3 Rockets players the Raptors should consider trading for

3 Rockets players the Raptors should consider trading for

The Toronto Raptors aren’t far away from a postseason spot, and they may need to be in a buying mood if they want to make sure that they will be in the hunt. They could potentially look to add players from a rebuilding team like the Houston Rockets that want draft capital. The Rockets have […]
3 Rockets players the Raptors should consider trading for – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

The 2021 Top 20 Leafs Prospects: #12 Veeti Miettinen

There aren’t many Toronto prospects I currently enjoy watching more than Veeti Miettinen. In hindsight, it seems silly that he wasn’t drafted earlier than he was. He’s the largest riser in The Leafs Nation Prospects rankings from 2020 to 2021 and frankly, he deserves it.
I personally ranked Miettinen the highest amongst the TLN writers at number 8. He’s already got an NHL-level shot and the maturity of his overall offensive game is impressive. After a stellar first season, he was chosen to be on the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) All-Rookie Team and on the NCHC Second All-Star Team.
Position: RW
Age: 19
Height: 5’9
Weight: 159 lbs
Drafted: 2020 6th round, 168th overall
2020-2021 Team: St. Cloud State University
2020 Prospect Ranking: Honourable Mention
 
Statistical Overview 
Miettinen finished his first season with St. Cloud State with 11 goals and 13 assists in 31 games. He led the team in points and it felt like something big was going to happen each time he stepped on the ice. For the majority of the season, Miettinen was hovering around a point-per-game production and his overall game was growing.

Veeti Miettinen (#29) legitimately looks better every game. Completely takes this shift over before getting an assist.
He’s at 14 points ( …

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Author: Nick DeSouza / The Leafs Nation

Raptors: ESPN Power Rankings have Toronto near bottom of the East

Raptors: ESPN Power Rankings have Toronto near bottom of the East

It’s fair to say that the Toronto Raptors aren’t being given anything more than a puncher’s chance to compete in the Eastern Conference this year, as the power rankings have generally not been kind to them. Given all of the turnover around the team, it’s easy to see why this is. Kyle Lowry is now […]
Raptors: ESPN Power Rankings have Toronto near bottom of the East – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Leafs doing “due diligence” on Linus Ullmark

The Leafs aren’t looking for a goaltender, you know, except for when they are absolutely calling teams looking for a goaltender.

Elliotte Friedman on WGR550: Toronto has called Buffalo asking what their plans are with Ullmark in case they need to add a goalie. Talks not serious yet, due diligence in case news on Andersen is bad.
— J (@Account4hockey) April 1, 2021

Elliotte Friedman joined Craig Rivet and Andrew Peters on their radio show in Buffalo to drop this little tidbit that the Leafs are interested in Linus Ullmark, the $2.6M, soon to be UFA, goaltender with a .920 save percentage in Buffalo this year. Yes, .920 in 15 games for a team that has just 7 wins on the season.
How Ullmark fits into the Sabres season, and their bizarre 18 game losing streak is interesting given that he had the last win before the streak began, lost in overtime the following game, and was injured for the majority of the month of March. He then lost in his first game back, but put up a .917 save percentage in that return, lost in overtime the following game, and picked up the win to end the streak on the strength of him having a .969 save …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Raptors: How playing in Tampa could help them on the buyout market

Raptors: How playing in Tampa could help them on the buyout market

The Toronto Raptors aren’t typically huge players in the NBA buyout market but now that the team’s stuck in Tampa, it could be different. The Raptors have been a great team for the past seven years, but they struggle to recruit free agents and players who get bought out. The stigma of playing in a different […]
Raptors: How playing in Tampa could help them on the buyout market – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Stephen Nixon / Raptors HQ

Three centers the Toronto Raptors should try and trade for

Three centers the Toronto Raptors should try and trade for

Although the Toronto Raptors aren’t the dominant force they’ve been in recent years – they’re only a few pieces away and getting a center should be their biggest priority. The Toronto Raptors are in a weird spot. They currently sit at a 3-8 record and are mulling around the bottom of the standings. At the […]
Three centers the Toronto Raptors should try and trade for – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jack Long / Raptors HQ

The Leafs Management press availability offers little in the way of optimism

Brendan Shanahan: “Words aren’t going to fix this.”
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) August 12, 2020

This quote from Brendan Shanahan speaks largely to the tone of the Leafs Management press availability. There was no comfort to be found here. No excuses. No blame. What we found was Dubas is unwilling to put any of this on individuals, and there is still a united front of optimism around this group, either rightly or wrongly.
I couldn’t help but feel that Shanahan came across most displeased of the group, and that could lead to interesting speculation in the future, especially with a talented GM candidate like Laurence Gilman waiting in the wings, and Bruce Boudreau available for hire.
For now, we’ll assume the band will be back together next year.

Brendan Shanahan: “I have complete faith in Kyle as a general manager, in Sheldon as a coach and complete confidence in what we’re going to do here in Toronto.”
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) August 12, 2020

Take votes of confidence with a grain of salt in hockey, but nothing to date leads us to believe that Shanahan isn’t a man of his word. He’s certainly going to …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Friedman Speculates on Jujhar Kharia to the Leafs, and the Joe Thornton rumours won’t go away

Rumours aren’t going anywhere. And much like those of us on this site, insiders know that you can get a lot of eyes on their coverage by connecting the Leafs to players. Are we going to stop covering it? No. Are they going to stop with Leafs rumours? No. I just thought at some point being up front about the grain of salt required on any and all things we hear was a good idea.
Anyway, here is rumour #1…

Friedman wonders if TOR rekindles their interest in Jujhar Khaira; Stauffer connects Khaira to BOS.
(Oilers Now)
— Rocky Hockey (@akaRCN) February 21, 2020
Khaira has been connected to the Leafs for as long as he’s been in the league. Though he is wildly inconsistent, at his best he can be a strong complimentary player anywhere in the bottom six forward group, and he certainly adds a lot of toughness people say the Leafs need. The bonus is that he can play hockey when he wants to, as well. There isn’t going to be much of a price tag on him, so I’m intrigued if anything comes of this.

Friedman lists DAL, BOS & …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Maple Leafs Pregame #62: 5 Things to watch in the Pittsburgh rematch

After getting destroyed by Pittsburgh on Tuesday, aren’t you thrilled the next game the Leafs are playing is against Pittsburgh? YAAYYYYYYY!!!
You could go into this hoping the Leafs are going to make a statement. You could go into this game hoping the Leafs will continue to fight to stay on the right side of the playoff bubble. You could point to how talented this team is, but ultimately, you probably aren’t feeling too confident tonight. That’s probably the biggest issue with the Leafs. Lots of talent, but no certainty of success.
This is the second last game the Leafs play before the trade deadline, at the very least they should be playing to show Kyle Dubas they don’t want the roster blown up.
Lineups

LW
C
RW
Forwards
ZACH HYMAN
Rating: 75.3#27 LW

AUSTON MATTHEWS
Rating: 82.4#3 C

MITCH MARNER
Rating: 77.7#10 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 78.44#6 FL1

WILLIAM NYLANDER
Rating: 76.5#15 LW

JOHN TAVARES
Rating: 78.7#13 C

ALEXANDER KERFOOT
Rating: 72.1#86 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 75.75#5 FL2

PIERRE ENGVALL
Rating: 71.3#95 LW

FREDERIK GAUTHIER
Rating: 68.3#157 C

KASPERI KAPANEN
Rating: 71.5#99 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 70.35#30 FL3

KYLE CLIFFORD
Rating: 69.9#125 LW

JASON …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Maple Leafs Pregame #61: 5 things to watch for in Pittsburgh

The Panthers closed the gap last night. The Leafs aren’t looking good and have a much tougher schedule over the next six weeks. It will be interesting.
As for Pittsburgh they are 7-2-1 in their last 10, and have generally been good beyond those 10 games as well. Joy.
Lineups

LW
C
RW
Forwards
ZACH HYMAN
Rating: 75.1#30 LW

AUSTON MATTHEWS
Rating: 83.2#3 C

MITCH MARNER
Rating: 78.2#8 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 78.82#3 FL1

WILLIAM NYLANDER
Rating: 76.9#11 LW

JOHN TAVARES
Rating: 79.4#12 C

ALEXANDER KERFOOT
Rating: 72.2#81 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 76.19#4 FL2

KYLE CLIFFORD
Rating: 69.7#125 LW

PIERRE ENGVALL
Rating: 71.9#89 C

KASPERI KAPANEN
Rating: 71.9#91 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 71.16#22 FL3

EGOR KORSHKOV
JASON SPEZZA
Rating: 70.5#125 C

MASON MARCHMENT
Rating: 73.5#47 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 72.00#6 FL4

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Defense
JAKE MUZZIN
Rating: 73.9#34 LD

JUSTIN HOLL
Rating: 71.6#77 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 72.73#23 DL1

TRAVIS DERMOTT
Rating: 71.7#83 LD

TYSON BARRIE
Rating: 75.9#16 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 73.79#13 DL2

RASMUS SANDIN
Rating: 73.2#55 LD

TIMOTHY LILJEGREN
Rating: 72.9#48 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 73.04#8 DL3

LW
C
RW
Forwards
JASON ZUCKER
Rating: 74.5#37 LW

SIDNEY CROSBY
Rating: 81.7#6 C

DOMINIK SIMON
Rating: 70.0#125 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 75.39#16 FL1

JARED MCCANN
Rating: 73.2#51 …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation