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3 Reasons Timmins Needs a Chance to Make the Maple Leafs Roster

Is Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Conor Timmins on the outside of a roster spot looking in? Why should he be given a chance to make the team?

Conor Timmins is one of the Toronto Maple Leafs defensemen who puts up good numbers whenever he plays but doesn’t seem to get a chance to play. Why not?

What will happen with him this season if he stays healthy? I believe he should have a solid chance to make the regular lineup. Here are three reasons why.

Related: Dennis Hildeby Has Maple Leafs Goaltending Looking Sky High

Reason One: Timmins Has Shown Offensive Potential in His Past Performances

On November 23, 2022, the Maple Leafs acquired Timmins from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for forward Curtis Douglas. Timmins quickly made an impression, scoring his first NHL goal in early January 2023 and registering 10 points in just 12 games. While that initial hot streak wasn’t sustained, Timmins showed he was a puck-moving offensive player who could generate numbers when given the chance.

In the 2022-23 season, Timmins played 25 games for the Maple Leafs. In those games, he scored two goals and added 12 assists (for 14 points). His performance was strong enough that the organization signed him to a two-year, $1.1 million per season contract in November 2023. He had shown the ability to contribute offensively, especially from the blue line. For the team, that mattered. He was raw but was also seen as a valuable asset that Toronto could further utilize.

Reason Two: Timmins Had a Strong 2023 Preseason with Impressive Statistics

Timmins’ potential became evident during the 2023 preseason. He had a standout camp and preseason, including a four-point game against the Buffalo Sabres. Despite suffering a knee injury at the end of training camp that sidelined him for two months, Timmins returned to the lineup and contributed. He scored 10 points in 25 games.

Conor Timmins Maple Leafs

Timmins has shown his capability throughout his career with the Maple Leafs. In 50 regular-season games, he has scored three goals and added 21 assists for 24 points. That projects to an 82-game pace of five goals and 39 points. These numbers are rare on the Maple Leafs blue line. They would have made him the second-highest-scoring defenseman on the team last season. For those fans who look at the analytics, Timmins has put up good underlying numbers. He’s had an impressive 57% Corsi For and 60% in Goals For, Scoring Chances For, and High Danger Scoring Chances For.

Reason Three: Timmins Is a Bigger Defenseman. Can His Physical Presence and Potential Fit Under New Coach Berube?

Timmins brings a physical element to his game. He’s 6-foot-2 and weighs 205 pounds. He has averaged over a hit per game, with 57 hits in 50 games for the Maple Leafs. While he’s not a banger like Simon Benoit, he does bring some physicality to the ice. This physical edge could align well with new Head Coach Craig Berube‘s preference for big, physical defensemen.

Given Berube’s coaching style, is it possible that Timmins could get a fresh opportunity to prove himself? It would seem as if there’s some question about the health (a knee injury) of his main competition, Jani Hakanpaa. If Hakanpaa is healthy, he will bring a significant physical presence with 1,030 hits in 332 games. Still, Timmins’ combination of offensive potential, strong statistics, and physical play should not be overlooked.

The Bottom Line for Timmins

From what I’ve seen from Timmins, he deserves a chance to find a regular spot on the Maple Leafs roster. He’s shown that he can create offensive chances. He’s had impressive offensive statistics, and his physical presence makes a strong case for at least a chance to be included in the mix. As the team looks to strengthen its blue line, giving Timmins a more consistent role could pay significant dividends.

Related: Grading Treliving’s Work In Second Season as Maple Leafs’ GM

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