With the preseason over and teams set to conform to the cap for Monday, the Leafs made their final roster cuts.
The #leaves placed Kyle Clifford, Adam Gaudette, Victor Mete and Wayne Simmonds on waivers.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) October 9, 2022
There’s a lot to unpack with this bombshell, but the most obvious is that it looks like Nick Robertson and Denis Malgin got the team out of camp. It was well deserved for both as they each had a dominant preseason and worked their way into the Leafs roster. Robertson looks like an NHL player while Malgin plays with a lot more confidence compared to his first go-around in Toronto (as evidenced by his scoring goal in Saturday’s game against Detroit).
Pontus Holmberg also went deep in the process, which should bode well for his place on the depth chart. His two-way play was prevalent throughout pre-season and improved over time. Although he is unlikely to make the squad to start the season, he should be near the top of the call-up standings alongside Alex Steeves and Bobby McMann.
It should also allow the team to lock up Zach-Aston Reese for the year, which is well deserved as he too has been playing well during pre-season.
As for the players the Leafs decided to place on waivers today, there are no real surprises.
Meanwhile, Adam Gaudette and Victor Mete were brought in deep and both players failed to make a significant impact to work their way up the roster. Gaudette suffered a shoulder injury early in camp that left him behind on the depth chart, while Mete missed the last two games after taking a foot shot.
Gaudette is coming off a season where he split his time with Ottawa and Chicago, recording 14 points in 58 games played. Mete spent the previous season with the Senators where he recorded seven assists in 37 games.
As for the players the Leafs placed on waivers today, it’s possible a majority of them will be claimed by other teams in the league. As previously mentioned, Simmonds has been made available and because the Leafs wouldn’t be concerned about returning on a hypothetical trade, he could be hung on the waiver wire. While Gaudette and Mete didn’t make a significant impact, they could also be seen as useful depth for many teams and both could move elsewhere. Clifford appears to be the most likely to eliminate waivers from the group, but it’s still plausible that he’ll end up with another organization.