Who’s the New Guy? Getting to Know the Toronto Raptors’ New Faces

Who’s the New Guy? Getting to Know the Toronto Raptors’ New Faces

Through the draft and free agency, the Toronto Raptors have brought five new faces into the fold. Just as quickly as it began, the NBA’s free agency period is winding down. With the re-signing of Fred VanVleet and the shuffling of key big men standing as the Toronto Raptors‘ most significant changes. Barring any unforeseen […]
Who’s the New Guy? Getting to Know the Toronto Raptors’ New Faces – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Ben Fisher / Raptors HQ

Mac Hollowell is the Leafs 13th ranked prospect

In Kyle Dubas’ final OHL draft, with his 2nd to last pick, he selected Mac Hollowell. He was only 5’8″ and 169 lbs when the Greyhounds snagged him 237th overall, but he would wind up cracking the OHL the season after he was drafted.
When it came time for Hollowell’s NHL draft in 2017, his name was not called. The diminutive defenceman was struggling to get top 4 minutes thanks to the deep roster Dubas left behind when he joined the Leafs. It wasn’t until the 2017-18 OHL season when Hollowell started turning heads, assuming a larger role for the Greyhounds while Rasmus Sandin and Conor Timmins were at the World Juniors or injured.
Kyle Dubas was handed the Leafs reins ahead of the 2018 draft, and he made short work of acquiring the Greyhound’s two top scoring defencemen. The Leafs selected Sandin 29th overall, and Hollowell 118th overall. It’s worth noting that Hollowell was projected closer to the 6th round, but the Leafs took him in the 4th. Not the first time, nor will it be the last, that Dubas shows his confidence in the evasive RD.
RANK – GRADE – NHL READINESS
Position: RD
Age: 22
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 170 lbs
Drafted: 2018 4th …

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Author: Earl Schwartz / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: After the draft Raptors need frontcourt players

Toronto Raptors: After the draft Raptors need frontcourt players

The 2020 NBA Draft is over, and the Toronto Raptors have some major decisions to make to fill out their roster. The major question is Fred VanVleet truly a priority, or is finding frontcourt players? Officially, November 20th, 2020 is the date that NBA general managers, including Bobby Webster of the Toronto Raptors, can begin […]
Toronto Raptors: After the draft Raptors need frontcourt players – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jason Mills / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors: 2020 NBA Draft trade for Mitchell Robinson

Toronto Raptors: 2020 NBA Draft trade for Mitchell Robinson

The Toronto Raptors own the 29th pick at the 2020 NBA Draft being held on November 18th. This year’s draft is considered weak, and the Toronto Raptors could trade out of the first round. The Toronto Raptors have been a serious contender for the NBA Championship for seven consecutive years. They claimed the title in […]
Toronto Raptors: 2020 NBA Draft trade for Mitchell Robinson – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jason Mills / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors: Five best draft picks in team history

Toronto Raptors: Five best draft picks in team history

The Toronto Raptors select 29th at the 2020 NBA Draft, which is being held on November 18th, 2020. Regardless of whether they keep the pick or trade it, the Toronto Raptors have made some fine selections at the NBA Draft since 1995. The Toronto Raptors have had a quarter-century of experience selecting fresh young talent […]
Toronto Raptors: Five best draft picks in team history – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jason Mills / Raptors HQ

Pick swaps in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft

In anticipation of the 2020 draft happening before the resumption of the NHL season, I wrote about ‘The Art of the Swap‘. That is the process of assigning a number value to draft picks, and trading down in order to increase the perceived value.
It surprised me to see that was already 6 months ago, and at the time it would have been even more surprising to know the draft wouldn’t occur until October. Nonetheless, I made a few predictions in that article that I was eager to see play out.
First off was the frequency of swaps. In the 6 previous drafts, there was an average of 7 swaps per draft. In 2020 there was a total of 11, including 5 swaps in the first 2 rounds. This falls just short of the 2019 high of 12, but still continues the upwards trend.
I also made the point that more swaps means more precedence, so as time goes on we should expect the surplus value to trend towards 0. That appears to be the case:

I really like this chart, but it can be hard to read. Each bar represents one draft day swap, and the height is the value of the trade down picks minus the value of …

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Author: Earl Schwartz / The Leafs Nation

Artur Akhtyamov… Better than Yaroslav Askarov?

In the 2020 NHL Entry draft completed yesterday, a healthy number of goalies were selected, with 20 of the 216 players being netminders. That’s 9.2% percent of the selections, while they represent 10% of your dressed roster in each NHL game. The Leafs chose one of those 20, in Artur Akhtyamov, a Russian comrade to the only goalie selected in the first round, Yaroslav Askarov.
It’s healthy to pose the question whether Akhtyamov could surprise and end up better than Askarov in the end. After all, goalies are voodoo, and plenty of other highly drafted goalies have not worked out as expected, our own Jack Campbell being near the top of that list. However, it’d be ridiculous to say, with any element of credibility, that Akhtyamov will be better than Askarov.

still can’t believe Nashville reached for Askarov at 11 when Artur Akhtyamov was available
— BOOby cappucino (@bobbycappucino) October 8, 2020

Whoops! (I did not “eat the onion” as they say, I know Bobby is being facetious. He’s the best at it).
All kidding aside, if it were possible to know that, obviously the draft positions would look a lot different. That doesn’t take the possibility out of the question though.
In Askarov …

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Author: Ryan Hobart / The Leafs Nation

In the 6th and 7th rounds the Leafs proudly select a lot of players

If the Leafs draft strategy wasn’t clear in the early rounds, Kyle Dubas made sure everyone understood what he was up to in the final rounds of the draft. He was out to draft high skill players that have a league to play in this year. Not a bad strategy, but for a team that is based in Ontario and used to relying heavily on the Ontario Hockey League for its prospects, it was certainly a change. The fact that in the middle of the draft word came down that it is going to be difficult to have hockey in Ontario this season should serve as some validation for Dubas’ strategy.
Loading up on players this year is also smart. Next year who knows how much many of the prospects will have played. Those who are playing might have been further down the depth chart than they’d usually be in, and getting around to see players play will be a challenge for scouts. Using 12 picks and using them on active players makes sense.
As for who those players are from the 6th and 7th rounds, here they are:
Veeti Miettinen
Miettinen is a 5’9 right winger from Finland, and …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Leafs do not qualify Freddie Gauthier, Jeremy Bracco and others

The draft was expected to be over and we’ve now overlapped with the restricted free agent qualifying offer cut off. And the Leafs have opted not to qualify for of their players.

TOR does not qualify Bracco, Gauthier, Rodrigues or Veronneau
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) October 7, 2020

First off this means that both Ilya Mikheyev and Travis Dermott are qualified as Michael Mazzei covered this morning…
Travis Dermott and Ilya Mikheyev have received qualifying offers from the Leafs

Secondly, this means that the Leafs weren’t able to find middle ground with Evan Rodrigues on how much of a pay cut is fair from the $2M he would have qualified at. The Leafs will still have the exclusive negotiating rights with him until Friday at noon, and something could be worked out, but in reality he’ll test free agency before possibly reconnecting with Dubas about his best offer.
This also potentially ends the Freddie Gauthier era, or in reality it does end The Goat era since if the Leafs didn’t feel like qualifying him at the league minimum, they probably don’t have any interesting in continuing their working relationship. Gauthier had a great attitude, and was a beloved …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Maple Leafs select Roni Hirvonen with the 59th overall pick

With plenty of talented players on the draft board heading into Day 2, the Leafs opted to move down and take advantage of the depth by trading the 44th overall pick to the Senators for the 59th and 64th picks overall. While the pick cost the Leafs a shot at players like Jan Mysak, Jeremy Poirer, the Leafs made the decision to go with quality and quantity by adding the extra high 3rd round pick and then using the later 2nd rounder on…
Roni Hirvonen
So what do you want to know about Hirvonen?
Well, he’s a Finnish center. He’s playing in Liiga right now. A lot of people are going to focus on the 5’9 aspect of Hirvonen, and certainly size might force him onto the wing if he comes to North America.
From Elite Prospects:
Hirvonen is dutiful in the defensive zone, maintaining an elevated work rate and putting on a clinic in body-leverage going into puck retrievals. He does a fantastic job of anticipating plays, closing passing & shooting lanes, and making defensive switches on the cycle. He moves the puck with pace and regularly finds teammates with high-danger passes.
In his two games this season, Hirvonen …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation