Insider: Maple Leafs to “Take a Long Look” at 2 Key Canucks Free Agents


One thing that’s often said about the problems the Toronto Maple Leafs have had in recent years is that they’re not “tough to play against” and don’t have the grit and size needed to be successful in the playoffs. 

If there’s one team that has a few free agents that fit that description, it’s the Vancouver Canucks. And according to insider Rick Dhaliwal, the Maple Leafs will be taking a long look at Canucks' pending unrestricted free agents Dakota Joshua and Nikita Zadorov.

I will not be surprised if the Maple leafs are a team that takes a long look at Zadorov and Joshua if they hit July 1st.  GM Brad Treliving had Zadorov in Calgary and tried to get him at the trade deadline, that’s a no-brainer. Joshua’s a player that teams are looking at right now and saying 'we need that kind of guy in the playoffs'.

Both players, Joshua in particular, had terrific years heading into their free agency summer and will have big demand as UFAs. 

Joshua, interestingly, was drafted by the Leafs back in 2014, but he never actually played a game in their organization. The 6'3" forward broke out big-time in 2023-24, with 18 goals in 14:23 of ice time per night, while laying out 245 hits. We have heard that there is mutual interest between Joshua and Toronto.

As for Zadorov, you can’t teach size, and his 6'6" frame is clearly something the Leafs would covet. It was obvious from the moves they did make at the trade deadline, in acquiring Joel Edmondson and Ilya Lyubushkin, that they will obviously have their eyes on size when adding to their blueline this offseason.

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