Over the past few weeks, we here at The Leafs Nation have counted the Leafs organization’s top 20 prospects as voted on by our writing team, as well as a few outside contributors familiar with the Toronto system. Our countdown reached its conclusion on Friday with Rasmus Sandin take the first place after Nicolas robertson had had this honor a year ago.
A handful of players have made their debuts in our prospect rankings this year, including 2021 second-round pick Matthew Knies in 7th overall and signing an undrafted free agent. Pavel Gogolev get place n ° 15. The Leafs did not graduate anyone from the 2020 roster, but last year’s No.5 prospect Philippe hallander was sent back to Pittsburgh earlier in the offseason, freeing up a spot in the top five.
Our biggest players from a year ago include a pair of players who were honorable mentions for the 2020 roster of St. Cloud State winger Veeti Miettinen and Sibir Novosibirsk forward Dmitri Ovchinnikov. Miettinen racked up numerous accolades during a formidable freshman season in the NCAA and Ovchinnikov torched the Russian junior league, gaining a look in the KHL at the age of 18. After impressive + 1 draft seasons, Topi Niemelä and Roni Hirvonen both saw their stocks increase, climbing to 5th and 6th place respectively. Both players held their own in the Liiga against men and played for Finland at the World Junior Championships last year.
With a few new prospects added to the organization and no graduates from last year’s roster, a handful of players fell from the top 20 this time around. Defender Philippe Kral and goalkeeper Artur Akhtyamov narrowly missed the cup despite good seasons, goalkeeper Ian scott slipped from the standings after seeing almost no playing action in the past two years, and Saint John Sea Dogs blue liner William Villeneuve was ousted from 20th place. The player who experienced the most spectacular fall in the top 20 was the goalkeeper Joseph woll who has been unable to step forward in a rambling AHL season. The Marlies struggled overall in 2020-21 and Woll’s numbers took a hit.
The Leafs’ prospect pipeline may be lacking in star talent, but there are a number of players in the system with legitimate potential in the NHL, including a few who are poised to contribute to the NHL squad. the NHL. Rasmus Sandin appears to be a lock on the opening night roster, Nick Robertson, Timothy Liljegren and Joey Anderson all knock on the door for NHL playing time, and guys like Mikko Kokkonen and Nick Abruzzese might not not be too far behind them. There’s a good mix of projectable NHL talent like Knies and Hirvonen, high potential bets like Miettinen and Ovchinnikov, and long-term projects like Gogolev and Rubins across the organization. Now it’s up to the Leafs’ player development staff to make the most of this group of players.
Check out the full roster and be sure to click on each player to read their individual report:
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