9 defence targets: Maple Leafs could strike trade through Vegas

The common refrain among NHL front offices come June is that there are no good defencemen available.

That is not the case this spring, as the unique twist of the NHL Expansion Draft has kicked open the door for blueliner-seeking clubs to acquire an unprotected defenceman through Vegas.

Convince Golden Knights general manager George McPhee to draft one of the many blue-chip defencemen exposed in the expansion draft, and for the price of a high draft pick (or two), you could fill out your blue line with a piece that otherwise would be unavailable.

We’ve already gabbed about the playoff-hopeful Toronto Maple Leafs — the consensus pick for “team on the rise” — and their significant need for a right shot to complement Morgan Rielly, Jake Gardiner and Nikita Zaitsev in their top four, and we still believe Vancouver’s Chris Tanev (protected) would make a good fit.

But the list of the unprotected should have Leafs fans salivating at the possibility of finding a good righty by persuading Vegas into a draft-and-trade scenario. (Of course, there are other franchises hunting D-men, too. The Canadiens, Sabres, Stars, Oilers and Rangers spring to mind.)

Here are nine exposed, (mostly) right-shot defencemen who could …read more

Source:: Sportsnet.ca – Sport

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