Exploring the idea of the Maple Leafs sending an offer sheet to Jake Oettinger

Offer sheets — aren’t they fun?
On Thursday, I wrote about the possibility of Rasmus Sandin getting offer sheeted by an opposing team. This was discussed because the 22-year-old ranked third on Frank Seravalli’s offer sheet candidates list over at DailyFaceoff.
Rasmus Sandin lands on Frank Seravalli’s offer sheet candidates list
But on that list was another interesting player — one that the Maple Leafs should at least consider targeting. That is Dallas Stars netminder, Jake Oettinger.
Surprisingly enough, the 23-year-old ranked one spot above Sandin in second place on the offer sheet list. And with Jack Campbell potentially leaving, this would be the perfect time for Toronto to pull the trigger. Maybe.
From Seravalli:
Scoop: Oettinger’s playoff performance was the stuff of legend. Amazingly, HockeyViz.com calculated that Oettinger’s workload in Round 1 – with 272 saves on 285 shots (.954 Sv%) – was roughly equivalent to what Darcy Kuemper faced in the entire Avalanche run (386 shots) when factoring in high-danger chances. To this point, the Stars and Oettinger have made little progress on a new deal. Jason Robertson also needs an expensive second contract. What would it take to pry out a 23-year-old elite goaltender who can man your crease for the next decade? Here are the teams that would sign up: Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal, Washington, Chicago, Seattle, Ottawa, San Jose, New Jersey, Arizona, Buffalo, Anaheim. All of them.
There’s not many goalies available through free agency that could be legitimate starter options for the Maple Leafs. In fact, there’s only nine netminders available who played over 20 games last season and had a save percentage above .900.
I really like this idea is because he’s only 23-years-old and has incredibl …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

4 top prospects that could fall to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round

The 2022 NHL Entry Draft is less than a week away and the offseason is about to kick into high gear.
For the Maple Leafs, the first step of the offseason process comes next Thursday, when they are set to select in the first round for the first time since drafting Rodion Amirov 15th overall in 2020.
While the 2020 draft when pretty much as expected through the first 15 picks, with minimal surprises or fallers, the 2022 draft does not appear to be the same. Outside of a consensus top three prospects (the order of which varies quite a bit), the draft is set to be one of the more unpredictable in recent memory.
As a result, multiple prospects that have landed inside the top 15 on the consolidated board quite very well end up still available come the Toronto Maple Leafs first-round pick at 25th overall.
Excerpts for each prospect are taken from Nick Richard’s final 2022 draft rankings, while statistics are pulled from Pick224 and Elite Prospects.
Frank Nazar
Consolidated #8
Frank Nazar ticks a lot of boxes as a top prospect entering the draft. He was a star for the USNTDP this year, producing as one of the top players with the program. His 35 points in 24 USHL games with the program put him fourth in the league in points per game and second among draft-eligible players, only behind teammate and expected top-three pick, Logan Cooley.
Nazar was also a maj …

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Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation

Report: Maple Leafs willing to trade the rights to Ilya Mikheyev

While there was little speculation that Ilya Mikheyev might return to the Maple Leafs, it looks like the ship has officially sailed.
Reports surfaced late last summer that Mikheyev asked for a trade, but Toronto decided to keep him because they saw more in him. And while they did get more out of the 27-year-old, there was still the looming possibility he would leave.
It was a great season for Mikheyev, too, finishing the year with 32 points (21 goals and 11 assists) over a 53-game span. He played a key role on Toronto’s third line throughout, even getting some opportunity on the second line too.
Bringing back Mikheyev and Engvall vs. finding the next Mikheyev and Engvall
With yet another cap crunch, though, the Maple Leafs are left with having to let Mikheyev go elsewhere. But, they could send him off into the sunset via a trade for his signing rights.

Hearing TOR has notified teams the rights to Ilya Mikheyev are available if a team wishes to “jumpstart the process.”
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) June 30, 2022

The Maple Leafs did something similar with Zach Hyman last summer. It was evident that the two sides weren’t going to be able to strike a deal, so Toronto wanted to trade his rights. At that time, Edmonton was the clear frontrunner for him but they didn’t think it was worth it to trade for an extra year of Hyman.
So, Toronto got nothing for him and he walked right into free agency. The same could happen to the 27-year-old.
It’s not known what the Maple Leafs’ ask is for Mikheyev’s signing rights. I do believe, though, that it won’t be much of a haul if they do find a suitor. It’ll be interesting to see what happens in the coming days.
More From TheLeafsNation.com:
Rumours: …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Rasmus Sandin lands on Frank Seravalli’s offer sheet candidates list

Offer sheets are entertaining when you’re watching from afar, but would you enjoy it if a player from the Maple Leafs received an offer sheet?
Well, that could be a possibility this off-season, according to DailyFaceoff’s Frank Seravalli.
On Wednesday, the NHL insider released a list of seven players who are offer sheet candidates this summer. Third on the list is Maple Leafs defenceman Rasmus Sandin.
From Seravalli:
“Sandin probably isn’t the first player you think of when you think about offer sheets, but an opportunity exists to get a quality player who can slide into your top six. Toronto’s cap crunch is obvious. Every $100,000 counts for the Leafs. With a new two-year, $1.4 million AAV deal for Timothy Liljegren, you can ballpark that Sandin is roughly in the same neighborhood for pay, though they play on opposite sides. An untimely regular season injury made him an easy candidate for healthy scratch in the playoffs, but the Leafs still view Sandin as having more upside than Liljegren. It probably wouldn’t take that much for the Leafs to walk away (by necessity). Would a one-year deal at $4.2 million be enough to get the job done? Compensation would be just a second-round pick. Even if it doesn’t work, for a division or conference rival, it would complicate life for the Leafs.”
Now the chances of this happening aren’t huge, but there’s always a possibility that th …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Potential under the radar Leafs goaltending targets

Hockey has changed. Gone are the days where a single goaltender can play 60 or more regular season games and then go on a long playoff run. The game is faster now and there is enough evidence in recent cup winners over the past decade to show that teams benefit much more from having a solid goaltending tandem as opposed to a single elite starter and a backup who only plays the second half of back-to-backs.
This tandem split can be most recently seen with the 2019 St. Louis Blues, 2018 Washington Capitals, and 2017 Pittsburgh Penguins. Of those three teams, the most games played by a single goaltender was Braden Holtby’s 54 games with the Capitals.
It’s easy to believe that a more or less even split was the plan going into last season for the Leafs, but between injury troubles and Petr Mrazek having the worst season of his career, that plan was derailed and abandoned fast. Whether Jack Campbell is re-signed or not, the Leafs’ goaltenders need to be better overall, and with the team’s current cap situation (and the risk of bringing in a new face at a high cap number,) going after a brand-name goaltender might not be in the cards for next season.
There are, however, a number of goalies around the league who have put up excellent numbers in a backup or tandem role and have sort of flown under the radar for a while now. Any one of them could be an excellent …

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Author: Dylan Murphy / The Leafs Nation

Rumours: Campbell can be moved for an asset, Sandin speculation, and the Fiala fallout

This week seems like Jack Campbell rumours are front and center so that’s going to make up the meat of what we’re dealing with here. The Leafs goaltender seems to be awfully close to being referred to as the Leafs former goaltender as none of the talk seems to be about him returning to Toronto.
via Larry Brooks
We’re told by one informant that New Jersey may attempt to jump the process by dealing for the 30-year-old’s rights if the Maple Leafs cannot or will not extend the netminder, who started more than 26 games (47) in a season for the first time in his career.
The idea would be to move Mackenzie Blackwood, whose career has somehow careened off course during a couple of drama-filled seasons this fragile team does not need. It also does not need an older veteran coming off injuries to serve as the backup; e.g., Corey Crawford; Jonathan Bernier.

via Mike Harrington
There’s no real sense the Sabres have any interest in Kuemper but that’s not the case when it comes to Jack Campbell of Toronto.

