The Toronto Maple Leafs are in search of a top 4 defenseman to bolster their roster ahead of the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs, and their main targets appear to be on the Vancouver Canucks.
It makes sense - they are a
somewhat rebuilding team and most teams are talking to them about a few central players. In the case of Toronto, it's their defensemen, more specifically Erik Gudbranson and Chris Tanev.
It was reported about a week ago that the Leafs made an offer for Gudbranson, involving a draft pick and a prospect. No trade has transpired, so Jim Benning probably isn't interested in that particular deal, or is still mulling over the offer.
This weekend, a rumour was floated that the Leafs offered a 1st round pick and Timothy Liljegren for Tanev.
We know what you're thinking - who is "The Russian Snail" and why are we reporting a rumour based on what this random guy tweeted? Well, we're not. Vancouver beat reported Jason Botchford of The Province responded to this tweet, saying that there is indeed substance to this rumour, and that he heard from his source(s) about this report earlier this month - and that it is legitimate.
Tanev is held in high esteem by the Vancouver Canucks, and it would take a legitimate offer to pry him out of Canuck land. Liljegren was projected to be a top 5, if not top 3 pick in the 2017 NHL entry draft before his stock dropped, with questions about his defensive acumen arising.
He dropped into Toronto's lap at 17th overall, and has reported directly to the Toronto Marlies in the AHL, where he's quickly acclimated to the North American game.
The young defenseman has 10 points in 18 games as an 18-year-old playing against men.
Tanev isn't an offensive defenseman by any stretch, but he has a hard shot, can contribute here and there offensively, but he mainly plays a well-rounded game, which will please Mike Babcock greatly.
The Leafs' first round pick will be towards the bottom of the order, so perhaps it carries less value to Benning, and despite Liljegren's pedigree and early professional success, he's unsure about trading a proven commodity for one with question marks about his game.