two.
The most likely defenseman to be selected by the Kraken is Dermott.
Goaltender Exposed By Toronto Maple Leafs
Due to the injury of Frederik Andersen this season, Jack Campbell proved that he can be Toronto’s number one goaltender going forward. So it is very likely that Campbell will be the goaltender Toronto chooses to protect as he is still signed for next season and Andersen is not.
With Campbell protected, the Maple Leafs would then have three goaltenders exposed for Seattle to choose from. Michael Hutchinson, David Rittich, and Andersen. Out of those three, the most likely to be selected is Andersen. Andersen has more experience as a number one goaltender out of the three and could be the Kraken’s first starting goaltender in franchise history.
If the Kraken select a different goaltender to be their number one from a different team, then they might select Hutchinson, or Rittich to be their backup goaltender. Both have enough NHL experience to be a serviceable backup to whomever Seattle selects as their number one. The most likely goaltender to be selected is Andersen.
My Final Thoughts
The top three players exposed by the Toronto Maple Leafs for the Seattle Kraken to chose from are Alex Kerfoot, Travis Dermott, and Frederik Andersen. I think the Kraken may go after Andersen, but my pick as to which player Seattle will select from Toronto is Dermott. You can never have enough defensemen, so that is why Dermott is my pick.
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