The Leafs blue line will suddenly get an upgrade on Tuesday. Travis Dermott, sidelined with offseason shoulder surgery, will play his first game of the season against the Washington Capitals.
He is expected to start on the bottom pairing with Justin Holl.
Mike Babcock confirmed Travis Dermott will return for #Leafs tomorrow vs Capitals— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) October 28, 2019
The 22-year-old was sidelined after the initial shoulder injury suffered on Feb. 27, but was able to come back to play the final four games of the 2018-19 regular season and all seven playoff matches against the Boston Bruins.
During his first full NHL season last year, Dermott scored four goals and had 17 points in 64 games.
Defence has been the biggest concern for the Leafs so far this season. Through the first 13 games, Toronto has allowed a league-leading 44 goals against.
While Dermott was on the ice last season for the Leafs, the team had 54.52 per cent of the shot share, the best among all Leafs defencemen.
If that rate of contribution can continue, Toronto should see a slight improvement from their blue line overall and keep less pucks out of their net — theoretically.
Not to put too much pressure on the young defenceman, but a lot of fans hope this addition can change the direction the Leafs are heading.
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