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If the Season Started Now: Maple Leafs’ Projected Lineup in 2022-23

If the Toronto Maple Leafs began the 2022-23 season this minute, what would the starting lineup be? Who’d be in goal?

There’s a lot of time yet between now and when the 2022-23 NHL regular season begins. However, is it ever too soon to speculate about what the Toronto Maple Leafs’ starting lineup will look like? 

One caveat is that the players who made this projected starting lineup are those who are already signed by the Maple Leafs. That means that a player like defenseman Rasmus Sandin will not make this projected starting roster. 

A second caveat is that players who are thought to be sure things to be moved before the start of the season – like Alex Kerfoot and Justin Holl – will be included in the lineup because they are still part of the Maple Leafs’ roster right now.

So, as we begin to look at the lineup that might play for Maple Leafs when the puck is dropped to begin the 2022-23 regular season, who will be where?

Related: Maple Leafs News & Rumors: Waivers, Douglas, Matthews & Rielly

Projected Lineup: Forward Lines

Line One: Michael Bunting – Auston Matthews – Mitchell Marner

Line Two: Alex Kerfoot – John Tavares – William Nylander

Line Three: Pierre Engvall – David Kampf – Calle Jarnkrok

Line Four: Nick Robertson – Adam Gaudette – Nicolas Aube-Kubel

Comments: Actually, the first three lines seem set for the Maple Leafs. As noted, the one movement on the second line might be Kerfoot. The Maple Leafs are noted to be seeking a stronger option at the left-wing spot. It is the fourth line where the fun begins. The Maple Leafs have a number of players who also might make this fourth line. Some, like the Toronto Marlies’ Joey Anderson, might have a good shot.

Alex Kerfoot, Maple Leafs

Projected Lineup: Defensive Pairings

First Pairing: Morgan Rielly – TJ Brodie

Second Pairing: Jake Muzzin – Justin Holl

Third Pairing: Mark Giordano – Timothy Liljegren

Comments: The pairing of Rielly and Brodie seems set. Muzzin and Holl were great two seasons ago, but both seemed to struggle last season. Muzzin had a variety of injuries, most seriously concussions. Holl was a healthy scratch toward the end of the season. Liljegren played well with Giordano, and putting that pair together seems like a no-brainer.

Timothy Liljegren, Maple Leafs

Projected Lineup: Goalies

Goalie 1A: Matt Murray

Goalie 1B: Ilya Samsonov

Comments: It will be tough to say how the goalie situation might play out. It might be that the Maple Leafs lucked out when Samsonov was surprisingly not tendered a qualifying offer by the Washington Capitals, but that remains to be seen. Right now, Murray has the strongest pedigree and should be the team’s starter when the season begins.

Related: What Should Maple Leafs’ Fans Expect from Nicolas Aube-Kubel?



  1. Jon Harding

    August 4, 2022 at 12:02 pm

    Not many major issues with the accuracy of the proposed lineup. I just don’t think it’s better than what ended the season a few months ago. Happy to see other points of view in this.

    • Old Prof

      August 5, 2022 at 1:06 am

      The season will tell – I do like the fourth line better this season!

  2. David Dillon

    August 4, 2022 at 12:16 pm

    This looks almost status quo. It strikes me that there are a lot of centres that have been added to the mix in the off season, plus a few that might rose out of the Marlies. Added to that is speculation that John Tavarese might be better a good fit on the wing as he slows down.
    No, I’m not going to go out on a limb and say who the new second centre might be. Who knows? Maybe Malgin will surprise all of his critics!
    As for Robertson, while I love his skill set, energy and nerve, I doubt that he’ll remain off the injury list. I sure hope to be proven wrong on that front. I too have him on my fantasy roster.

    • Old Prof

      August 5, 2022 at 1:07 am

      I hope Robrertson can stay off the injury list!

  3. afp1961

    August 4, 2022 at 2:18 pm

    Jim – based upon your caveats I will provide this alternative:
    1st line – Bunting-Matthews-Marner.
    2nd line – Engvall-Tavares-Nylander
    3rd line – Roberston-Kerfoot-Jarnkok
    4th line – Gaudette -Kampf-NAK

    My rationale:
    1st: your proposal is 90% the status quo and I believe Keefe will want to mix it up.
    2nd: Roberston cannot play on the 4th line as he must play with some offensive players. Hence a move to the 3rd line and away from the energy 4th line.
    3rd: Engvall gets promoted as he is equal if not greater than Kerfoot in offensive prowess> Further he is better at skating, forechecking, speed, wingspan, cycling. All things JT needs on his wing.
    4th: the 4th line needs to be an energy, pain in the rear line. With what we have to work with, I think this trio is better suited.

    Now if Kerfoot gets moved (fingers crossed) a few lines may all be resorted.

    As for the defense, no changes.


    • Old Prof

      August 5, 2022 at 1:05 am

      Thanks for your additions – that’s an interesting proposal with Engvall on line two – I had not given that serious thought – I will

  4. Doogie

    August 5, 2022 at 10:56 am

    Robertson is a bust

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