The Maple Leafs are certainly going to be looking to buy heading into next month’s trade deadline but as a result of the team making some splashes in recent years, their prospect pool and collection of draft picks isn’t the deepest to deal from. Speaking with reporters today (video link), GM Kyle Dubas indicated that he can’t see the team dealing away their top chips, either their first-round pick or top prospect Matthew Knies. He wouldn’t entirely rule out the idea of one of those pieces moving but for the time being, it appears that they’re not going to be in play. Toronto has three other guaranteed selections plus potentially their own third-round pick depending on if Arizona opts to take it or a 2025 second-rounder as part of a previous swap.
Elsewhere in the Atlantic:
- Still with the Maple Leafs, while Knies has been speculated to be turning pro at the conclusion of his college season, he told TSN’s Mark Masters that he hasn’t decided which route to take yet and will wait until after Minnesota’s campaign comes to an end before considering his decision. The 20-year-old averaged a point per game in his rookie year last season and is ahead of that pace in 2022-23 with 17 goals and 13 assists in 28 contests.
- Senators defenseman Artem Zub is expected to return to the lineup on Saturday, reports Postmedia’s Bruce Garrioch (Twitter link). He has been out for a little under a month with a lower-body injury, his third extended absence of the season which has limited him to just 21 games so far. Meanwhile, Garrioch tweets that while goalie Cam Talbot also skated today, he won’t play this weekend. The veteran is dealing with a lower-body issue of his own and with Ottawa potentially wanting to move him by next month’s deadline, they’ll want to be cautious and make sure he’s fully healthy before bringing him back. Talbot has retroactively been moved to injured reserve but can be activated as soon as he’s ready to return.
- Lightning winger Nick Paul was a late scratch before tonight’s game against Colorado with the team announcing (Twitter link) that he’s listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury. The 27-year-old has been a capable secondary scorer in his first season with the team, notching 16 goals with 10 assists in 50 games. Notably, with less than $720K in LTIR room per CapFriendly, Tampa Bay does not have enough space to call up a replacement for him on the roster.