Leafs heavily linked to Travis Hamonic ahead of draft

It’s draft day, which means the active trade market we were promised over the last couple months is coming to fruition. There have already been a couple blockbusters early this afternoon, and it feels as though the dominoes are finally falling. With that said, the Leafs have been popping up more as a potential destination for a few of the names out there, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see something finalized before they leave the draft floor tonight.

The target? A right-handed defenceman, course.

Hamonic is an interesting potential addition. We’ve heard his name in trade rumours for nearly two full years now, but the Isles have yet to pull the trigger. Teams out west, such as Calgary and Edmonton, have typically been the proposed destination for the 26-year-old, but it’s unsurprising to see a bunch of others jump into the mix with the scarcity of players to fit that role.

At a glance, Hamonic seems to be a fine fit for the Leafs to upgrade on the right side. He’s relatively young, cheap at 3.8-million AAV, and though he’s coming off a not-so-great season on a below-average club, I think he can re-gain his status as a solid top-four guy on the back-end, especially alongside Gardiner.

The hangup? The rumoured price to get him, from an asset standpoint.

Insiders and the like keep trotting out an ask of two first-round picks that apparently Snow is looking for in exchange for Hamonic. That is absurd, especially with what we just saw Hjalmarsson, a superior player, go for. Hjalmarsson is a left-shot, but still, two firsts is very steep for what Hamonic brings.

Toronto is believed to already have an offer in for Hamonic, but if the Islanders don’t come down from that price, I can’t see how Lamoriello could justify moving out that much to nab him.