Yesterday, the Seattle Kraken chose their initial team from all the players left unprotected by each club. Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas’ trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins worked, and the Kraken opted for Jared McCann over Alex Kerfoot. That leaves the Maple Leafs’ roster much the same as it was last season.
But now the moves begin as the Maple Leafs work to re-sign its team for the upcoming 2021-22 regular season. Two signees – each to a two-year contact – are already in place: one was veteran forward Wayne Simmonds and the other was defenseman Travis Dermott. Others will follow.
Now that the expansion draft has been concluded, the next set of signings the organization must make to fill out its roster will begin. Although these signings – or any trades that occur – will surely change things, in this post I’d like to stop for a minuted and pause to see where the team is right now.
The Current 2021-22 Season Roster: As It Stands After the July 21 Seattle Kraken Draft
Below, with the help of long-time Maple Leafs’ fan Stan Smith, let’s take a look at the team’s 20-man roster as it stands currently. There are really few changes to the team over the past two weeks, because things were on hold due to the Kraken draft. Now that it’s over, as I noted – things might be happening quickly.
As the 2021-22 regular season approaches, where does the team stand? Here’s a review of who’s on the roster, their salaries, and how much space is left to add players.
By our calculations, here is the present Maple Leafs’ 20-man roster and their cap hits.
Forwards under contract
|Auston Matthews||$11.634 million|
|John Tavares||$11.000 million|
|Mitch Marner||$10.893 million|
|William Nylander||$ 6.962 million|
|Alex Kerfoot||$3.5 million|
|Ilya Mikheyev||$1.645 million|
|Pierre Engvall||$1.25 million|
|Total for 12 forwards||$50.831 million|
Roster Defenseman Currently Under Contract
|Jake Muzzin||$5.625 million|
|Morgan Rielly||$5 million|
|T.J. Brodie||$5 million|
|Justin Holl||$2 million|
|Travis Dermott||$1.5 million|
|Total for 6 Defensemen||$20.019 million|
Roster Goalies Currently Under Contract
|Total for 2 Goalies||$20.019 million|
|Phil Kessel||$1.2 million|
|Total Retained||$1.2 million|
Other Important Notes:
(a) Total Salary Cap $81.5 million
(b) Salary Cap Space Remaining $7.075
If the Season Started Now
Possible Line Combinations
Again, in collaboration with Stan Smith, we think these might be possible line combinations for the Maple Leafs – if the season started now. We know there will be changes.
In fact, the latest rumor is that Zach Hyman and his wife are in Edmonton to meet with Oilers’ general manager Ken Holland, and that the Oilers have offered him sever years at $5.5 million annual salary. There’s speculation that a sign-and-trade might happen between the two teams so the Oilers can spread the $38.5 million over eight years of term lower the AAV a bit. If that is true, it would be a contract that would be tough for the Maple Leafs to match.
If head coach Sheldon Keefe likes that puck-digger aspect on the team’s first line to play with Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner, he might move up Joey Anderson and move down Nick Robertson. There’s still a lot of pieces to move around. All that said, here’s our thoughts about a possible line-up.
|First Line||Nick Robertson||Auston Matthews||Mitch Marner|
|Second Line||Alex Kerfoot||John Tavares||William Nylander|
|Third Line||Ilya Mikheyev||Pierre Engvall||Wayne Simmonds|
|Fourth Line||Joey Anderson||Adam Brooks||Jason Spezza|
Possible Defensive Pairings
Given that Justin Holl was protected and Travis Dermott wasn’t chosen, the defensive pairings might also be as follows. There’s no sense to move Holl away from Jake Muzzin.
|First Pairing||Morgan Rielly||T.J. Brodie|
|Second Pairing||Jake Muzzin||Justin Holl|
|Third Pairing||Rasmus Sandin||Travis Dermott|
One move that might be made is to find a second goalie for the team. One place I’m looking is at Vitek Vanecek, who the Kraken chose from the Washington Capitals. Vanecek has a modest hit at $716,667 for one year; and, given that new Maple Leafs’ assistant coach Spencer Carbery was Vanecek’s coach with the Hershey Bears for a few seasons, I have to wonder if he isn’t on Dubas’ radar. The 25-year-old Vanecek played 37 games last season, with a 21-10-0 record, a save percentage of .908 and a goals-against-average of 2.69.
However, right now the goalies are:
Starting Goalie: Jack Campbell
Back-up Goalie: Michael Hutchinson
Notes & Rumors
Obviously, the season isn’t starting now and there are more changes to be made. However, now that the expansion draft is completed and with still so many changes to be made, it will be fun to see how much this organization changes as the team makes changes in the next few weeks.
Watch for the rumors to begin flying!
/ 1 hour ago
Carey Price underwent knee surgery on Friday and a timeline was revealed for his...
/ 2 hours ago
Canucks and Coyotes make a trade involves Ekman-Larsson, Garland for multiple pieces and the...
/ 4 hours ago
If the Edmonton Oilers are seriously looking at signing Tyson Barrie, an Ethan Bear...
/ 1 day ago
Ken Holland confirms the Edmonton Oilers have signed Mike Smith to a two-Year, $4.4...
/ 2 days ago
Reports are that the Seattle Kraken have elected to go with Jordan Eberle as...
/ 2 days ago
The Seattle Kraken have not made a trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning, instead,...
/ 2 days ago
The Seattle Kraken opt not to select Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price in the...
/ 2 days ago
Reports are that the Seattle Kraken have selected Jared McCann from the Toronto Maple...
/ 2 days ago
Reports are that Adam Larsson has signed a four-year deal with the Seattle Kraken.
/ 3 days ago
Could the Buffalo Sabres be running out of trade options for Jack Eichel? Teams...