Kuemper, meanwhile, could be a fit in Toronto going forward if Campbell goes elsewhere. Campbell may want a deal of 3-4 years and the Sabres aren’t all that interested in that kind of term. Maybe they can get it down with a bigger offer in dollars, but the Sabres can’t leave themselves vulnerable either.

Alongside Darren Dreger’s statement of “he will probably get $6M” and we are clearly in the final days of Jack Campbell. Still. Let’s break down some of what is going on here.
Let’s start with what Mike Harrington said and couple it with Dreger’s statement. There is absolutely the possibility for an overpayment coming out of a team like Buffalo and relatively speaki …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Reports suggest Spencer Carbery could still be behind Maple Leafs bench next season

The special teams specialist could likely be back behind the Maple Leafs bench next season.
If you haven’t been reading up on what’s going around the hockey world (other than the Avalanche winning the Stanley Cup), then you might not know that Maple Leafs assistant coach Spencer Carbery was interviewing for a head coaching gig.
Last week on the 32 Thoughts podcast, Elliotte Friedman reported that the 40-year-old was among a number of coaches in the running to become the Boston Bruins’ next head coach.
From Friedman on the 32 Thoughts Podcast:
“I think in Boston, it’s going to be someone a bit fresher. It’s going to be (Jim) Montgomery or it’s going to be (Jay) Leach, or it’s going to be (David) Quinn, I’ve heard Vellucci’s name in there, Spencer Carbery. You know, Spencer Carbery is an interesting one because I forgot this — that when Toronto hired Carbery — the Maple Leafs were already down the road, and I think Boston tried to talk to him. And it was just a situation where it was too far gone.”
But after the Bruins did a number of interviews throughout the week, it looks like Carbery didn’t make the cut.

As usual, @JoeyMacHockey is all over it. Wanted to add: Believe this was Vellucci’s second interview as part of the process.
Sounds like the finalists for #NHLBruins are Davi …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

The Maple Leafs have signed Timothy Liljegren, now it’s time for Rasmus Sandin

Two years with a $1.4 million annual average value — that’s the rate Timothy Liljegren received to stay with the Maple Leafs.
When Liljegren spoke with the media on Monday, he discussed how it was his goal to get a bridge deal in Toronto. Two years will allow him to develop even more into the player he wants to be and they got it done.
Looking at the signing, it’s a fairly safe bet for both sides. Liljegren is going to be a great defenceman in the NHL and will soon prove that. The Maple Leafs will also have him at a low cap hit when the team needs it most — this season and next.
But now the next question is, how much will Rasmus Sandin get?
This was one of the most interesting questions heading into the off-season. Of course, there was the examination of Jack Campbell’s career as a Maple Leaf and what Toronto will do in free agency, but I found the contracts of Liljegren and Sandin most fascinating.
One of the many reasons behind it was in part because of their careers and how each of them have played. They’re both different players in terms of handedness and offensive capabilities, yet they provide similar numbers over the s …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

5 potential third-round targets for the Toronto Maple Leafs

With the 2022 NHL Entry Draft just over a week away, it’s time to start looking at prospects that could be targeted for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Most of the attention has gone to their 25th overall pick, as it is the first time the Leafs have held a first-round pick since 2020 when they drafted Rodion Amirov, but it is important for Toronto to hit on their later picks as well. Currently holding the 79th overall pick and potentially adding more mid-round picks depending on what the week ahead has in store, today we’ll be looking at prospects expected to be available in the Leafs range during the third round.
Excerpts on each prospect have been taken from Nick Richard’s final top 100 rankings for the 2022 draft, be sure to check out the list in full for lots of great information on prospects throughout the draft board.
Nick Moldenhauer, RW, USHL
Consolidated #76
Not dissimilar from Matt Knies’ draft season a year ago, Nick Moldenhauer is an intriguing prospect thanks to his excellent play late in the USHL season.
To begin the year, Moldenhauer was sidelined with an illness that kept him out through Chicago’s training camp and the first month of the season. Upon finally getting back to health and making his season debut, Moldenhauer was cut on …

