TLN Prospect #6: Alex Steeves’ next step is a spot in the Maple Leafs lineup

Alex Steeves only wanted to do one thing when he entered the Maple Leafs organization last year, and that was dominate.
It was like the 22-year-old was shot out of a cannon when he made his professional hockey debut with the Marlies. He was coming off an injury in the prospect tournament a month earlier, but you couldn’t even tell with the way he was playing.
Through his first 13 games, Steeves scored 14 points — a sign that he was someone that not many could handle at that moment.
Alex Steeves
LW/RW | Toronto (AHL) | Age: 22 | 5-foot-11 | 185 lbs | Shoots: LAcquired: UDFA Signing, 03/28/21 | 2021 Ranking: N/A
The 22-year-old eventually dropped down to earth, finishing off his first pro season with 46 points in 58 games. A great total at that but what was more spectacular was the fact that he tied the old Marlies rookie goal record of 23 goals.
Another rookie in Bobby McMann scored one more goal and etched his name in the record books, but Steeves’ total shouldn’t be understated either.
When looking at him as a prospect, there’s a lot of excitement around the player he could pan out to be. By this time next year, the 22-year-old might not even be recognized as a prospect anymore.
Similar to Pontus Holmberg, Nick Robertson, and B …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Alex Kerfoot is good, but sometimes you have to trade good players

Alex Kerfoot had a career year last season. Good for him. After a couple of years of feeling the weight of expectations for not being Nazem Kadri, he had a year he could hang his hat on. Unfortunately, Nazem Kadri really had a season and Kerfoot still had to feel the weight of that trade, as unfair as that is.
Still, Kerfoot had a good productive season putting up 51 points while only averaging 15 minutes a night and only getting second unit power play time. For the Leafs he was a chameleon, never really having a set spot in the lineup, but constantly blending into his surroundings, either as Tavares’ winger, or a part time center during Auston Matthews’ injuries, and Kerfoot spent plenty of time in the bottom six as well, but managed to produce in those situations too. He fit into the power kill philosophy on the penalty kill, and was generally pretty good. At $3.5M he has value, at only $750k remaining to be paid on his contract, he’s an absolute bargain.

It’s pretty easy to see that Kerfoot brought a lot to the table last season and even in the years prior to that was a very serviceable middle six forward. Even if Kerfoot isn’t living up to his career year he adds value to a team. For the Leafs though, it seems they need him to be at his career year levels. In fact, there seems to be a lot of banking on a career year or better for Leafs players this season and that’s a tad frightening.
The Leafs have an apparent interest in keeping Alex Kerfoot, as discussed by Frank Seravalli earlier this week. There is interest in him around the league, but with a definite shortage of top six talent in the free agency market, the familiarity with Kerfoot makes the case for why he’d stay.
That said, it feels like the easy way out. It’s also committing to once again losing an asset …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation