It’s going to be a busy summer for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Now that the big events like the Expansion and Entry Drafts are out of the way, the Leafs are able to focus on shoring up their team for the coming season.
Toronto was one of the surprises of the NHL this past year. They had a team composed of many rookies and under the tutelage of Mike Babcock, were able to gel together and make the postseason. They bowed out in six games to the Washington Capitals, but every game was tough and hard fought till the final whistle.
With plenty of options to improve the team, the Leafs will have a solid challenge ahead in order to make the squad competitive for the 2017-18 season.
Maple Leafs Draft Timothy Liljegren
The Leafs held the 17th overall pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. The Buds system is flush with talent in the forward ranks, but could use a little work in terms of blueline prospects.
There were many names that the Leafs were linked too. Popular ones included Cal Foote, Erik Brannstrom and Nic Hague. Timothy Liljregren wasn’t on many fan radars for a very simple reason. No one projected that the Swede would fall to the Leafs at 17th overall.
Timothy Liljegren: "I think I need to play one more year in Sweden. … Then I want to play in the NHL."
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) June 24, 2017
As the first round of the draft rolled on, Liljegren didn’t hear his name called. It was the Leafs who stepped up to the podium and made him their first round selection.
Leafs Interested in Patrick Marleau
The Leafs are committed to improving their team. One avenue they could explore is veteran players on short term deals. One intriguing name that’s drawing some interest is Patrick Marleau, the San Jose Sharks forward.
The Leafs could be an interesting fit for the experienced forward. Marleau will be 38 this coming September but his age hasn’t slowed down his play. This past year he scored 27 goals and 19 assists for a total of 46 points. Should Marleau sign with the Leafs, they would be getting an intriguing piece.
Lots of interest in Patrick Marleau coming off 27-goal season. Toronto, Anaheim, NYR, SJ, Carolina, Nashville, LA all in the mix.
— Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) June 27, 2017
He would most likely sign for a one or two year deal. Marleau would be looked upon as a veteran presence who could help mentor the Buds next generation of players. Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander, the Leafs big three, would immediately benefit from the knowledge and experience that Marleau could bring to the table.
Babcock is also very familiar with the Sharks winger. He coached him in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and the 2014 Sochi games where they both won a pair of gold medals with Canada. Adding Marleau could be an interesting option for the Leafs for the 2017-18 season.