The case for Ondrej Kaše in the Maple Leafs top six

Ondrej Kase has been a real feel-good story for the 2021/2022 Toronto Maple Leafs. He’s finally healthy and playing games consistently after being sidelined with several injuries over the last few years. To boot, he’s even played most of those games on the same line as childhood friend David Kampf. But if you can imagine topping that, his play has been dynamic in any role he’s been asked to fill. Penalty killer? Sure. Offensive play driver on a shut-down line? You bet. Efficient PP scorer? Absolutely. Covering for injuries in the top 6 and not looking out of place? Certainly. Driving the net like a crazy man while rocking a bushy moustache? Why not? Is there anything not to like?

I would add to this another fun tidbit that is probably not gonna go viral like that one but..
19yo Alex Kerfoot trained with 13-14 Chomutov team in summer of 2013 and both 17yo draft eligibles Ondřej Kaše and David Kämpf were on that team as well. Played who season there. https://t.co/Bh9cqRAqUH pic.twitter.com/5hqXBgK9Kj
— Sam Tirpák (@SammyT_51) November 18, 2021

It’s a small world. But today, I wanted to focus on Kase’s time spent playing in the top 6 and see if he should remain there even after everyone has returned from either injury or COVID protocol. To start, I want to go back to November 13th against the Buffalo Sabres. Coming into this game, Kase had scored in back-to-back games against the Flyers and Flames. That night against the Sabres he played …

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Author: Stephen Brown / The Leafs Nation

Should poor stretch from Gary Trent Jr. concern Raptors?

Should poor stretch from Gary Trent Jr. concern Raptors?

The Toronto Raptors have been on a tear in 2022 now that all of their starters are healthy, though there have been some issues when it comes to making sure all five are clicking at the same time. Standout shooting guard Gary Trent Jr. hasn’t been as lethal as he was when certain players were […]
Should poor stretch from Gary Trent Jr. concern Raptors? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Raptors mock draft roundup: Toronto gambles on potential, scoring

Raptors mock draft roundup: Toronto gambles on potential, scoring

The Toronto Raptors have been on a hot streak of late, but that hasn’t stopped the Raptors mock draft wizards from figuring out what Masai Ujiri is going to do when the 2022 NBA Draft rolls around. There are some noteworthy holes that need addressing on this team. The Raptors need a backup point guard, […]
Raptors mock draft roundup: Toronto gambles on potential, scoring – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Maple Leafs Weekly Thoughts: Return to the ice and Ritchie clearing waivers

It’s been an interesting week for the Toronto Maple Leafs after going 17 days from mid-December to early January with no games because of multiple postponements. In this week’s edition of Maple Leafs weekly thoughts and notes, we’ll try to tackle some of the highlights and take a closer at a few ongoing situations.
NICK RITCHIE
It was announced Friday afternoon that Ritchie had cleared waivers after being sent down the day before. Although, with Mitch Marner and Pierre Engvall being placed in the NHL’s COVID protocol on Friday, Ritchie likely finds his way back into the lineup Saturday night in Colorado. If Ritchie wants to fire up the redemption tour, that’d be cool. It started last Saturday night when the Maple Leafs took on the Ottawa Senators in another edition of the battle of Ontario. This was the first time all season that the Leafs had all of their forwards healthy and available to them. As a result, Nick Ritchie was made a healthy scratch.

Who you got scoring our first goal of 2022? #LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/Aak0I0zKvb
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) January 1, 2022

The Maple Leafs had been in a position basically since the beginning of the season where they were going to have to trade or send down someone because as it sat, they would have been over the salary cap with a 22 man roster and everyone healthy. But because of injuries to Ilya Mikheyev, Petr Mrazek, and Marner they were able to gain short-term cap flexibility through LTIR and kick that can down the road. The likelihood of Ritchie getting claimed was probably very low. He has one goal in 30 games this year and is signed to another year after this at a cap hit of 2.5M where his actual salary increases from 1.7M to 3.3M. With Ritchie having cleared the Leafs are free to call him up and send him back down whenever they need him over the next 30 days. This allows them to keep Rasmus Sandin and Timothy Liljegren on the roster in the meantime. So, the Leafs have once again bought themselves some more time without losing any organizational depth.

