NHL Rumors: Toronto Maple Leafs, Buffalo Sabres and New Jersey Devils

NHL Rumors: Toronto Maple Leafs, Buffalo Sabres and New Jersey Devils

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Buffalo Sabres and New Jersey Devils
On the Toronto Maple Leafs …

Mark Masters: Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said that the Leafs “seriously considered” drafting Sebastian Aho in the second round of the 2015 draft. (The Leafs selected defenseman Travis Dermott at No. 34. Aho went to the Carolina Hurricanes at No. 35.)

On the Buffalo Sabres …

John Vogl of the Buffalo News: The Buffalo Sabres want to improve their blueline for next season, but it’s not going to be easy when looking at the free agent market.

Top UFA point producers: Kevin Shattenkirk, Andrei Markov, Mark Streit and Cody Franson.

Top UFA by minutes played: Ron Hainsey, Markov, Kulikov, and Kris Russell.

Youngest UFAs: Kulikov, Michael Del Zotto and Michael Stone.

Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner is worthy of getting a contract. If the Sabres are not able to convince Stattenkirk to sign with them, the UFA market may not land the Sabres much.

Top scoring RFA defensemen: Justin Schultz, Colton Parayko, Shayne Gostisbehere, Dmitry Orlov.

Top RFA by minutes played: Nikita Zaitsev and Esa Lindell.

Two other RFAs that the Sabres could consider offer sheeting: Calvin de Haan and Erik Gudbranson.

Sabres GM Tim Murray will likely have to go the trade route.

On the New Jersey Devils …

Chris Ryan of NJ.com: (mailbag) 2016 2nd draft pick Nathan Bastian is likely a year or two away for competing for a roster spot. 2016 1st round pick Michael McLeod could make the team next year.

Prospects that could make the Devils next year: McLeod, Blake Speers and John Quenneville.

The Devils could make a big push for UFA defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. He played for the Devils youth organization when he was young. He’s been tied to the NY Rangers. The Devils have the cap space.

Can see some roster turnover, but don’t expect a drastic change. A few prospects may get bigger roles. Any ‘big change’ may depend on how aggressive they plan on being in free agency.