It’s way too early to prognosticate about the Toronto Maple Leafs opening-game roster and who might be on it. So much can happen during training camp to change things. However, with about a month of the offseason left before training camp begins, it’s tempting to look at the players who are currently with the team – both the newcomers and the incumbents – to speculate who might be on the opening game roster.
So, here goes.
Related: Auston Matthews Predicts Maple Leafs’ Stanley Cup Success
The Newcomers to the Maple Leafs
The Maple Leafs have brought in a host of new players with a number of regulars remaining, although some key players have moved on. Some questions remain. For example, who will fill in the gaping hole in the top-six that dogged winger Zach Hyman once filled with energy?
It seems that Maple Leafs’ general manager Kyle Dubas pinpointed two free-agent signings who just might do that. These players are Nick Ritchie from the Boston Bruins and Michael Bunting from the Arizona Coyotes. However, a current roster player – Alex Kerfoot – might be moved into the top-six as a winger.
It seems that these two players – Ritchie and Bunting – have a solid chance to fight for and become the left-wing options on the Maple Leafs top-six. Last season’s surprise Alex Galchenyuk is nowhere to be seen, which likely means he won’t be back with the team. There are two holes to fill, but a number of possibilities to fill them.
As well, David Kampf from the Chicago Blackhawks was signed because of his defense and ability to win face-offs at either end of the ice. It seems that Dubas might be working toward what Sheldon Keefe noted last season as a need for the team, and that’s a shutdown third line.
In some ways, the Maple Leafs’ fourth line is the most solid. Here veterans Jason Spezza and probably Wayne Simmonds will get some solid time, with a center to be named later.
Predicting the Maple Leafs Line Combinations & Defensive Pairings
Forward Line Combinations (my best guesses at the moment)
|First Line||Nick Ritchie||Auston Matthes||Mitch Marner|
|Second Line||Alex Kerfoot||John Tavares||William Nylander|
|Third Line||Michael Bunting||David Kampf||Ilya Mikheyev|
|Fourth Line||Wayne Simmonds||Adam Brooks||Jason Spezza|
|13th Forward||Pierre Engvall|
|Defensive Pairings||Left-Side Defense||Right-Side Defense|
|First-Pairing||Morgan Rielly||T.J. Brodie|
|Second-Pairing||Jake Muzzin||Justin Holl|
|Third-Pairing||Rasmus Sandin||Travis Dermott|
|Extra Defenseman||Brennan Menell|
Things Might (Obviously) Change
Obviously, things might change if other players are moved or signed. As well, the philosophy of the team hasn’t been set yet – at least not in concrete. And, training camp might separate those who are doing well from those who are not. The point is that, for all the logical consideration one might make who follows the team, no one knows.
But, as of this point in time, these are the best predictions I can make about what the line-up might look like.
Related: What’s the Rank of Maple Leafs’ Left-Wingers: The Answer, Who Knows?
Leave a Reply
NHL News/ 1 day ago
Oilers Quick Hits: McDavid, Hyman, Skinner, Nurse
Heading into an important game against the Vegas Golden Knights, many of the Oilers...
NHL News/ 2 days ago
POTUS Joe Biden Makes Fun of Toronto Maple Leafs
POTUS Joe Biden says he likes every NHL hockey team except the Toronto Maple...
Edmonton Oilers/ 3 days ago
How Huge are 60 Goals in 72 Games Played for Connor McDavid?
Connor McDavid has now scored 60 goals in the 2022-23 season. How big a...
NHL News/ 6 days ago
Revisiting Oilers’ Decision to Sign and Retain Evander Kane
The Edmonton Oilers love their decision to sign and retain Evander Kane. He's settled...
NHL News/ 1 week ago
Three Takeaways from Maple Leafs’ 5-2 Win Over Hurricanes
Last night, the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Carolina Hurricanes by a score of...
NHL News/ 1 week ago
Oilers News and Notes: Hyman, Kulak, McLeod, Foegele
News and notes surrounding the Edmonton Oilers as they get set for a Saturday...
Insider Talks Why Miller Trade Fell Apart, If Canucks Will Try Again
There was chatter just ahead of the trade deadline that the Canucks might try...
Capitals Sign Trevor van Riemsdyk to a 3-Year Contract Extension
The Washington Capitals have re-signed defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk to a three-year contract extension.
Chuck Fletcher Fired by Flyers, Daniel Briere Takes Over
Chuck Fletcher has been fired as the Philadelphia Flyers GM and President, with Daniel...
Oilers Looked at Chychrun and Gudas Before Pivoting to Ekholm
The Edmonton Oilers had a number of hooks in the water during trade deadline...
Pingback: Why the Maple Leafs' Joey Anderson Might Be Gone Soon?
Pingback: Why the Maple Leafs’ Joey Anderson Might Be Gone Soon? – Hockey 1 on 1
August 25, 2021 at 9:05 pm
I think the forwards best guess is spot on if Kerfoot isn’t traded and I don’t think they can dare after his playoff performance on left wing. They must try him there for a while. Still, competition between Kerfoot and Bunting should be good for that 2nd top 6 left winger spot!