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Maple Leafs Trade Deadline: Did They Do Enough?

With the trade deadline wrapped up, we can now cover all the trades the Maple Leafs made, grade them, and really figure out if they could have done more. Defense was the one main thing that the Leafs really needed to add into their lineup. They could have done A LOT better.

Maple Leafs Acquire Ilya Lyubushkin From the Anaheim Ducks for a 2025 3rd Round Pick

This trade was exactly what the Leafs needed to do. Find a very solid defender and get him for a cheap price. Lyubushkin, who already had a stint with the Leafs only a couple of years ago, signed a contract with Anaheim which carries a $2.75M cap hit. In this deal, the Ducks retained 50% of the contract, and the Maple Leafs used the Carolina Hurricanes as a broker to retain another 25%, in exchange for a 6th round pick in the same year. Lyubushkin is now on the Leafs cap for just under $690K. What an absolute deal. Lyubushkin is a defender that plays defense well, and loves to throw around the body. In a playoff run, that is the type of player you want. He pairs well with Morgan Rielly, and really anyone you put him with. For the price it cost to get him, I have no regrets in this trade at all.

Grade: A

Maple Leafs Acquire Joel Edmundson from the Washington Capitals for a 2024 3rd and a 2025 5th Round Pick

I really wonder what went through Brad Treliving’s mind with this one. Joel Edmundson is not a good player, he is not a good defenseman. Especially giving up 2 picks that they could have used towards a trade that would actually impact the team in a positive way. Edmundson is a big, left-shot defenseman who CAN play the right side, but you still want a left-shot playing the left side. Keefe will either move Edmundson to the right side, or the other thing he could do (the wrong decision) is put TJ Brodie back on the right side, which did not work out well the last couple months. The Leafs had WSH retain 50% of his contract, so Edmundson is only on the Leafs cap for $875,000. Edmundson is able to clear the net when the opponent is in our zone, so he does provide physical value, but defensively and offensively he is not a big addition. That value does make it a little bit more bearable, but it still is not that nice of a trade. With the Lyubushkin trade, we know what he can do and we know how he pairs up with our other defensemen, so we know what we are getting from him, and he is what the Leafs should be looking for.

Grade: C

Maple Leafs Acquire Cade Webber from the Carolina Hurricanes for a 2026 6th Round Pick

A nothing move unless they sign him. I will say, he does look like he could be quite the player. He’s got a lot of talent and he is a big boy. Until he actually does something for the team, I will choose not to grade this one as there isn’t much I can go off of. We paid a very late round pick so it’s a very low risk high reward trade.

Maple Leafs Acquire Connor Dewar from the Minnesota Wild for a 2026 4th Round Pick

The Maple Leafs final move of the deadline is for a 4th line forward. A useless addition for the Leafs cost them a 4th round pick in a couple years. Dewar is a high energy player that could potentially be impactful in the limited minutes he will play. There’s not much to say other than that they could have done a lot more. He could have some impact for the Maple Leafs, as a depth forward, he can slot in on the penalty kill and provide some clarity to the Leafs bottom 6.

Grade: C+

Overall, I really did not like this deadline. Many impact players were available, and the Maple Leafs didn’t grab any of them. With the assets that they had this deadline, they did not send out any of them. Liljegren and our 2024 1st could have gotten a very impactful player, or even just decent upgrades to what we already have. We go into the playoffs with Boston, Florida, New York, Tampa, and Carolina all making upgrades to their roster. We will have to see where the team goes in the playoffs.

Overall Trade Deadline Grade: C+


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