Leafs by the Numbers: Nick Robertson

What can be said about Nick Robertson that hasn’t already been said? He has quickly proven to be a potential draft steal following a phenomenal showing in the 2019-20 OHL season, played a big role on the US team during the 2020 World Juniours, and got to make his NHL debut in August.
All of that resulted in him being listed number one on TLN’s prospect ranking, which is well deserved given what he’s accomplished. Not bad for the second-round pick who was just days removed from the cut-off date to qualify for the 2019 NHL Draft.
It should come as no surprise that Robertson’s number is 55.
They are the number of goals he scored for the Peterborough Petes prior to COVID-19 prematurely ending the season. He had scored 1.12 goals per game, meaning he could have finished with 81 goals if he kept up his pace over a 68 game OHL season.
That along with a strong work ethic is why he earned a chance to play for the Leafs in the play-in round against the Blue Jackets where he scored his first NHL goal and made history.

Nick Robertson is the first 18-year-old to score a post-season goal for …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

All-Canadian Preview: The Ottawa Senators are the division’s punching bag

One of the best things about the NHL’s realignment for the 2021 season is the fact the Leafs will get to face their baby siblings from Ottawa nine times. That should be nine wins.

The key word here is should. 
Heading into the season, Ottawa is pretty much unanimously projected to finish at the bottom of the All-Canadian Division. But, to be fair to them, the Sens boast a lot of exciting young talent and that could make them more of a pain in the ass than they were last year.
What happened last season…
25-34-12 (62 points), 7th in Atlantic Division 
Goals For: 191 (24th), Goals Against: 243 (30th)
4-7-1 vs Canadian opponents
1-1-0 vs CGY, 1-0-0 vs EDM, 1-1-0 vs MTL, 0-2-1 vs TOR, 1-1-0 vs VAN, 0-2-0 vs WPG
The 2019-20 season was another tanking year in Ottawa.
Since reaching the Eastern Conference Final in 2017, the Sens have completely blown up their roster and have bottomed out in three consecutive seasons. Everyone from that playoff run — Erik Karlsson, Mark Stone, Mike Hoffman, Kyle Turris, etc — is now gone. The final nail in the coffin for the 2017 Sens came in 2020 when J.G. …

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Author: Cam Lewis / The Leafs Nation

Maybe Nick Robertson CAN play in the American Hockey League?

We recently wrote about the Leafs’ options for Nick Robertson in the aftermath of controversial comments from provincial government officials regarding the OHL’s return being contingent upon the elimination of body contact. The comments stirred up a firestorm on social media but eventually died down when Premier Ford contradicted his minister and said the hope was that it could return with hitting after all.
One option that was talked about in the November 2020 article was the non-possibility of Robertson playing in the AHL this season, due to an agreement between the NHL and CHL that does not allow players from CHL teams to play in the AHL (or ECHL) until they are 20 years old (by December 31st of that year). However, Arpon Basu of The Athletic has some interesting news to share:

A team source reached out to mention NHL teams can have their CHL prospects play in the AHL up until their CHL league gets going and that is something the Canadiens might like to do with Kaiden Guhle. Would be rare opportunity to work with a young CHL prospect at the pro level.
— Аrpon Basu (@ArponBasu) January 4, 2021

So there may be a loophole here. As long as …

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Author: Mark Norman / The Leafs Nation

Stories of the Year: Auston Matthews chasing 50

When you think about the Leafs’ 2019-20 campaign, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Is it Mike Babcock making the baffling decision to scratch Jason Spezza on opening night? Or how about that loss to the Penguins, followed by that save from Fleury, followed by Babcock being fired and Sheldon Keefe taking over? Maybe it’s in reference to some young players making an immediate impact. Alternatively, you’re probably thinking of a 42-year-old Zamboni driver who works for the organization.
All of those are worthy contenders of moments that will define that season when we look back on it years down the line. But I feel like I’m leaving something out, can anyone help me out with what I’m forgetting?

Just a reminder that Auston Matthews did this to the Buffalo Sabres 10 months ago. pic.twitter.com/E1qfAwEHMM
— Nick Barden (@nickbarden) October 28, 2020

Ah yes, Auston Matthews’ quest to reach the half-century mark for goals was by far one of the most talked-about storylines of the regular season. Seeing how he was one of the few who stayed healthy and played at a high level throughout, him becoming just the fourth player in franchise …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Leafs by the Numbers: Wayne Simmonds

There was a lot of excitement about the Leafs decision to sign Wayne Simmonds this offseason. He followed in the footsteps over other GTA/Ontario players like John Tavares and Jason Spezza, and along with homegrown Ontario players like Travis Dermott, Zach Hyman, Jake Muzzin and Mitch Marner, the Leafs are decidedly shifting towards much more of a local feel. Something they further added to with Brodie and Thornton in addition to Simmonds this fall. While there is plenty of other nationals on the Leafs, the fact that the roster is now 1/3rd local appeases a portion of the fanbase, but despite that we’re not using 416 as Simmonds’ number.
Simmonds number is 145. That was Simmonds hit total from last season, and perhaps the most important element that he brings to the Leafs.
Now, I can already tell there’s an equal number of people rolling their eyes at the thought of hitting mattering and plenty of others thrilled that the Leafs are addressing this area that was perceived as lacking. In reality Simmonds really just replaces Kyle Clifford in that role, and on his own he doesn’t move the Leafs one way or the other on the toughness …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Rasmus Sandin is the Leafs 2nd ranked prospect

