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Toronto Maple Leafs: 5 Trade Deadline Targets

Following their 16-6-6 start to the 2024 season, the Toronto Maple Leafs are now battling for the final postseason spots in the ultra-competitive Eastern Conference. On a rocky pace, as we enter into the midpoint of February, the team has gone 8-7 in its last 15 games, including a 4-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers in overtime on Thursday Night. Furthermore, the Leafs currently sit seventh in goals while failing to get any production from players outside their core four. Apart from Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, John Tavares, and William Nylander, just one player has double-digit tallies through 52 contests.

With the NHL's trade deadline now just a month away, general manager Brad Treliving has been quiet. The longtime executive has yet to make any additions. Nonetheless, despite being strapped up against the cap, he has flexibility on his roster due to multiple players being on expiring contracts. If Treliving looks to upgrade his group on March 8th, here are five players Toronto could target.

Sean Walker, Philadelphia Flyers

Walker was acquired by the Flyers in a three-team trade with the Los Angeles Kings this summer. He has settled in nicely in Philadelphia. Through 55 games, the 29-year-old has recorded five goals and 14 assists. The six-year veteran also averages over 19 minutes of ice time per night while killing penalties and chipping in on the team's second power-play unit. A pending unrestricted free agent, he has no trade protections and carries just a $2.65 million cap hit. Toronto has a clear need on the right side of its blue line. The team lost free agent acquisition John Klingberg to season-ending hip surgery. With multiple teams reportedly interested in acquiring Walker, Treliving could have to decide to part with a first-round draft pick to acquire his services.

Adam Henrique, Anaheim Ducks

With a glaring concern in the bottom six of their lineup, the Maple Leafs' third and fourth lines have failed to provide consistent offensive production. After inking Max Domi to a one-year $3 million deal in the offseason, the former first-round pick has just 25 points through 52 games. Furthermore, Tyler Bertuzzi is looking to snap a month-long goal drought after last finding the back of the net on December 27th against the Ottawa Senators. The perfect chess piece for head coach Sheldon Keefe, Henrique can play both center and on the wing while maintaining the ability to contribute to the penalty kill. A proven playoff performer who offers a veteran moxie, the 34-year-old is a pure rental on an expiring deal and should have multiple suitors lining up for him.

Andrew Peeke, Columbus Blue Jackets

A former second-round pick in 2016, Peeke has fallen out of the Blue Jackets' rotation. He has appeared in just 20 games this year. Despite this, the Notre Dame product offers substantial size with a 6'3 ", 200 lb frame. With the physicality to play against some of the league's heavier teams in the Eastern Conference, Peeke has recorded over 185 hits in back-to-back years. Along with this, the Florida native has experience taking on top pair duties. Offering cost certainty for Toronto on an affordable deal, the 25-year-old is under team control through the 2025-2026 season at an average annual value of just $2.75 million. This would make him an ideal fit if Treliving does not want to trade for a pure rental player, as both T.J. Brodie and Timothy Liljegren are set to hit free agency in July.

Anthony Duclair, San Jose Sharks

Following three seasons with the Panthers, Florida traded to Duclair the San Jose Sharks in exchange for Steven Lorentz and a 2025 fifth-round pick. Proving to be an effective depth scoring option throughout his NHL career, the Pointe-Claire Quebec native recorded a career-high 31 goals in 2021-2022. Appearing in 48 games this season, the 28-year-old forward has 17 points while playing nearly 16 minutes per night. With San Jose expected to be sellers at the trade deadline, the team sits just two points above the Chicago Blackhawks at the bottom of the Western Conference. A pending unrestricted free agent with a $3 million cap hit, the Quebec Remparts product is a speedy winger who could provide secondary scoring while chipping in on the power play.

Chris Tanev, Calgary Flames

Tanev and the Maple Leafs have been linked together all year long. The former boss of the Calgary Flames, Treliving, pulled the 34-year-old defenseman away from the Vancouver Canucks by inking him to a four-year deal worth $18 million. Now in the final year of his contract, the former undrafted free agent is a stay-at-home defenseman with a warrior-like mindset. He averages just 2.9 goals against per 60 minutes. Moreover, the former Atlantic Hockey Rookie of the Year also ranks second in the NHL with 153 blocked shots. Possessing the ability to play nearly 20 minutes a night, the 14-year veteran is also a strong penalty killer. A Toronto native, Tanev would provide the Maple Leafs with a stabilizing presence in their top four and the ideal partner to play next to Morgan Rielly.

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