NHL trade rumors: Insider speculates Toronto Maple Leafs sophomore as prime target for GMs

Chicago Blackhawks v Toronto Maple Leafs
Matthew Knies is speculated to be a prime target for opposing general managers.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are at the center of discussions, with insiders speculating on potential moves. The Athletic's Jonas Siegel recently dissected the Maple Leafs' trade options. He pointed out several trade options, including backup goalie Dennis Hildeby, Fraser Minten and Easton Cowan.

However, the name that stands out among these possibilities is Matthew Knies. The sophomore forward has not only played exceptionally well but also showcased an enticing upside, making him a prime target for opposing general managers.

"Matthew Knies is one name opposing GMs will undoubtedly have circled. Knies has played so well, though, and boasts such enticing upside that he’s presumably a complete no-go for the Brendan Shanahan-Brad Treliving front office," Siegel reported.

Knies was drafted 57th overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft.

Acknowledging Knies' importance both in the present and future for the Maple Leafs, Siegel dismissed the notion of Toronto considering a trade involving the talented forward. The sentiment is clear – Knies is deemed too valuable to be part of any potential deals.

However, Siegel introduced alternative scenarios that the Maple Leafs might explore. He speculated whether Toronto would be open to parting with a third-round pick to acquire a player like Ilya Lyubushkin. Another name brought up was Nick Robertson, who has not been consistent, possesses a smaller stature and lacks a clearly defined power-play role.

More on Toronto Maple Leafs forward Matthew Knies

Matthew Knies, drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2021, boasts a rich background, with an older brother who played collegiate hockey. Raised in Arizona, he's a fluent Slovak speaker, maintaining a connection with his Slovakian grandparents.

Knies represented the United States at the 2022 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships and earned a spot on the national team for the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Signing an entry-level contract in April 2023, Knies made a noteworthy NHL debut, contributing to the Toronto Maple Leafs' playoff success. Despite facing setbacks, including a concussion, he achieved a Gordie Howe hat trick in December 2023.

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Edited by Shamik Banerjee
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