The Leafs are in on Drouin…but so is everyone else

From the beginning of this whole Jonathan Drouin saga, it seemed like just a matter of time before we heard the Leafs being name-dropped as a potential suitor. After all, they are a buyer in the biggest way when it comes to trying to accumulate young talent, and rumours seem to follow them more than any other team given the major media market in Toronto.

The Drouin talk has quieted down a little over the last couple weeks while he waits at home for a deal, but in the past 24-48 hours or so it’s been ramped up again. As Bob McKenzie from TSN explains, it seems as though teams are getting wind of what’s being proposed by others, and many are circling back to make a push before the deadline. It appears the Leafs are now part of what’s become a long list.

This morning on TSN’s new morning radio spot with Naylor and Landsberg, McKenzie was asked about Drouin’s status right now, and what teams might be in the conversation with Yzerman to acquire him. He pointed out that nearly half the league has expressed interest in some capacity. 

“Do I believe the Toronto Maple Leafs are one of 10-15 teams that have expressed interest in Jonathan Drouin and if possible would try to make that trade? Yeah, I think that’s the case”

But as McKenzie goes on to say, the same can be said about teams such as Anaheim or Vancouver, and a host of others. Again, audio available here.

The only reason this raises a few ears this morning is because it’s the first we’ve heard, with any amount of certainty, that the Leafs have been involved. They aren’t the front-runners, or at least they haven’t been reported as such, and given what we’ve been reading over the last little while that title likely still belongs to the Senators.

This is just another storyline to keep an eye on as we get through this week, to go along with about a hundred more we’ve been tracking. And as far as how much sense it makes, well, obviously plenty. Drouin’s a center, young, and is probably in about as much of a “buy low” situation as he can be. Where his ceiling will be has long been a point of debate, and personally I’m not completely sold on him, but it’s surprising we haven’t heard the Leafs pop up in this rumour wheel sooner.

  • Puck_Stops_Here

    I would absolutely love to have Druoin! I think his rate stats are impressive in his limited sample size. But I would only go as far as Kapanen OR Pittsburgh’s 1st. Preferably less but that’s the limit in my opinion.

    • CMpuck

      Marner’s ceiling is way higher than Drouin’s if you look at their respective NHLe’s. But that’s not a reason to not want to have Drouin on our team.

    • Gary Empey

      That makes no sense. “Drouin would only be like our 3rd or 4th best prospect, so I don’t want to trade for him” Huh? Acquire talent, especially in a situation like Drouin’s which appears to be a buy-low situation.

      What do we see as his value? What is the price to acquire him? What deal is he looking for? These are the considerations we should be thinking about. “Is he as good as Marner?” is so utterly irrelevant that it’s hilarious and absurd to even ask the question, unless you’re considering trading Marner for him, which nobody in the world is.

      Should we trade for Jonathan Drouin? The answer is 100% dependent on the cost of acquiring him. He’s a player worth trading for at the right price. This isn’t John Scott or Raffi Torres where the only way you’re trading for them is for picks and prospects coming along with them. Drouin is a hockey talent and has real value in a trade.

  • Puck_Stops_Here

    I hope they don’t. Isn’t this what Burke was doing? Trade away picks and prospects away for other young players. I’ve seen Toronto mortgage their future for over 25 years now and it still hasn’t worked. Drouin won’t be cheap and you can say goodbye to either Nylander or Marner.

    This is the first time I can say their doing the right thing and finally biting the bullet and starting completely over and develop their own players. So I say stay clear.

    • CMpuck

      There’s no way Yzerman is getting a prospect like marner or Nylander for Druoin at this point. Or any other high end pick. St Louis already said no to Fabri and Ottawa said no to white. Those are 2 late 1st rounders. At this point Yzerman will have to settle for a lot less.

      Worst case is toronto could get Druoin for Kapanen and Yzerman would dance a jig. He won’t get better than that from any other team in the league and he probably won’t even get that. Already lots of leaf fans are saying that’s too much

      If Druoin doesn’t play the rest of this year Yzerman would have to take a 2nd round pick.

      As for mortgaging the future and a return to the Nonis Era we are talking about acquiring a guy whose 20 not 35.

  • TGT23

    It isn’t the player or the attitude that worries me so much as it is the cost that it would take to acquire him. I’m not interested in paying that. The kid could and probably will be a fine NHL player, and he’d fill out a line with Naz and JVR (or Naz and Komo) nicely. I like his talent, but it would cost a 1st and probably a nice prospect just to get the ball rolling.

    I’d rather the 1st and the prospect.

    But, if ever there was a time for Luo to work some magic…

  • Gary Empey

    He is a player who has mostly been a healthy scratch for Tampa.

    With 10-15 teams interested in acquiring Druoin the price will likely be on the high side.

    Yzerman is looking for his draft year value on a player he thinks is a bust.

    There is no point in Toronto giving up any of their top young prospects of equal value, to receive the same thing back.

  • Gary Empey

    Elliot Friedman is saying he thinks Druoin for ivan barbashev is a fair trade. Barbashev was a second round pick 33 overall in 2014. He has 22 points in 46 AHL games. If that’s the cost for Druoin then the Leafs should take it. The leafs could beat that price with their second round pick this year and a guy like Hyman or shoshnicov or half dozen other marlies who aren’t Nylander Brown or kapanen.

  • Gary Empey

    Druoin + bad contract for JVR. The cap space would let them sign stamkos if Toronto doesn’t plan on seriously pursuing him and his soon to be highest paid contract in the NHL.