Josh Manson, Toronto Maple Leafs rumours
Winnipeg Jets' Mark Scheifele, right, and Anaheim Ducks' Josh Manson fall to the ice as they fight for the puck during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016, in Anaheim, Calif. The Ducks won 4-1. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Tonight’s 32 Thoughts intermission segment was packed with Leafs nuggets courtesy of Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman.

Leafs receiving calls about Petr Mrazek, not currently interested in moving him

First, from Jeff Marek:

There has been some speculation on the future of Petr Mrazek with the Vezina-like season Jack Campbell is having. I checked around on this; there has been no discussion that has been initiated by the Maple Leafs about Petr Mrazek. They see him as part of the program for this season.

However, there have been some teams who have called the Maple Leafs and said, “if you are looking to make a move with that goaltender, give us a call. We are interested.” Very much, there is a marketplace for Petr Mrazek. For Kyle Dubas, all goaltending decisions are summer decisions.

No surprise here. In a Cup-contention season, if the Leafs are going to offload their only other goaltender in the organization with a significant NHL track record not named Jack Campbell, it’s only going to be if another one is coming back in the same or a separate deal, which isn’t an easy deal to swing midseason.

Odds are the Leafs stand pat at the goalie position. With a ton of games on the docket between the end of the All-Star break and the March 21 trade deadline, we will know a lot more about where Mrazek’s game stands by the time the deadline rolls around.

Leafs among many teams pursuing OHL FA goaltender Mack Guzda

More from Marek:

There is a young goaltender named Mack Guzda. He plays for the Barrie Colts of the OHL. That is someone that the Maple Leafs are very much trying to sign. Their pursuit, I am told, is very aggressive. They met with the goaltender this week — I believe on Thursday — but they are not the only team trying to sign this netminder who is having a great season in the OHL. The Penguins, the Rangers, the Predators are all considered front runners. Also, the Islanders, Ducks, and Hurricanes are said to be interested. This netminder is from Knoxville, Tennessee.

The six-foot-five, 21-year-old Guzda is having a standout overage season in the OHL, currently posting a .935 save percentage over 11 starts (9-2-0) for the Barrie Colts.

Goaltending prospects Ian Scott and Joseph Woll are again battling injuries this season that are hindering their development at the pro level, and neither is signed beyond the season (both will require qualifying offers; Woll is arbitration-eligible). With that in mind, the Leafs are wise to be aggressive about pursuing more depth at the position.

An offseason signing out of Sweden, Erik Kallgren has carried the load of late for the Marlies between the pipes during a stretch in which they’ve collected points in nine of their last 11 games; on many nights, the 25-year-old Kallgren (11-6-0, .913 save percentage) has been the Marlies‘ best player.

Mack Guzda Scouting Report

Here is the Blackbook’s scouting report on Guzda from his draft year (2019):

His flexibility is impressive, and given his length, it allows him to take up the bottom part of the net away at a high-rate when dealing with plays down-low to the net. He looks to sprawl out and use his wingspan and overall length to block a lot of pucks, but he relied on sprawling too often, putting himself in positions where he couldn’t make recovery saves after the initial attempt.

Although he showed some decent glove-saves earlier in the year, the mechanics weren’t refined and he failed to develop his glove as the season progressed; this turned into one of his more liable traits and is something we consider important when evaluating a netminder.

Additionally, Guzda does have decent movement and an impressive full-extension when kicking out his pads, but he was very busy in net. As a result, he threw himself out of position consistently. Lastly, his hockey-sense was average to below-average in most games we viewed him in; he would trail behind the play due to losing pucks in traffic. His hockey-sense also didn’t allow him to evaluate high-end shooters to the extent he needs; this didn’t allow him to absorb rebounds very effectively since he wasn’t squared up to the initial shot as consistently as we need to see.

There are some tools and and size in Mack’s game, but there was too many variables when looking at his development in order for us to consider him for the draft.

Leafs among teams with interest in RHD Josh Manson

From Elliotte Friedman:

First of all, Josh Manson was injured in the Ottawa-Anaheim game today. That will be an interesting one to watch in terms of how long he is going to be out. He is an unrestricted free agent to be. There is interest, and Toronto was one of the teams believed to be looking at Manson if he is interested in coming there.

A long-rumoured target given the Leafs’ dearth of quality right-handed defensemen over the years, the 6’3, 220-pound Manson is now in the final year of his $4.1 million contract, but it’s worth noting the Ducks currently lead the relatively-weak Pacific Division at the halfway point of the season, so it remains to be seen whether they’re ultimately sellers or not come March 21.

Interest in a healthy Manson would be plentiful around the league, and the Leafs are relatively short on draft capital, so they would likely need to structure something around one of their notable prospects if this ever came to pass. Dubas did spring for a number of rentals last deadline — most notably, Nick Foligno — although it’s known his preference with any major addition is that there is term involved beyond the end of the season.

Ahead of the playoff run, the addition of a Manson type — a defenseman capable of giving them a quality 19-20 minutes per night with tough defensive and PK deployment —  would really help solidify the Leafs right side, where they’re currently lining up TJ Brodie, Justin Holl (who has had an up-and-down first half), and Timothy Liljegren, who has shown considerable promise but has just 37 games of total NHL experience.

Manson’s contract includes a modified No-Trade Clause that consists of a 12-team no-trade list.