Maple Leafs Trade Idea Flips Islanders Package for Mitch Marner

Ryan Pulock of the New York Islanders could go to the Maple Leafs.

Getty Ryan Pulock of the New York Islanders could go to the Maple Leafs.

The Toronto Maple Leafs could trade Mitch Marner ahead of the first season under the guidance of new head coach Craig Berube, and the New York Islanders are the latest franchise to be thrown into a potential transaction.

David Kolb of The Hockey News proposed a potential trade involving the Islanders and Maple Leafs, coming up with a change of scenery for the seemingly available superstar forward.

“Here’s the basic idea,” Kolb wrote. “The Islanders dish Adam Pelech ($5.75 M AAV) or Ryan Pulock ($6.15 M) and a draft pick(s) for Marner.”

Kolb’s proposed trade centers on addressing the respective needs of both teams as they enter another offseason following upsets in the 2024 campaign. He suggests that the Islanders could move a defenseman (Adam Pelech or Ryan Pulock) alongside draft picks to acquire Marner.

“New York picks up much-needed offense while the Leafs gain cap space and a defensive playoff-tested presence, improving a leaky Toronto blueline,” Kolb wrote.

CapFriendly projects the Islanders to have $5.8 million of cap space in the offseason. That could make it challenging for the franchise to sign talented free-agent forwards. On the other hand, Toronto has a plethora of elite forwards so the franchise could move one, most probably Marner.

Islanders Already Doing Bold Moves

Completing such a bold trade shouldn’t surprise anyone. That’s because the Islanders, with the help of the Chicago Blackhawks, were the first to complete a pre-draft trade and get the offseason transactions going.

The Isles and the Hawks exchanged first-round picks (among other selections) on May 24. The Blackhawks moved up to the Islanders’ No. 18 pick, while New York acquired Chicago’s No. 20 pick, along with two second-round selections.

According to The Athletic’s Arthur Staple, in a story analyzing the trade on May 24, the move could indicate further Islanders trades being on the franchise’s horizon. Staple’s report gives credence to Kolb’s trade proposal as a viable transaction.

“Knowing Lamoriello, this doesn’t feel like the only transaction coming,” Staple wrote. “It could mean New York wants to package that extra second with a roster player to escape a contract burden and free up some much-needed space.”

Mitch Marner‘s Potential Trade or Extension

Marner’s career has been marked by both significant achievements and challenges, all of them within Toronto’s confines.

The Leafs signed Marner to a hefty six-year contract with an annual average value of $10.9 million in September 2019. That contract will expire on July 1, 2025, forcing Toronto to either trade Marner now, sign him to an extension before then, or lose him for nothing.

Despite the endless rumors around him, Marner expressed his desire to remain with the Maple Leafs during his exit interview in May.


Marner had a productive 2024 regular season, scoring 85 points in 69 games, despite missing a month due to a high-ankle sprain. However, his performance in the postseason was less impressive, contributing only 3 points in seven games against the Boston Bruins.

Would Maple Leafs Be Happy With Pelech or Pulock?

This trade would be won by the Islanders as presented. It’s fair to wonder if the Maple Leafs would be pleased with landing one of the two defenders pitched by Kolb in his proposal, no matter how many draft picks are added to the package.

Pulock, same as Marner, has a no-trade clause in his contract. He carries a cap hit of $6.15 million through the end of the 2028-29 season. He appeared in 58 games in 2024 scoring 5 goals and assisting 14.

On the other hand, Pelech has a contract running through the end of the 2027-27 season with a lower cap hit of $5.75 million. He also has a no-trade clause baked into it, and he scored 1 goal and assisted 15 in 58 regular-season games in 2024.

Former NHL player and current analyst Nick Kypreos of the Toronto Star reported on June 13 that the Leafs will pursue two top defensemen in free agency. Those two players are Brandon Montour of the Florida Panthers and Chris Tanev of the Dallas Stars.

When comparing those two blueliners to the Islanders’ defensemen pitched by Kolb, not to mention the addition of Marner, it’s quite clear Toronto would reject this trade proposal and look for alternatives.

One could see the Leafs land a 120-point scorer from the New York Rangers while another would send a couple of Vegas Golden Knights players to Canada.

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