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Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation

TLN’s 2022 Consolidated Draft Rankings

The 2022 NHL Entry Draft is nearly here. In just over a week, Montreal will host the first in-person draft in three years, setting up for an event to remember. Not only do the Canadiens hold the first overall pick, but there is also uncertainty as to who will be the first name off the board, in addition to plenty of intriguing storylines down the order.
22 rankings currently have been compiled for this consolidated ranking. Lists from the following outlets have been included, as well as rankings from individual scouts from these outlets:
Daily Faceoff
Dobber Prospects
Draft Prospects Hockey
Elite Prospects
Future Considerations
Hockey Prospecting
McKeen’s
Recruit Scouting
Smaht Scouting
Sportsnet
The Athletic
The Hockey News
The Hockey Writers
TSN
For more information on many of the prospects on this list, be sure to check out Nick Richard’s top 100 list here on The Leafs Nation.
Also, note that all of the rankings included are exclusively those that are final lists from the respective outlet or scout. Rankings that are recent but not final, such as Corey Pronman’s, have not been included.
Here are the rankings:
First Round

RANK
PLAYER
POSITION
REGION
HIGH RANK
LOW RANK
1
Shane Wright
C
OHL
1
2
2
Logan Cooley
C
USNTDP
1
6
3
Juraj Slafkovský
LW
Finland
1
16
4
Šimon Nemec
RD
Slovakia
2
9
5
David Jiříček
RD
Czechia
2
9
6
Matt Savoie
C
WHL
3
19
7
Joakim Kemell
RW
Finland
3
13
8
Frank Nazar
C
USNTDP
2
25
9
Cutter Gauthier
LW
USNTDP
5
22
10
Jonathan Lekkerimäki
RW
Sweden
6
18
11
Danila Yurov
RW
Russia
4
26
12
Kevin Korchinski
LD
WHL
6
40
13
Denton Mateychuk
LD
WHL
5
25
14
Pavel Mintyukov
LD
OHL
7
26
15
Brad Lambert
RW
Finland
5
42
16
Marco Kasper
C
Sweden
8
31
17
Liam Öhgren
LW
Sweden
11
25
18
Conor Geekie
C
WHL
8
31
19
Isaac Howard
LW
USNTDP
10
43
20
Noah Östlund
C
Sweden
10
NR (Top 32)
21
Rutger McGroarty
C
USNTDP
15
40
22
Jiří Kulich
C
Czechia
14
NR (Top 32)
23
Jagger Firkus
RW
WHL
14
34
24
Filip Mešár
RW
Czechia
10
59
25
Owen Pickering
LD
WHL
13
53
26
Ivan Miroshnichenko
RW
Russia
12
40
27
Jimmy Snuggerud
RW
USNTDP
8
53
28
Ryan Chesley
RD
USNTDP
12
72
29
Calle Odelius
LD
Sweden
15
52
30
Gleb Trikozov
C
Russia
8
82
31
Owen Beck
C
OHL
21
61
32
Nathan Gaucher
C
QMJHL
22
58
Second Round

RANK
PLAYER
POSITION
REGION
HIGH RANK
LOW RANK
33
Lian Bichsel
LD
Sweden
19
55
34
Lane Hutson
LD
USNTDP
8
NR (Top 64)
35
Mattias Hävelid
RD
Sweden
26
66
36
Tristan Luneau
RD
QMJHL
27
71
37
Seamus Casey
RD
USNTDP
24
54
38
David Goyette
C
OHL
20
53
39
Luca Del B …

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Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation