Photo: Forward Frederik Gauthier was the first selection the Maple Leafs made in the 2013 NHL Draft. Gauthier is a big-bodied forward who plays a good two-way game. (courtesy of Chris So/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Slow and steady development remains the course of action for the Toronto Maple Leafs entering the 2013-14 season. With a patient approach to their draft picks over the last few seasons, the club is now in a large transition phase at the AHL level.
Photo: Forward Frederik Gauthier was the first pick by the Toronto Maple Leafs at the 2013 NHL Draft. Gauthier projects as a two-way center who can also contribute offensively. (courtesy of Ken McKenna/HF)
The 2013 NHL Draft kicked off a busy summer for the Toronto Maple Leafs. The organization entered the draft looking to fill a variety of holes both on the pro team and in their prospect system. The prospect system (not unlike the parent club), lacked depth down the middle and between the pipes. There was also an abundance of strong bottom-six forwards, but the system lacked players with the potential for top-six roles.
Photo: Forward Tyler Biggs was one of two players the Toronto Maple Leafs selected in first round of the 2011 NHL Draft. (Courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
The Toronto Maple Leafs earned their first playoff berth in nine years after a successful 2012-13 season which saw them finish fifth overall in the East. Though the Leafs lost in a hard-fought first round series against the Boston Bruins, the future remains bright in Toronto, as they are finally at the end of a lengthy rebuild.
Photo: Goaltender Garret Sparks had a breakout season in 2012-13, posting a 36 wins and 2.65 goals against average. Sparks was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the seventh round of the 2011 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
The following article details the 2012-13 Toronto Maple Leafs Prospect Award winners. Morgan Rielly was the big winner with three awards, while Tony Cameranesi also took home multiple awards. The annual award winners were selected by the author with input from Hockey's Future staff members.
Photo: Forward Yevgeni Kuznetsov is widely considered to be the top young hockey player not playing in North America. Kuznetsov is currently playing for Traktor Chelyabinsk of the KHL. (courtesy of Yury Kuzmin/KHL Photo Agency via Getty Images)
With every regular season in hockey finished, it is once again time to select the Hockey's Future Prospect of the Year. Though there were many fantastic performances outside of the NHL, none were quite as good as Yevgeni Kuznetsov (WAS), who this season further cemented himself as the best hockey player not currently in North America.