Photo: Forward Josh Leivo is one of several Toronto Maple Leafs prospects who are expected to take the next step in their development. Leivo was a third round pick in 2011. (courtesy of Abelimages/Getty Images)
The Toronto Maple Leafs have featured a lot of high character, two-way forwards in their prospect pool over the years, but few with pure offensive instinct or elite skill. That is changing with the drafting of high-end talent William Nylander and the progress shown last season from the likes of Josh Leivo, Andreas Johnson, Carter Verhaeghe, and others.
Photo: Center Frederik Gauthier projects as a solid two-way forward with good size. Gauthier was selected 21st overall in the 2013 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
For the Toronto Maple Leafs, there is a silver lining to missing the 2014 NHL playoffs and finishing 23rd overall in the league standings – the potential of selecting an impact player with the eighth overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft.
Photo: Forward Sam Carrick was a big part of the Toronto Marlies postseason success in 2014, posting five goals and four assists in 14 games. (courtesy of John Rivera/Icon SMI)
While the Toronto Maple Leafs may have underachieved by not making the NHL playoffs in 2013-14 season, their AHL affiliate the Toronto Marlies, completed a deep run in the AHL Calder Cup playoffs. In addition, all seven of their CHL prospects made it to their respective league playoffs, including three who went on to play in the 2014 Memorial Cup.
Photo: Guelph Storm defenseman and Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Matt Finn and his Storm teammates will do battle with the Edmonton Oil Kings one more time, this time to decide the winner of the 2014 MasterCard Memorial Cup (courtesy of CHL Images)
As a four-year member of the Guelph Storm, team captain and Toronto Maple Leafs’ second-rounder Matt Finn has suffered a lot at the collective hands of the three-time OHL champion London Knights.
Photo: Defenseman Matt Finn has been strong throughout the 2013-14 regular season and postseason for the Guelph Storm. Finn was selected 35th overall in the 2012 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Aaron Bell/CHL Images)
The playoffs are still going on for many prospects in the Toronto Maple Leafs' system, while the NHL players had to hang up the skates weeks ago. With the Memorial Cup and the Calder Cup tournaments still underway, Hockey's Future will hand out our hardware for those prospects who distinguished themselves for better and for worse.