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After the Kraken Draft: What’s the Maple Leafs 2021-22 Season Roster?

One key event – the Seattle Kraken expansion draft – is over. Now, the work starts. How will the Toronto Maple Leafs current roster change?

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.

Travis Dermott Maple Leafs
Travis Dermott, Maple Leafs Defenseman

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.

Related: No Doubt: Tyler Bertuzzi Would Look Nice in Maple Leafs Blue & White

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

PlayerSalary-Cap Hit
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
Wayne Simmonds$900,000
Nick Robertson$822,000
Joey Anderson$750,000
Jason Spezza$750,000
Adam Brooks$725,000
  
Total for 12 forwards  $50.831 million
John Tavares Auston Matthews
John Tavares Auston Matthews upper deck Maple Leafs

Roster Defenseman Currently Under Contract

PlayerSalary-Cap Hit
Jake Muzzin$5.625 million
Morgan Rielly$5 million
T.J. Brodie$5 million
Justin Holl$2 million
Travis Dermott$1.5 million
Rasmus Sandin$894,000
  
Total for 6 Defensemen$20.019 million

Roster Goalies Currently Under Contract

PlayerSalary-Cap Hit
Jack Campbell$1.650
Michael Hutchinson$725,000
  
Total for 2 Goalies$20.019 million

Retained Salary

PlayerSalary-Cap Hit
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.

LineLeft-WingCenterRight-Wing
First LineNick RobertsonAuston MatthewsMitch Marner
Second LineAlex KerfootJohn TavaresWilliam Nylander
Third LineIlya MikheyevPierre EngvallWayne Simmonds
Fourth LineJoey AndersonAdam BrooksJason 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.

LineLeft-WingCenter
First PairingMorgan RiellyT.J. Brodie
Second PairingJake MuzzinJustin Holl
Third PairingRasmus SandinTravis Dermott

Goalies

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

Related: Interesting Facts in Toronto Maple Leafs’ Scoring (Goals & Assists) History

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!

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. getrdone

    July 22, 2021 at 10:28 am

    With that projected lineup where is the grit besides the usual subjects, Muzzin and Simmonds? We loose another gritty player in Hyman, that does not leave a lineup that is a physical challenge.

  2. Pingback: Kraken Send Pitlick to Flames for First Trade in Franchise History

  3. Pingback: Can the Maple Leafs Find Campbell Help in Seattle with Vanecek?

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