The door for a big-money Toronto offer sheet in the summers of 2016 or 2017 is closed, for now.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have decided to retain their 2016 third-round draft pick, Sportsnet confirmed.
The Maple Leafs must forfeit a third-round pick to the Detroit Red Wings and a third-round pick to the New Jersey Devils as delayed compensation for hiring away head coach Mike Babcock and general manager Lou Lamoriello, respectively.
By hanging on to their 2016 third-rounder, Toronto must now surrender its 2017 third-rounder to Detroit for Babcock and its 2018 third-rounder to New Jersey for Lamoriello.
The deadline to make this decision was today.
This means the Maple Leafs currently hold 12 draft picks total in 2016, including two in each of the first four rounds, and incredible flexibility on the draft floor.
By retaining this year’s third-rounder, Toronto would have to work out a deal with Detroit and/or New Jersey in order to require its own 2017 or 2018 third-rounder and sign a member of 2016’s deep RFA class to an offer sheet.
Here is the offer sheet compensation chart. Note how third-rounders are key:
|Average annual value||Compensation|
|Less than $1,239,226||Nothing|
|Over $1,239,226 to $1,877,615||Third-round pick|
|Over $1,877,615 to $3,755,233||Second-round pick|
|Over $3,755,233 to $5,632,847||First and third-round picks|
|Over $5,632,847 to $7,510,464||First, second and third-round picks|
|Over $7,510,464 to $9,388,080||Two firsts, a second and third-round picks|
|Over $9,388,080||Four first-round picks|
As things stand now, the Leafs would not be in a position to sign a big-money offer sheet in 2017 or 2018, although Toronto did make up for its lost 2018 third-rounder when James Reimer and the San Jose Sharks advanced to the Stanley Cup Final.
The Maple Leafs could also use some of their extra picks as trade currency or simply stock up on a dozen prospects.
According to General Fanager, Toronto could alter its compensation to Detroit and New Jersey via trade:
— General Fanager (@generalfanager) June 1, 2016