January 15, 2019 | 11:20pm ET
LEAFS COULD TRADE FIRST-ROUND PICK
Kyle Dubas, GM
As the Toronto Maple Leafs look to battle for the Stanley Cup this spring, GM Kyle Dubas is believed to be looking to add at least one significant piece to his roster by the Feb. 25 trade deadline.
During Tuesday’s edition of the “Insider Trading” segment on TSN, Pierre Lebrun reported the Maple Leafs are willing to move their first-round draft pick “in the right package for a top-four defenceman.”
The additions to a package, presumably prospects or a young roster player, for a top-four blueliner will determine whether or not the Leafs include their first-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, but it is in play.
It’s unclear whether or not the Maple Leafs are willing to part with their top draft pick for a player in the final year of his contract or for someone with term left on their deal, but Dubas has been exploring the market.
The Leafs have been linked to such defencemen as Jake Muzzin and Alec Martinez of the Los Angeles Kings, Duncan Keith of the Chicago Blackhawks, Jay Bouwmeester of the St. Louis Blues and Niklas Kronwall of the Detroit Red Wings, among others.
It’s believed, though, the Leafs would prefer to add a rearguard who can play on the right side, and that could be where Dubas’ focus lies.