3 Former Maple Leafs Who Are Having Career Years, 3 Who Aren’t

If you are like we are, regardless of who signs on with the Toronto Maple Leafs, we become fans of these players – both present and past. If a player plays with the team, we get to know and root for him. 

Related: Toronto Maple Leafs: Revisiting the Nazem Kadri Trade

And, when it happens that these players sometimes move on, we follow them to see how they are doing. Obviously, we like some players more than others. But a Maple Leafs’ player is someone on the team we cheer for, so we do.

Looking at Six Former Maple Leafs’ Players Current Seasons

In this post, we are going to look at six former Maple Leafs’ players and assess their seasons with their current teams. Three of the players we’ll discuss are having career years this season. On the other hand, three other former Maple Leafs’ players are currently struggling.

Player One: Goalie Frederik Andersen – Having a Career Year

Frederik Andersen is having his best season ever. He’s tied for first in wins with Andrei Vasilavskiy with 17. He’s second in the league in goals-against-average at 1.91 and he’s tied for fifth in save percentage at .929 percent.  

Frederik Andersen Toronto Maple Leafs
Frederik Andersen, when he played with the Toronto Maple Leafs (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Andersen’s present save percentage and goals-against-average are the best of his career. His 17-5-0 record this season has played a major role in the Carolina Hurricanes being tied for first place in the Metro Division and the East Conference as of this writing. 

Player Two: Defenseman Tyson Barrie – Struggling

After signing a one-year “show me’ deal with the Edmonton Oilers last season, Tyson Barrie led the NHL last season in scoring by a defenseman with 48 points. He was rewarded with a three-year $13.5 million deal at the end of the season. While this season he has a decent 17 points in 32 games, nine of those points are on the power play, leaving him with a total of only eight points five-on-five. 

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The Oilers have been coming under criticism for their poor defensive play, which appears to be well-deserved. The team has given up an average of 3.21 goals per game. Barrie seems to be getting the brunt of that criticism and was demoted to the third pairing. 

Tyson Barrie Toronto Maple Leafs
Tyson Barrie, when he was with the Toronto Maple Leafs (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Barrie only saw 12:35 minutes of ice time during the Oilers’ last game, a 3-2 overtime loss to the New York Islanders. According to naturalstattrick, Barrie has a goals-for percentage of 47.7 and an expected-goals-for percentage of 46.6. (Anything under 50.0 isn’t good.)

Player Three: Forward Nazem Kadri – Having a Career Year

Nazem Kadri is another former Maple Leafs’ player who’s having a career season. Despite missing three games with various ailments and the Colorado Avalanche only playing 28 games (which is five games less than the Central Division-leading St. Louis Blues), Kadri is still fifth in NHL scoring with 39 points in only 25 games played. That’s a 130 point clip for an 82-game season.  

Player Four: Forward Alex Galchenyuk – Struggling

After having what seemed like a career resurgence with the Maple Leafs last season, rather than re-sign in Toronto Alex Galchenyuk chose to seek more money on the open market. Sadly for him, the only deal he managed to sign in the offseason was a league minimum one-year $750,000 contract with the league’s worst team, the Arizona Coyotes. 

Related: Oilers Inches Away From Forced Decision On Dave Tippett’s Future

To this point this season, Galchenyuk has appeared in only 13 of the Coyotes’ 30 games. His points total is only two assists, and he’s a minus -7. According to naturalstattrick, in the games he has played, Galchenyuk has a goals-for percentage of 30.8 and an expected-goals-for percentage of 37.1%.

Player Five: Goalie James Remier – Having a Career Year

Despite playing for a mediocre San Jose Sharks’ team that presently sits 10th in the Western Conference, and has given up an average of 3.10 goals per game, Reimer has a great 11-5-1 record, a save percentage of .928, and a goals-against-average of 2.26. It’s been a great season for him. 

Player Six: Defenseman Cody Ceci – Struggling

It is not good news for the Oilers that they have two of the three players on our struggling-this-season list. We’re sure a lot of Maple Leafs’ fans had raised eyebrows when they saw that the Oilers had signed Cody Ceci to a four-year $13 million contract. For that contract to make sense, Ceci would have to be a top-four defenseman. 

Cody Ceci Toronto Maple Leafs
Cody Ceci, when he was with the Toronto Maple Leafs (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Ceci never showed that kind of skill when he was with the Maple Leafs. Still, the Oilers are counting on him not only by playing him in the top-four but by putting him on the ice for over 20 minutes each game. It doesn’t seem to be going well for him. To this point this season, he is minus-7; and, according to naturalstattrick, he has a goals-for percentage of 42.2 and an expected-goals-for percentage of 48.1.

We Wish all These Players Well

We wish all these former Maple Leafs’ players well as they play for their new teams. It’s been fun to watch and debate whether Toronto is better or worse with Jack Campbell as their number one goalie rather than Andersen.

Related: Maple Leafs Made the Right Move Going With Campbell Over Andersen

And of course, really what Maple Leafs’ fan doesn’t want Nazem Kadri to have a great career? He bled blue and white and wanted so much to stay in Toronto. It’s really a heartening story that he’s landed so well in Colorado. We want them all to play well until, of course, they play the Maple Leafs.

[Note: I want to thank long-time Maple Leafs’ fan Stan Smith for collaborating with me on this post. Stan’s Facebook profile can be found here.]

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