The Leafs are averaging over 33 shots against per game. As well, being a young team, they are prone to turnovers. The Leafs need an extra defenceman, to help bail them out when they do turn over the puck, to help get the puck out of the zone, and to clear the crease when necessary.
Personally, I think the best trade candidate to help on defence would be Chris Tanev, from the Vancouver Canucks.
Just looking at his statistics, Tanev was on the plus side of the plus/minus stat last season. He posted a plus 3 in 53 games, on a Canucks team that finished in second last in the NHL. He has finished on the plus side of that stat in three of his last four seasons, not counting this season.
Tanev is also a right handed shot, which is what the team has reportedly been looking for. Not to mention, Tanev was born in Toronto, so it would look good to the fan base to have another local person on the roster.
Yes, Tanev doesn’t score a lot. He has two goals this season, and his career high is six goals, set following the 2013-14 season. However, the Leafs have enough defencemen who can score, including Jake Gardiner, Morgan Rielly and Nikita Zaitsev, so acquiring a low scoring defenceman shouldn’t be a problem.
Tanev’s name did pop up in trade rumours over the summer, so the Canucks are obviously at least interested in seeing what they could get in return for the Canadian defenceman.
Yes, I am aware that I am just another Leaf fan speculating at this point, as there is no indication the Leafs and Canucks are talking about a trade. But, the main point I’m trying to make is, Tanev might be the best fit for what the Maple Leafs need.
With the Maple Leafs looking to make another push for a playoff run this season, I think adding a defenceman like Chris Tanev would be a smart decision.