Toronto Raptors: Five moves the Raptors should make this off-season

  The 2020 NBA Playoffs came to an end for the Toronto Raptors in a seven games series loss to the Boston Celtics. Now, the Toronto Raptors have several roster adjustments to consider, and here is a look at five moves the team should make this off-season. 2020 did not end as well as 2019 […]
Toronto Raptors: Five moves the Raptors should make this off-season – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jason Mills / Raptors HQ

Breaking down the Kapanen trade

To say the Kasperi Kapanen trade came as a shock is a bit of an understatement. In a normal year NHL teams generally treat the playoffs as an off limits time to pull off significant movements, and instead we are left waiting until after the Stanley Cup is presented before any real changes are made. This is certainly not a normal year, and it’s nice to see that Kyle Dubas is not treating it as such and has begun the overhaul of the Leafs lineup.

To Pittsburgh
To Toronto

Kasperi Kapanen
2020 1st Round Pick (15th Overall)

Jesper Lindgren
Filip Hallander

Pontus Aberg
Evan Rodrigues

David Warsofsky

Gone from the Leafs
Starting off by who the Leafs gave up, the Leafs have opted to move on from Kasperi Kapanen, the best player in deal, although we’ll get to the appeal of the mystery boxes from Pittsburgh in a bit.
Kapanen is a reminder that being fast isn’t always a recipe for success, and after his 20 goal season in 2018-19, he struggled to reproduce his success this year, and hasn’t been able to find any chemistry with Tavares, Matthews, or Kerfoot on the ice, …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Leafs have 10 picks in the draft, just not the pick we wanted

Well, the draft lottery came and went as expected. There was a 12.5% chance of happiness, and in true Leafs fashion, Toronto managed to come close enough to bring only pain…

leafs lottery ball rimming out set to my heart will go on (recorder version) pic.twitter.com/ncmimBGtZc
— dirtbag daddy (@dirtbag_daddi) August 11, 2020

Ah, nevertheless. Instead the Leafs traded the 13th overall pick, so they could unload Patrick Marleau and sign Marner to a contract to a contract that I will comfortably call “a little much.”
The good news in all of this is that the Leafs seem to draft well across the draft now that the keen eyes of Mark Hunter have departed. And with 10 picks in a deep draft, the Leafs have the potential to make the best of things…

Round
Overall Pick
Original Owner of Pick

2nd Round
45th Overall

4th Round
106th Overall

4th Round
118th Overall*
Golden Knights Pick

5th Round
149th Overall*
Golden Knights Pick

6th Round
168th Overall

6th Round
178th Overall*
Hurricanes Pick

6th Round
184th Overall*
Avalanche Pick

7th Round
189th Overall
Sharks Pick

7th Round
195th Overall
Jets Pick

7th Round
216th Overall*
Blues Pick

* …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

3 Things the Toronto Raptors did right against the Miami Heat

The Toronto Raptors and especially VanVleet came up big against Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat yesterday. Coming into this game, the Toronto Raptors failed to get a win against the Miami Heat in the regular season. The Heat was just a team the Raptors couldn’t figure out. Adebayo was too mobile, Duncan Robinson was […]
3 Things the Toronto Raptors did right against the Miami Heat – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Alexandro Fidanza / Raptors HQ

What to expect from John Tavares this summer

John Tavares came to the Toronto Maple Leafs on July 1, 2018 fully knowing the weight of the franchise was going to be placed on his shoulders the moment he signed a 7-year, $77 million contract to come home. Giddiness was in abundance in Leafs Land as the team had added, for nothing more than cap space, a key complement to their young and talented forward trio of Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander.
It would have been understandable for Tavares to not live up to the hype and hyperbole, but instead he proceeded to completely shatter all expectations in his first year with the club, posting career highs in goals (47) and points (88) as the Leafs finished tied for seventh in the end of season standings with the league’s fourth-ranked offence and eight-ranked powerplay.
The club made him captain on opening night of the 2019-20, and from there things got a little rocky (by Tavares’ standards).
By the numbers
Since joining the Leafs, Tavares has undeniably been a top-15 centre over that timeframe. His 0.50 goals-per-game places him 6th among centres (tied with Nathan MacKinnon) and his 1.02 points-per-game places him 14th, ahead of players like Sebastian Aho, Elias Pettersson, Sean …

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Author: Mark Norman / The Leafs Nation

Friday Future Stars: Will Nicholas Abruzzese be a Marlie next season?

The beginning of 2020 came with a lot of highs for Nicholas Abruzzese. He had a dominant freshman season at Harvard putting up 44 points in 31 games. He picked up the ECAC rookie of the year honours in the process. This following a 2019 when the overager was selected in the 4th round of the entry draft by the Leafs.
Now, like for the rest of us, the realities of 2020 have taken hold for Abruzzese and he’s in a situation where Harvard will not have their hockey team competing this fall and rather than a return to campus, Abruzzese will likely be taking online courses, without a venue to grow his game. This is an unfortunate situation for a player who has taken tremendous leaps over the past two seasons, and now might have to leap to his third league in three years.
From Nick Barden:
But there’s obviously more to Abruzzese than just points and rookie feats.
Particularly his on-ice awareness in impeccable as he can receive the puck and get it back off his stick to a wide-open player just as quick.
Not a playmaker like Mitch Marner, but his ability to do so …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

COVID-19 test results are potentially good news for the Toronto Raptors

The Toronto Raptors’ COVID-19 test results came back negative on Friday afternoon, but one result is still pending. For now, the news is good. After Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert and guard Donovan Mitchell both tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, the NBA took the conscious decision to suspend the 2019-20 season for precautionary measures. […]
COVID-19 test results are potentially good news for the Toronto Raptors – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Thomas Valentine / Raptors HQ

E.J. Johnston of 3ICE provides us with some more details on his new 3 on 3 league

Seemingly out of the blue on Monday afternoon there came word of a new hockey league coming to fruition in time for Summer 2021. They already had their TV deals in place with both TSN and CBS Sports, an partnership with ASM Global, who operate around 60 arenas in North America with and they had a prized format we’ve all come to love in the past few years, the 3 on 3 format that we all can’t get enough of in overtime.
The league also promises to fill a void of the summer months when hockey disappears from our TVs, but not from our hearts. According to E.J. Johnston, CEO of 3ICE, the plan is that as soon as the Stanley Cup is awarded, 3ICE starts touring. They’ll hit the road for nine Saturdays from June to August, being wrapped up before the start of NHL training camps, or before Saturday sports television transitions to College Football.
It very much seems like this league is going to happen, and reached out to E.J. Johnston to find out more.
According to E.J. the idea of building the league came largely from the success of the new …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Grades from the Toronto Raptors costly win against the Detroit Pistons

The Toronto Raptors came away with an impressive road win against the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night. Who played will in the injury-filled victory? Even after a Toronto Raptors victory, it’s hard to come away feeling great after Wednesday night’s contest. In a prime example of a “win the battle but lost the war” type […]
Grades from the Toronto Raptors costly win against the Detroit Pistons – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Bossetti / Raptors HQ

Grades from a close Toronto Raptors loss to the Philadelphia 76ers

The Toronto Raptors nearly came away with a gritty win against the Philadelphia 76ers on the road but in the end, came up short in a 104-110 defeat. The Toronto Raptors have been struggling as of late and their second outing against the Philadelphia 76ers was no different. Philadelphia played a solid game with offensive […]
Grades from a close Toronto Raptors loss to the Philadelphia 76ers – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Lee Tanner / Raptors HQ