After Ritchie cleared waivers the Leafs would have just over 300k in cap s …

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Author: Stephen Brown / The Leafs Nation

Raptors rumors: 3 Kings players Toronto should consider trading for

Raptors rumors: 3 Kings players Toronto should consider trading for

The Toronto Raptors and Sacramento Kings have been complete opposites in terms of their on-court success over the last decade, but both franchises could be in a position to make moves at the trade deadline in order to make sure they end up in the playoffs. Sacramento could be in the mood to make a […]
Raptors rumors: 3 Kings players Toronto 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

Pascal Siakam became a Top 5 all-time Raptors player on Sunday

Pascal Siakam became a Top 5 all-time Raptors player on Sunday

The Toronto Raptors have been bolstered by some quality performances out of Pascal Siakam in the last few weeks. As the team has started to string some wins together, they’ve done so on the back of some vintage showings from one of the greatest players in the history of this franchise. Siakam’s name is plastered […]
Pascal Siakam became a Top 5 all-time Raptors player on Sunday – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Is Raptors big Precious Achiuwa at risk of losing playing time?

Is Raptors big Precious Achiuwa at risk of losing playing time?

The curious case of Precious Achiuwa has been one of the most confusing storylines of the 2021-22 Toronto Raptors season. On one hand, Achiuwa is a supremely talented young big with potential on both ends. On the other, it’s clear that he is an incredibly raw player still learning the game. Achiuwa is averaging 8.4 […]
Is Raptors big Precious Achiuwa at risk of losing playing time? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Maple Leafs prospect Topi Niemelä signs contract extension with Kärpät

Topi Niemelä has been steadily climbing the Leafs prospect rankings since being drafted in the third round of the 2020 NHL Draft, and with him currently suiting up for Finland in his second straight World Junior Championships in Edmonton, fans are growing increasingly excited to see him playing in North America full time. It looks as though we may be forced to wait a while longer before seeing Niemelä make the move across the Atlantic, however, with news emerging on Wednesday that he has signed a one-year contract extension with Kärpät.

Interesting development here as Topi Niemelä signs another one-year extension with Karpat into 2022-23.
Harri Aho, Karpat’s sporting director says Karpat “is committed to helping the young defender on his way to the next goals of his career.” https://t.co/F1PFNLLNNu
— Joshua Kloke (@joshuakloke) December 29, 2021

Niemelä is in the midst of an outstanding season for Kärpät, currently leading all Liiga defencemen in scoring with 24 points through 31 games. He is also the league’s highest-scoring U20 player, regardless of position. His exceptional play through the early part of the season has only added to the anticipation surrounding his eventual arrival in North America and though …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

3 most unforgettable Toronto Raptors moments from 2021

3 most unforgettable Toronto Raptors moments from 2021

The Toronto Raptors have been through more than most NBA teams over the course of 2021. On top of playing a shortened season in which they were relocated to Tampa, they had to deal with the departure of Kyle Lowry and multiple outbreaks of COVID-19 on their roster and coaching staff. The Raptors might not […]
3 most unforgettable Toronto Raptors moments from 2021 – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

1 reason to get excited about 3 of the Raptors’ 10-day signings

1 reason to get excited about 3 of the Raptors’ 10-day signings

The Toronto Raptors have been ravaged by the recent COVID-19 outbreak, as eight different players, including all five of their projected starters, have entered the league’s health and safety protocols. To offset those losses, Toronto agreed to terms with Juwan Morgan, Tremont Waters, and DJ Wilson on 10-day contracts. While the Raptors originally planned to […]
1 reason to get excited about 3 of the Raptors’ 10-day signings – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