At this point in the prospect rankings, we are now talking about players who are on the fringes of a full-time role in the NHL after making headways in their early days in the best hockey league on the planet. Rasmus Sandin one such player, who was forced into playing meaningful minutes for a Leafs team riddled with injuries from January until the season was put on pause and showed promise in his 22 games during the second half.
Despite not suiting up during the Leafs series against the Columbus Blue Jackets, the future remains bright for Sandin and he now has a legitimate shot at cracking the Leafs lineup to begin the 2020-21 campaign. Judging by how quickly he’s flown through the farm system, it’s impressive that he has put himself in this position at such a young age.

Rank
Grade
NHL Readiness

2nd
A
0-1 Years

Position: Defence
Age: 20
Height: 5’11
Weight: 183 lbs
Drafted: 2018 1st round, 29th overall
What kind of player is he?
Sandin is a defenseman that likes to get involved in the offensive drive but also makes smart decisions in the defensive end. This has been the case throughout his development and he is modelling …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

‘Staturday’ Weekly Column #1: Where do we start? Analytics Primer, Part 1

Have you ever wanted to learn more about analytics in hockey? Have you ever been curious about what stories might lie in data about your favourite hockey team that you may not be aware of? If so, welcome to Staturday!
This is the initial post of this now weekly column. The goal is to find interesting stories in the publicly available data about the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Six, Team Canada, or any of the other teams this site has the pleasure of covering.
What data do we use?
Primarily, publicly available hockey “advanced” statistics are based on shot attempts (aka Corsi). This is the base data set. There’s no reason to limit the discussion to this though. We can also talk about player production (we’ll get to the many ways we can look at this), shot location, passing data, zone entry data, time-on-ice, who the player is playing with or against, and even luck. We can also do fancier things, like putting some or all of these different stats into a model to give us a more nuanced answer.
Shot Attempts
To summarize, shot attempts were traditionally broken into two types of statistics: Corsi (all shot attempts, …

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Author: Ryan Hobart / The Leafs Nation

Joseph Woll is the Leafs 11th ranked prospect

Much like just about any goalie in professional hockey, Joseph Woll is a question waiting to be answered. There’s a deep desire among the fanbase for him to do well thanks to the endless potential of his name. The fact he’s a Maple Leafs prospect at the most valuable position in the sport is just icing on the cake. 
After spending three years as a starter at Boston College, Woll joined the Marlies last season and is now expected to be among a group of four goalies battling it out for third on the Leafs depth chart. One of the lead storylines heading into training camp will be whether Woll can outduel fellow netminders Ian Scott, Aaron Dell, and Michael Hutchinson for priority on the depth chart. Possibilities are endless for the young American goalie who could find himself on the Leafs taxi squad, platooning in the AHL, starting in the ECHL, or if we’re all lucky – being loaned to the DEL’s Berlin Bears where he can lay claim to hockey’s greatest nickname by becoming the Berlin Woll.
Rank – Grade – NHL Readiness
11TH – B – 2-4 YEARS
Position: G
Age: 22
Height: 6’4
Weight: 203 lbs
Drafted: 2016 3rd round, 62 …

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Author: Filipe Dimas / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: 3 Free Agent shooting guards that could replace Terence Davis

Toronto Raptors: 3 Free Agent shooting guards that could replace Terence Davis

After the news that was released about Toronto Raptors rookie Terence Davis, it has raised a lot of eyebrows as well as a lot of questions. After what happened with Toronto Raptors rookie Terence Davis people are now left wondering if the Raptors will indeed walk away from Davis or somehow decide to bring him […]
Toronto Raptors: 3 Free Agent shooting guards that could replace Terence Davis – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Joseph Zita / Raptors HQ

The OHL season and how it affects the Leafs

The OHL season and how it affects the Leafs

The Leafs seemed to have a sixth sense about the uncertainty of Canadian junior hockey over the past couple of drafts. And while fans who demand that players be from the same area code as the team they cheer for may be upset, the Leafs have positioned themselves nice to not be carrying a number of OHL or WHL players.

– 1 or 2 exhibition games Jan 29 – 31 then right into the season.– There was no talk about what happens with U.S teams.– No details about how how games/schedule will be determined but it is believed teams may only play against 4 or 5 other squads.
— Jeff Marek (@JeffMarek) October 28, 2020

– No discussion about fans during the meeting but that’s not a surprise at this point.– OHL season would conclude May 16th and a reminder the Memorial Cup has already been pushed back and will run June 17-27.
— Jeff Marek (@JeffMarek) October 28, 2020

So that puts the OHL in a situation to be starting incredibly late, especially compared to the QMJHL. It will be a much shorter season, and an abbreviated playoffs. There’s also the small matter of this still might not be able to happen, and the very difficult to manage situation of the …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation