The Toronto Maple Leafs have been bringing in the changes this offseason, attempting to build on their relatively successful 2021/22 season. The team went 54-21-7 last season, to claim the second in position Atlantic Division but lost in the first round of Stanley Cup Playoffs. It was clear that while the team was definitely making headway, they would need to make some big changes in theri lineup if they wanted to make a run into the business end of the playoffs.
Key Additions So Far
Matt Murray- G: The 28-year-old goalie was acquired from the Ottawa Senators this offseason along with a third-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft and a seventh-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft. Murray has a record of 5-12-2 in the last 20 games and was 15-25-3 in the 47 games he played during his two year stint with the Sens.
Toronto was on the market for multiple goalies this offseason so Murray fits the bill of a backup perfectly. Chances are he won’t be starting too many games but should fill a vital role throughout the season.
Ilya Samsonov- G: Another pickup in the goalie positions, the 25-year-old Samsonov signed a 1-year contract with the Leafs in July. Samsonov was an impressive 23-12-5 in his regular-season start last season and was able to post three shutouts. His playoff performance was less exciting with four starts that led to a 1-3 record.
Samsonov will be the favourite to take up the starting goalie position for the Leafs this year but should have some competition with the likes of Matt Murray.
Calle Jarnkrok- F: The veteran signed a four-year contract with Toronto, following a solid season of 30 points (12 goals, 18 assists) through 66 regular-season games for two teams, the Calgary Flames and Seattle Kraken last season. Jarnkrok should mend seamlessly into the Toronto lineup, taking the minutes of departed Forwards Ilya Mikheyev and Jason Spezza.
Nicolas Aube-Kubel- F: The 26-year-old forward signed a short one-year contract after a 22 point (11 goals, 11 assists) season last year with the Colorado Avalanche. His impact in the Avalanches Stanley Cup winning performance during the playoffs was minimal however, scoring no points in 14 playoff games.
What the Leafs Still Need
Toronto is still in need of more depth in the Forward position, as after Matthews, Marner, Tavares and Nylander there isn’t much in the form of goal scoring. The team could also use a bolster on defense, with only Morgan Rielly standing out of the crowd as a top tier defender. We expect the team to make a few more small changes before the start of the season to try and fix a few holes on both the offensive and defensive ends.