With the 2016 NHL Trade Deadline approaching at 3 p.m. ET on Monday, Feb. 29, NHL.com is taking a close look at what moves teams might be looking to make and whether they'll be buyers or sellers. Today, the Toronto Maple Leafs.
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS
Record: 20-26-9, 49 points; 8th in Atlantic Division, 10th in Eastern Conference Wild Card
Unrestricted free agents: Michael Grabner, LW; Shawn Matthias, LW; Nick Spaling, C; PA Parenteau, RW; Brad Boyes, RW; Mark Arcobello, C/RW; Rich Clune, RW; Roman Polak, D; James Reimer, G
Restricted free agents: Nazem Kadri, C; Peter Holland, C; Josh Leivo, RW; Morgan Rielly, D; Martin Marincin, D; Frank Corrado, D
Projected 2016 draft picks: 11 (2 first)
Projected 2017 draft picks: 7 (1 first)
Needs: Goaltending, defense, top-six forwards, No. 1 center
Surpluses: Skilled but small forwards
Players Potentially in Play: Parenteau; Kadri; Matthias; Boyes; Polak; Grabner; Spaling; Marincin; Arcobello; Clune; Reimer; Jake Gardiner, D; Matt Hunwick, D, Joffrey Lupul, LW; Jared Cowen, D; Jonathan Bernier, G
Likely status: Seller
Skinny: It is all about the future for the Maple Leafs. That is why so many players on the roster could be had prior to the trade deadline. As much was evident when Toronto traded defenseman Dion Phaneuf to the Ottawa Senators on Feb. 9. The majority of players who will be with the Maple Leafs when they become a playoff contender are either playing in the minors, junior or college; players such as William Nylander, Mitchell Marner, Kasperi Kapanen, Connor Brown, Brendan Leipsic and Dmytro Timashov. Nylander, 19, was leading the American Hockey League in scoring when he sustained a concussion at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship. Through games played Feb. 13, Marner was third in Ontario Hockey League scoring with 32 goals and 86 points in 42 games, and Timashov was eighth in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League scoring with 19 goals and 75 points in 43 games. Maple Leafs management has vowed to be patient and let their prospects develop so when they finally make it to the NHL, it will be for good. In the meantime, the hope is the prospects playing with the Toronto Marlies will go deep in the AHL playoffs and win the Calder Cup. The Maple Leafs have lacked a bona fide No. 1 center since Mats Sundin left town in 2008. Even if they are able to re-sign Reimer, he is not yet a proven No. 1 goaltender, although he is trending in that direction. Bernier has been a disappointment since joining Toronto in 2013-14.