Dakota Joshua interested in returning to Toronto Maple Leafs

Elliot Ben Jacob
May 31, 2024  (2:46 PM)

Vancouver Canucks' Dakota Joshua.
Photo credit: NHL

Free agent Dakota Joshua, drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2014, shows interest in returning to Toronto after his playoff success with the Vancouver Canucks.

According to a new report, free agent Dakota Joshua is considering a return to the Toronto Maple Leafs, the team that drafted him in 2014. Joshua, who had a strong playoff performance with the Vancouver Canucks, is looking for a new contract this summer. Currently, it seems unlikely that Vancouver will offer him a deal.
"The Canucks and Joshua, who can enter free agency on July 1, aren't 'close' on a contract, per Rick Dhaliwal of Donnie & Dhali."
The possibility of Joshua rejoining the Maple Leafs has sparked interest among experts. The 28-year-old forward was drafted 128th overall in 2014 by the Leafs when the team was led by former general manager Dave Nonis. Nonis now serves as the assistant general manager and senior VP of hockey operations with the Calgary Flames.
Since his draft, Joshua played four years in the NCAA with Ohio State University before being traded by Kyle Dubas to the St. Louis Blues in 2019. Over the past two seasons, he has been with the Vancouver Canucks organization, scoring 55 points (29 goals, 26 assists) in 142 games.
James Mirtle of The Athletic reported that Joshua could be open to returning to Toronto if an offer is made during free agency:
"I've heard some people say that Joshua wouldn't want to be in Toronto because he was a draft pick and he played four years in college and walked. I'm told that's not true."

"He would be interested in Toronto. The reason he didn't sign with Toronto when he was a pick was that he thought it would be hard to break into the forward group at the time, given all the good young forwards they had at the time, and he thought going somewhere else he would get more of an opportunity in the NHL faster. That's why he made that choice."
While Brad Treliving has numerous free agents to manage this summer, fans are hopeful that he will keep an eye on the available players in the market. If he does, the interest in a reunion with Dakota Joshua could be mutual, potentially bringing the forward back to where his professional journey began.