This may be in the cards for the Toronto Maple Leafs even if fans will disagree with it.
Luke Fox has reported that Leafs general manager “Kyle Dubas will not rule out trading his third first-round draft pick in a span of 20 months.”
Take a second to swallow the pill.
A few weeks ago, Dubas pulled the trigger on the first trade of the season, landing a first-round choice from the Pittsburgh Penguins (15th overall) and freeing space under a flattened cap by dealing away winger Kasperi Kapanen.
This first-round pick might get the same treatment as the other two did earlier this past season: “In late January 2019, Dubas spent a first-round ticket to pull Jake Muzzin from the Los Angeles Kings, and the defender is now locked in as one half of the club’s shutdown pairing.
In the summer of 2019, Dubas coughed up a first-rounder to the Carolina Hurricanes (13th overall) in order to duck out from under the final season of Patrick Marleau’s contract and further invest in his young forward core.”
“We’re open, certainly, to keeping the pick, but I think the spot that we’re at with our team right now, we’re also open probably to moving it if the right deal came along for someone that could help us now,” Dubas said.
“We wanted this [cap] flexibility so that we could be flexible inside the marketplace for either free agents or for trades.”
It sounds pretty clear: any team can make him an offer, which means chances are climbing to see this first pick out of Toronto as well. We all know Dubas is seeking help on the back end and could use the pick accordingly. He also wants to upgrade his under-construction third line and who knows a first round pick to get him more than that.
We don’t know who will come out 15th at this year’s NHL draft, but that kid doesn’t even know if he will be picked by Toronto.