Connor Brown looks to be on the move from Ottawa, prompting rumours of a return to Toronto but would the Leafs be wise to trade for their 2012 draft pick?
OMAR: Before my love Michael Bunting, there was Connor Brown. Connor Brown was a 2012 sixth-round pick of the Leafs. And for the longest time, he actually was considered the top prospect in the organization. And considering the differences and things, that's odd. But he ended up making the team, along with Matthews and Hyman and Nylander all that one year, 2016.
Scored 20 goals, scored the game-winning goal in that one game against Pittsburgh that sent the Leafs to the playoffs for the first time since 2013, but had to be moved to Ottawa because of the salary cap situation. There was some contracts that needed to be moved. In particular, Nikita Zaitsev's contract needed to be moved, and Brown had to be part of it.
Now we fast forward to today, and apparently there's a lot of talk that may be Ottawa might be looking to move Brown. So here's the question. Would it makes sense, or is it possible, for Connor Brown to be reunited with the Leafs? Now just from a talk of the optics of the actual trade, not picks and this player is going to go there or whatever it is. Does it make sense as far as how the roster is being built?
You have Ilya Mikheyev who right now is likely on his way out. Yes, he's working on a deal, but who knows? Alexander Kerfoot is a player who could move on as well because of the money that he makes. Both of those players kill penalties. Conner Brown is a player who can kill penalties, so that works. Connor Brown is also a player you can put in the top six. He is also a player that can play on the left-hand side, and he did that in his time with the Leafs. There were some moments he was playing on the left.
So based off of roster construction, it does make sense. Now I guess the downside is maybe you're in the camp of, hey, let's give some younger players an opportunity to actually make the team in that sense and get those top-six roles, and let's stop bringing in older players to do so. That I understand. But that being said, I do think it can make sense, or it can at least work, to have Brown back on the team. It just always seemed like a fit.
And Brown is a player who was loved on the team. He's familiar with the organization, with the culture, what it means to be a Leaf. I think being in Ottawa and being in the role that he was there, I think he'll actually come back and kind of be more of a stronger presence. Yes, I know they're trading him, but I still think he can come back and be a better player on this team than he was before. So a lot of it does actually make sense. And on the bright side, if he does come back, then he'll end up having two players on the Leafs that I'm really passionate