Looking at the Toronto Maple Leafs Offseason Moves so Far

Maple Leafs offseason moves

The Toronto Maple Leafs have had a relatively quiet offseason compared to many other teams in the NHL, not making too many moves. As of right now, most of the team’s core will look the same as last year except for the departure of long-time winger Zach Hyman, goaltender Frederik Andersen, and defenceman Zach Bogosian. Among the notables replacing these players are forwards Nick Ritchie, Ondrej Kase, David Kampf, and Michael Bunting, as well as goaltender Petr Mrazek.

Finding Zach Hyman’s Replacement on the Maple Leafs This Offseason

With Zach Hyman announcing he was signing with the Edmonton Oilers at the start of free agency, the Leafs were in desperate need to fill the massive hole left by Hyman. Although they may not have done exactly that, they have added a few wingers to their forward corps; they will be able to contribute and add to the team’s depth.

Potential Replacements

Nick Ritchie is one of the team’s more intriguing signings of the offseason. The Orangeville, Ontario native had a career year last season playing for the Boston Bruins, and seemed to find his scoring touch. The big power forward offers a mix of physicality and skill for the Leafs. This was something that the team was looking for, and was something that Zach Hyman provided. Although Ritchie doesn’t have the same puck skills and motor as Hyman, he can still play in the Leafs’ top-six.

Ondrej Kase is yet another low-risk, high-reward player that general manager Kyle Dubas seems to always find. Although Kase has a lengthy injury history, he has proven to be an extremely effective two-way forward when healthy. Kase doesn’t bring the same physicality as Hyman, but is a good scorer and playmaker, and is responsible defensively.

Michael Bunting had a career year last season on the Arizona Coyotes. The Scarborough native scored 13 points and 10 goals last season in 21 games. While not a definite top-6 player on the Leafs, he will likely get a chance to prove himself on one of the Leafs’ top lines.

Nicholas Robertson looks to fill a spot on the Leafs’ opening night roster come October. The 19-year-old forward will look to come back to the Leafs after an injury plagued season. With his elite skating and shot, Robertson will likely take a spot on one of the Leafs’ top two lines. The question is whether or not he is ready to take the leap this season.

A Deeper Maple Leafs Team Than Before

Secondary scoring was the Leafs’ major problem from their loss to the Montreal Canadiens in the playoffs. Now, on paper they seem to be deeper up front while sacrificing Zach Hyman. Assuming that Nicholas Robertson and one of Nick Ritchie, Ondrej Kase, or Michael Bunting gets placed in a top-six spot on the team, then the Leafs will have some combination of two of Ritchie, Kase, and Bunting, as well as Alexander Kerfoot, Jason Spezza, Wayne Simmonds, Ilya Mikheyev, Adam Brooks, David Kampf, Pierre Engvall, and Kurtis Gabriel in their bottom-six. Not bad for a team that had limited cap space this offseason.

With the Maple Leafs not making too many moves this offseason, this could be the roster come opening night. However, don’t put it behind GM Kyle Dubas to pull the trigger on a flurry of late offseason moves. He’s done it in previous years. The Maple Leafs will be returning back to the tough Atlantic division. They will be competing with four other very solid teams (including the defending Stanley Cup champions) for three divisional playoff spots. That will be a tough task to accomplish in itself.

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