Toronto Maple Leafs - Top 20 prospects 2019

Well, times had really changed. The Toronto Maple Leafs once had a prospect pool that was overflowing so badly that they had to jettison some good players such as winger Josh Leivo to Vancouver. Almost the entire top 20 prospects had either graduated or evaporated such as defenseman Fedor Gordeev and a brand new  GM Kyle Dubas influenced top 20 was now emerging. Dubas had now traded away some picks including two first rounders, so focusing more on high end skill became a priority.

These picks, in time, can become very valuable as players currently on the team become too expensive and need to be replaced by young and cheap talent, much like the Chicago Black Hawks had to, as player after player became too expensive. Toronto's pool was now more shallow for certain but some good help was still on the way.

So, here it is The Toronto Maple Leafs current top 20 prospects. All grades are based upon how good the player is relative to where they were taken in the draft.So, a Shea Weber or Subban in the second round is an A+.

1. Rasmus Sandin : Rasmus was impressing everyone and growing offensively by leaps and bounds with the Leafs farm team, The Toronto Marlies. We thought we got a steal with Timothy Liljegren ? Toronto took the 5 ft. 11 inch left shot defenseman 29th overall in the 2018 draft and it looks like Dubas hit strong and true with this pick.Lookout, because Sandin, a year younger than Liljegren, is looking even more offensively gifted than Timothy Liljegren and may be a powerplay quarterback for years to come.

Last year as a teenager Sandin made a big statement. 

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2018-19Toronto MarliesAHL446222816-1013010106

In the playoffs for the Toronto Marlies last year Rasmus Sandin got 10 assists in 13 playoff games. Rasmus Sandin is a blue chip and a can't miss for NHL play. The question is when? Not likely next year but he may see some injury call up duty later in the year. The way he is progressing he will be playing for the Leafs by the 2020/2021 season, if not sooner.

 Grade  : A.

Considering he was taken 29th and is a defensemen ,this is a great pick and will be of great use to the Leafs as other veteran defensemen move on.

2. Timothy Liljegren : Timothy may not have progressed quite as hoped as of yet and may have injury issues slowing him down a bit but as the 17th overall pick and a right handed defenseman he could be in the NHL very soon. He has beautiful skating and mobility but may not have Sandin's natural knack for offense, as of yet. Reviews are mixed as to whether Liljegren is ready yet and a lot will depend on this training camp. The odds are roughly 50/50 he makes the team out of the gate and 90 percent he will get playing time next season at some point in 2019/2020.

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2018-19Toronto MarliesAHL433121518-8

Grade: B+

I'm not sure if Sandin stole his thunder or injuries have slowed down his growth but Dubas did make the claim he is near NHL ready.

3. Jeremy Bracco - Bracco took a huge leap last year and became an offensive catalyst for the Toronto Marlies and drew some Marner like comparisons, even though they are very different players.
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Grade B+: This Hunter 2nd round pick is looking like an NHL player and could easily drive a 3rd line offensively one day in the NHL. He has progressed as well as anyone could have hoped for.

4. Nicholas Robertson - With no first round pick this year 2019, Dubas went for drive and skill and took Michigan born winger Robertson of the OHL Peterborough Petes.. He lists at  5 ft 9 inches and 160 lbs but has tons of drive and desire to succeed which is what led GM Dubas to take him 53rd overall in the 2019 NHL draft. Robertson said " He didn't want to go first round, he wanted to play for Toronto." Nicholas eats,sleeps and dreams about hockey.
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2018-19Peterborough PetesOHL5427285524-3

Grade B+: Probably 2 to 3 years away but looks like he has the drive and desire to learn and grow into an NHL player.

5. Trevor Moore -  Trevor played in both the NHL and AHL last year, finishing the year in the NHL. Trevor managed to get 2 goals and 6 assists in 25 games and got one goal in the playoffs. Trevor is 24 now so to me he is an NHL'er and no longer a prospect. He has very good speed and is a hard worker he could play 3rd or 4th line.

Grade : B  An undrafted free agent signing that panned out.

6. Ilya Mikheyev - Ilya is a 6 ft. 2 inch, 194 lb. Right winger from Russia. 

Grade B+: Coach Mike Babcock says that Ilya can help the NHL club right away. Based on his pre season play IIya looks like a Russian shark out there and is NHL ready. He is fast , strong and takes the body hard. He has offensive instincts and shoots well with a smooth release that's accurate enough. Lookout Hyman ! IIya has top 6 winger potential written all over him. Toronto has found a good one here.

