Leafs looking to potentially change their approach to building their team

Published May 16, 2022 at 5:35 PM

Another early offseason has the Leafs re-evaluation what they could've done better, yet again. One longstanding need stands out, and that is another legitimate top-six forward. On his first radio hits since the annual Leafs Elimination Day, Elliotte Friedman has reported that manager Kyle Dubas will seek out that long-desired top-six forward.

Friedman on 590 says that he thinks the Leafs will make some changes, particularly says that they'll be looking for more tenacity in their top-6. Also has some questions for where Tavares plays in the lineup next season, either the center or wing.

At multiple points throughout the previous two seasons, it was known the Leafs were in the market for such a forward, but a deal never emerged that the team felt comfortable with. Instead, Dubas sought value players to slot into the top-six. Players like Michael Bunting, Ondrej Kase, Nick Ritchie, Joe Thornton, Alex Galchenyuk, and the like. Some panned out, and some did not. Now at the end of six straight years of playoff failure, it seems there's a heightened sense of urgency to acquire an established player to fulfill the much-needed top-six role.

With the evidently declining play of John Tavares, it's been speculated by Friedman that he might move to the wings instead of center. William Nylander provides some flexibility as a player capable of playing both positions, and that gives the organization flexibility to acquire either position as their new offensive threat.

The usual candidates to improve on this position would be listed as JT Miller, Bryan Rust, and Filip Forsberg. There's also some quality players on bottom-feeders and declining teams that should be targets as well, such as Timo Meier or Alex DeBrincat. My personal favourite, although extremely chaotic, would be the status of Matthew Tkachuk or Johhny Gaudreau. Whatever it is, Dubas has been known to surprise with trades. We'll likely not know until a deal is made.
May 16   |   246 answers
Leafs looking to potentially change their approach to building their team

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