Leafs Open to trading first-round pick for one blockbuster deal

Tom Banks
February 9, 2024  (9:58)

Brad Treliving, GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs
Photo credit: Maple Leafs Hot Stove

The Toronto Maple Leafs need a major infusion of talent on the blue line, and while they reportedly don't want to move their upcoming first-round draft pick, it has been revealed that there is one blockbuster deal that they would move it for.

Can Toronto land both Noah Hanifin and Chris Tanev?

According to renowned NHL Insider Elliotte Friedman, while Toronto don't want to give it up, landing both Noah Hanifin and Chris Tanev would be a motivating factor to do so.
"One exception [to trading their 1st round pick] may be Toronto. If the Maple Leafs trade this year's first, they will have one pick in the top two rounds of the next three drafts (a first-rounder in 2026). It's not impossible they decide to move it, but they definitely prefer the opposite and aren't interested in moving Easton Cowan, Matthew Knies or Fraser Minten (their most asked-about youth).

One case where I do believe they would have done so is if they had acquired both Chris Tanev and Nikita Zadorov, as they tried before the latter's move to the Lions Gate Bridge. There's no doubt in my mind the Maple Leafs want Tanev, but Calgary is holding to see if that first-rounder comes into play. It's poker, but if Toronto really wanted to do that, it would be done already. We will see. He would help them, and they know it. (Maybe Toronto solves this by trying to trade for both Tanev and Noah Hanifin.) They are looking for another centre, as well." - Friedman on the Leafs perhaps going after Tanev and Hanifin in the same deal

Interesting times ahead for the Toronto Maple Leafs

While the team would likely have to include much more to get a deal done for both Hanifin and Tanev, the team realize just how devoid of top talent they are on the blue line, and the infusion of two such players could change the outlook of their 2023-24 season.
Like Zadorov, there's interest all over the league for both Tanev and Hanifin however, so if Toronto want the upgrade, it likely starts at a first-round pick, so now we wait to see which side will budge first in negotiations.