7a). Joseph Woll 
7b)  Ian Scott

Grade B : Both goalies were taken later in the draft  at 3rd and 4th round respectively. Both goalies are progressing well with each year. Which one will be better is subject to opinion. Myself, I favour Ian Scott who has played very strongly while being the younger of the two. As we know, goalies take longer to mature and learn the game but right now both of them look very promising.

8) Yegor Korshkov - Remember this guy? Hunter took him in the first slot in the 2nd round and everyone said " Who?" Well, he is signed and ready to play in North America. He will most likely start with the Toronto Marlies and get used to the game. He has size, can skate and looks to be a scorer. He may help to fill the void left when JVR went to the Philadelphia Flyers.

Grade B : Taken as an overager, the jury is still out as he gets used to North American play etc.Based on pre season 2019 play, he is close to NHL ready and looks to be another sniper.

9. Mikko Kokkonen -  Was taken 84th overall in the 3rd round. He is a Swedish defenseman and is 5 ft. 11 inches while weighing in at 198 lbs.

 Has an effective wrist shot from the point with a quick release. He distributes the puck well and is well served in the transition game, McKeen's Hockey 2019
He keeps his shifts short and doesn’t make many glaring mistakes in the defensive zone, Future Considerations 2019

Grade B- : Seems like a safe pick given 84th overall.

10 ) Mac Hollowell is a 4th rounder from the 2018 draft he who has progressed well. He is a 5 ft. 10 inch , 170 lb. right handed defenseman who has served with the Toronto Marlies. Some are hopeful he can make the big team out of training camp.
Grade B : Has progressed nicely, a good pick in the 4th round.

11) Pierre Engvall is a big Swedish winger who was taken in the 7th round. He is playing with the Marlies and could play 3rd or 4th line on the Leafs someday soon.
Grade B+ : Anytime a 7th rounder plays, you win.

12) Jesper Lindgren is a Swedish defender who shoots right and stands at 6 ft.  He weighs 160 lbs and will start with the Toronto Marlies next year. 
Grade:  C+  He was taken in the 4th round, 95th overall. He may play in the NHL someday.

* July 25 th 2019  Andreas Borgman traded to St Louis for defensmen, Justin Schmaltz.

Good luck Andreas!

 13) Andreas Borgman is a free agent signing from Sweden. He is 24 and 6ft  183 lbs and a leftie. Borgman is a hard hitting, stay at home type defensmen who could play for the Leafs this season as a 6/7th defensemen.

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2018-19Toronto MarliesAHL4541317430131126
NHL Totals48381128

Grade : C+ : Not bad for a free agent signing.

14) Adam Brooks is a 4th rounder who currently plays with the Toronto Marlies. He is 23 , 5 ft. 10 inches weighing in at  175 lbs. He progressed nicely last year and projects as a character 4th line Center.
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Grade  C+:  Could fill the Leafs 4th line Center starting the 2021 season.

15) Der-Aruchintsev Semyon- He projects as a playmaking 3rd line Center with lots of skill. A Dubas 3rd rounder.

Grade  C+:

16) Mason Marchment is a 24 year old 6ft 4 inch, 200 lb Left winger playing for the Toronto Marlies who many feel could make the Leafs next year.

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Grade C + : Let's hope he is ready soon because at 24, time is now running out.

17) Teemu Kivihalme is a former 5th rounder in the 2013 draft taken by the Nashville Predators. He is a 24 years old  defenseman and is 6ft 170 lbs.

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Grade C :  Time will tell on this one.

18) Eemeli Rasanen is a Hunter former 2nd rounder. He is a 6ft 7 inch   223 lb right shooting defenseman who went over to Russia to play last year. A project who could punish opposing teams with his size and reach.

Grade C: Like all projects he will need time to mature but if he does he could become an excellent 5/6th defenseman.

19) Dmytro Timashov is a small, skilled winger who played with the Marlies last year and has a chance to some day play in the NHL. He did progress nicely as the year went on.He scored 4 goals and 6 assists in 13 playoff games.

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Grade C+ : For a fifth rounder not bad, he could play in the NHL even if it is as injury fill duty.

Honourable mention : Riley Stotts is a 5 ft 11 inch, 179 lb left shooting Center with the Calgary hitmen.A 2018 3rd rounder.Potential 3rd line Center.

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Calgary HitmenWHL62193857540

By the numbers      G : 2

                               W: 8

                               D:  8

                               C : 2

Team Grade : C+. The Toronto Maple Leafs are still strong on the wings, have great depth on defense and should be ok in Goal as well. They have a glaring weakness at the Center position, one that many feel is the most important in hockey. Losing those first rounders is showing as only Brooks and Der-Aruchintsev Semyon look to have NHL potential.

 Add Mikhail Abramov as a quick riser.


SKY - Some kind of wonderful