The Toronto Maple Leafs are busy working the phones trying to find upgrades for their defense core and according to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, they are also dealing with some internal trade requests. Friedman is reporting AHL defenseman Joseph Duszak has informed the team he prefers to be moved.

Duszak has appeared in 37 games so far for the Toronto Marlies and has recorded 5 goals and 32 assists. The 24-year-old right-handed defenseman was undrafted college free agent and has spent four seasons with the Maple Leafs organization.

The New York native is a pending restricted free agent who is signed to an NHL contract of $750,000 for 2021-22. You can’t blame him for wanting out as he’s never been given a shot with an NHL call up to the Maple Leafs, despite the team being desperate for help throughout this season. Duszak’s numbers stack up against other defenseman in the AHL but unfortunately the opportunity has not been there.

Friedman had this to say on the situation:

He’s not someone I know real well, but AHL Toronto defenceman Joseph Duszak is looking for a new start. He’s got 37 points (32 of them assists) in 37 games. I didn’t see it, but he also played one game at forward.

Look for Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas to include Duszak in a deal before the March 21 deadline as the team continues to discuss trades with multiple teams. The team has been linked to trade talks with the Seattle Kraken, New York Islanders, Arizona Coyotes, Philadelphia Flyers and Buffalo Sabres.

Photo Credit:  Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

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