Last summer the Leafs continued to explore the European free agent market by bringing in a young Finnish defenseman by the name of Teemu Kivihalme. I won’t pretend I knew much about Kivihalme then but put similar expectations on him as Andreas Borgman and Calle Rosen. Those expectations appear to be spot on as Kivihalme demonstrated himself to be a solid Marlies defender with a good chance of stepping up into a depth role on the Leafs or being an injury callup in 2020-21.
Kivihalme is a left shooting defenseman, so he’s bound to face some interesting challenges with the Leafs depth on that side, as Rielly, Muzzin, Sandin, Dermott, Marincin, Rosen is pretty solid depth, even if one or two are expected to move over to play on the right side. Cracking the NHL lineup for Kivihalme without the Leafs making a trade will be a challenge, unless he’s the lefty who steps up and becomes comfortable on the right side, which seemingly is just Justin Holl and possibly Timothy Liljegren at this point. Clearly the Leafs will have some upgrading that needs to be done.
Teemu is turning 25 this summer, and is …
Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation