Leafs Prospect Roundup: Leafs shining at WJC, Kral catches fire, Kara on the move

The NHL season is finally just around the corner and the World Juniors have been a great primer as the hockey world begins to look a little brighter. Leafs fans have been treated to some impressive performances by a few of the team’s newest prospects, and all of Toronto’s participants will have a chance to compete for medals as both Russia and Finland have looked strong through the preliminary round.
Rodion Amirov – LW/RW – Salavat Yulaev Ufa (KHL)
For many Leafs’ fans, these first few games at the World Juniors have been the first real look they have gotten at the organization’s most recent first round pick. Despite a bit of a slow start, Amirov has been impressive and leads the Russian squad in scoring through the preliminary round with two goals and four assists in four games. On top of his offensive exploits, Amirov has been a strong defensive presence and a difference maker on the penalty kill for Igor Larionov’s team as well. His best game of the tournament so far came in Russia’s final preliminary round matchup against Sweden where he scored a goal and added two assists, including the primary assist …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

Brandon Drury avoids arbitration with a one-year deal

With the arbitration deadline right around the corner, the Blue Jays have come to terms with one of their three unsigned players, inking Brandon Drury to a one-year deal worth $2.05 million.

Brandon Drury gets 2.05M, avoiding arb. #jays
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 9, 2020

Friday at 1:00 pm ET is the deadline for teams and players to submit suggested salary figures for 2020 ahead of arbitration. Now that Drury has a deal in place, the Jays only have closer Ken Giles and starter Matt Shoemaker as unresolved cases.
Drury was projected to make $2.5 million in arbitration by MLB Trade Rumours, so the Jays will ultimately get him at a slightly cheaper price than expected. Giles is projected to make $8.4 million and Shoemaker $3.8 million.

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Thomas Hatch’s spinning fastball and new cutter

The Rule 5 draft is just around the corner and with that comes decisions on what players should be added to the 40-man roster to avoid being selected. The deadline to add a player to the 40-man to be protected from the Rule 5 is November 20th. The Blue Jays have at least 22 players eligible for the Rule 5 draft, per this post from Future Blue Jays, the majority of whom are lower level players who will not be getting selected. Others like Santiago Espinal, are on the cusp of being big leaguers and may very well get selected if unprotected.
The Blue Jays currently have all 40 man rosters spots full, as they were forced to reinstate Matt Shoemaker, Tim Mayza and Ryan Borucki from the 60-day injured list. Once they are able to re-place those players on the IL they will have some space to add prospects.
Given the state of the Blue Jays pitching staff it would make sense they would want to keep as many pitchers as they can in the organization, making it likely that they will protect Thomas Hatch, who they acquired in July from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for David Phelps. So just how good is …

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Author: Paul Berthelot / Blue Jays Nation