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Maple Leafs Still Like Another Defenseman After Lyubushkin Trade

The Toronto Maple Leafs added Ilya Lyubushkin via trade, but are they done? It sounds like they might have eyes on another blueliner.

The Toronto Maple Leafs secured the services of right-shot defenseman Ilya Lyubushkin from the Anaheim Ducks through the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night. However, despite this acquisition, speculation continues about the Leafs’ pursuit of additional blue-line talent. General manager Brad Treliving is eyeing more reinforcements. The Maple Leafs are not done looking and there are a few names out there, some more realistic than others.

Related: Ilya Lyubushkin Traded to Maple Leafs, Salary Retained by Ducks

Recent rumors have connected several names to the Maple Leafs. Among them, Matt Dumba of the Arizona Coyotes, Alexandre Carrier of the Nashville Predators, and Sean Walker of the Philadelphia Flyers. Notably, there is hesitancy surrounding Walker due to a potential high asking price. Reports are the Flyers want a first-round pick, which Treliving aims to avoid in a defenseman trade. He already turned down moving that pick for Chris Tanev and Tanev was the higher-valued player.

Brad Treliving Maple Leafs trades

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman introduced a new potential target for the Maple Leafs on the 32 Thoughts podcast, suggesting interest in Washington Capitals blue liner Nick Jensen. “They were looking at a lot of right-shot D… I heard Nick Jensen was kind of a name that they were looking at,” Friedman revealed.

Jeff Marek contended there was more room to make moves. He then highlighted that the Maple Leafs might not be done exploring trade opportunities.

Why Nick Jensen for the Maple Leafs?

Jensen, who joined the Capitals in 2019, has established himself as a reliable defensive presence, playing a shutdown game. With a cap hit of $4.05 million and two years left on his extension, Jensen could provide an improvement to Toronto’s blue line.

Maple Leafs Nick Jensen trade talk

Jensen has been out of the lineup for the past two games. He is expected to make a return against the Philadelphia Flyers. This presents an opportunity for the Maple Leafs to assess his performance closely before potentially finalizing a trade ahead of the deadline.

It doesn’t appear the Leafs are going to pull the trigger on a blockbuster trade. The biggest names still out there on defense are out of the price range for Treliving. So far, he has been trying to scrape together lower picks while the teams selling are looking for big returns.

Next: Holland Drops Trade Hint, Oilers With “Lots of Irons in Fire”

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