As a big-bodied scoring winger (6-foot-3, 209 pounds) with a cap-friendly $4.25-million annual average salary, van Riemsdyk would certainly attract interest in the trade market.“ (The Hockey News)
Richardson goes on to note that an off-season deal is more likely, though I’d wager a team looking for a run this year that can fit him in – and have the space in 2017-2018 – wouldn’t mind pulling the trigger.
With how much JVR is going to command on his next deal, and the financials of keeping the Leafs young stars, plus whatever top four defender they end up attracting or acquiring, it’s hard to imagine van Riemsdyk in the fold beyond his current deal.
This year might be the best for maximum return if he continues to play extremely well given his extra season at such a low cost.
A point-per-game forward is likely going to be the best thing the Leafs can offer in their search for a top defender around the trade market, so there’s no sense in wasting an opportunity if it comes up.