The Leafs have 7 NHL defensemen now that Travis Dermott is signed. By NHL defensemen, I mean defensemen we all reasonably expect to be on a NHL roster at the start of next season. I’ve counted them. It’s Rielly, Muzzin, Brodie, Dermott, Lehtonen, Holl, and Bogosian. That’s 7. That’s not including Rasmus Sandin or Timothy Liljegren who look like they’ll have another year before becoming NHL fulltimers, and Calle Rosen and Martin Marincin who are solid depth options. We can even look at Teemu Kivihalme as a guy who would normally get a look as a bottom pairing option as a guy in the mix for a NHL job at some point soon. The Leafs are now looking pretty deep on defense. And that’s pretty good.
At this point it’s a challenge to determine how the seven main defensemen are going to fit into 6 spots in the lineup.
I’d argue that the top four should probably look like this:
Muzzin-Lehtonen (swap in Holl or Dermott if you want to be boring)
And that’s going to leave Dermott, Holl, and Bogosian slotting into the bottom pairing. So somewhere in there is an odd …
Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation