Sean Walker

The Toronto Maple Leafs are expected to pursue Sean Walker in free agency.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are expected to show interest in defenseman Sean Walker in free agency, according to NHL insider David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period.

Walker completed his four-year $10.6 million deal, which he signed back in 2020 while he was a member of the Los Angeles Kings. At the 2024 NHL trade deadline, Walker was one of the top defensemen available and he was dealt to the Colorado Avalanche.

The 29-year-old will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and Pagnotta reports that the Maple Leafs will be one of several teams expected to show interest in him.

“One defenceman on their radar is Sean Walker, who is unlikely to return to Colorado after the Avalanche acquired him from the Philadelphia Flyers two days before the trade deadline. Walker, 29, will draw plenty of interest July 1, as teams like the Dallas Stars, Toronto Maple Leafs, Nashville Predators, and San Jose Sharks are just four other teams expected to pursue him, in addition to the Canes,” Pagnotta wrote.

Walker would fill a need for the Maple Leafs who are expected to lose multiple defensemen in free agency. Pagnotta reported that Joel Edmundson is expected to test free agency while Ilya Lyubushkin and Toronto have yet to engage in extension talks.

DailyFaceoff.com projects Walker to land a four-year deal worth $4.8 million per season.

Last season, Walker recorded 10 goals and 19 assists for 29 points in 81 games between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Avalanche. Walker made his NHL debut during the 2018-19 season after signing with the Kings in 2018 after spending the 2017 season with their AHL affiliate Ontario Reign.

Walker has skated in 313 NHL games and has recorded 26 goals and 70 assists for 96 points.


Maple Leafs Likely to Part Ways With Multiple Defenseman

Toronto will likely have a very different defensive unit for the 2024-25 NHL season.

As mentioned, Pagnotta reported that Edmundson is expected to test free agency while Ilya Lyubushkin and the Maple Leafs have yet to engage in contract talks.

“The Leafs have also expressed interest in re-signing Joel Edmundson; however, I’m told the rugged defenseman plans on testing free agency next month. He is open to returning to Toronto, but he wants to explore his options before deciding his future,” Pagnotta wrote. “Meanwhile, the Leafs have not started negotiations with another mid-season acquisition, Ilya Lyubushkin, who is also set to become a UFA.”


Walker is the sixth-best defenseman available in free agency, according to DailyFaceoff.com.

The best players available in free agency are forwards, as DailyFaceoff has the entire top five and eight of the top 10 all forwards. But, the outlet has Brady Skjei of the Carolina Hurricanes as the top defenseman available in free agency, as the website projects him to get a six-year deal with $7.4 million per season.

The top five defensemen available in free agency according to DailyFaceoff are Skjei, Brandon Montour of the Florida Panthers, Matt Roy of the Kings, Brett Pesce of the Hurricanes, and Nikita Zadorov of the Vancouver Canucks.

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