Photo: Defenseman Cody Donaghey is one of five prospects representing the Toronto Maple Leafs in the CHL and USHL. Donaghey was signed as a free agent in September. (courtesy of Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
The Toronto Maple Leafs have four prospects playing in Canadian junior hockey during the 2014-15 season and one in the USHL. All of the prospects playing at the CHL level are signed to NHL entry-level contracts with the Leafs, and will play in their minor pro system in 2015-16.
Photo: Defenseman Tom Nilsson is one of several prospects who are in their first year with the Toronto Maple Leafs’ minor league organization. (courtesy of Mark Spowart/Icon Sportswire)
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.
Photo: St. Cloud State University forward and Los Angeles Kings prospect Jonny Brodzinski, shown here fending off brother Michael in the 2014 NCAA Tournament, will lead the way on offense for the Huskies in 2014-15 (courtesy of Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
No NCAA conference has more combined NHL prospects on their member rosters than the NCHC does this season. The NCHC will feature 51 prospects spread across all eight conference schools. North Dakota leads all NCHC teams with 14 prospects, followed by Denver, Miami and Nebraska-Omaha with seven apiece. Read more»
Photo: Forward Tyler Biggs will look to have a bounce back 2014-15 season in the AHL. Biggs was a former first round pick from 2011. (courtesy of Mark Spowart/Icon Sportswire)
After years of sacrificing high draft picks for quick fix solutions, which eventually led to a lack of depth in their minor league system, the Toronto Maple Leafs have turned a corner in the quality and depth of their player development pipeline. That youth injection is getting stronger with prospects Matt Finn, Connor Brown, and Antoine Bibeau potentially joining the Leafs’ minor league affiliates for the 2014-15 season. Other prospects, such as Andreas Johnson and Carter Verhaeghe, will look to build on their solid performances in 2014-15.
Photo: Forward Teemu Hartikainen was acquired by the Maple Leafs in a trade on January 31st, 2014. Hartikainen spent the 2013-14 season in the KHL with Salavat Yulaev Ufa. (courtesy of ANTTI AIMO-KOIVISTO/AFP/Getty Images)
For the greater part of the last decade, the Toronto Maple Leafs have been reluctant to draft outside of the CHL in the first round. Sure, they selected NCAA-bound Tyler Biggs in 2011, but just a season later he was playing for the Oshawa Generals of the OHL.