Less than a year ago, the Toronto Maple Leafs were in an unenviable place—the prospect cupboard was bare, the AHL affiliate lacked star power, and the big club was in a downward spiral. This year’s version of the Maple Leafs doesn’t inspire much confidence, but the future looks bright thanks to a drastic overhaul and a newfound commitment to drafting and development. Read more»
This season, no NCAA hockey conference features more NHL prospects than the Hockey East Association (HEA). 62 drafted players representing all 12 member schools will be in action in the 2015-16 season with Boston College leading all Hockey East teams with 13 prospects, followed by Boston University with 10 and Notre Dame with 9. Read more»
The Toronto Maple Leafs had five drafted prospects playing in the NCAA and three playing in Europe during the 2014-15 season. At this stage, most are still questionable as potential pros, although Andreas Johnson and Dominic Toninato had impactful seasons that separated them from the pack. The Leafs also signed a pair of promising free agents in Casey Bailey (NCAA) and Nikita Soshnikov (KHL), following the completion of their respective seasons. They will have the opportunity to make an immediate impact in 2015-16. Read more»
Two childhood friends continue their friendly rivalry on the big stage, and in the WHL an accomplished defenseman goes one-on-one against one of the league’s best rookies. In the OHL, it’s a meeting of two Vancouver Canucks prospects, while former Russian teammates collide in an important QMJHL matchup. Finally, two prospects at opposite ends of the same draft see each other again in the SHL. Read more»
Over the last few years, the Toronto Maple Leafs have utilized the NHL Draft to build depth across all positions within their prospect ranks. While the question of how much of an impact that depth will have on the parent club is hard to gauge, the Leafs most recent training camp showed that depth is translating into competition for roster spots at the NHL level.