Prospect Roundup: Amirov update, Prospect on pause, Akhtyamov gets the call

While Kyle Dubas and his staff have been hard at work reshaping the Maple Leafs roster and adding veterans such as TJ Brodie, Wayne Simmonds, and Zach Bogosian to the fold, several of the organization’s younger talents have continued their work towards staking their own claim to a Leafs roster spot in the future. In this, the strangest of fall seasons in which there is barely any high level hockey taking place in North America, it’s exciting for Leafs fans to have so many of the organization’s prospects playing overseas while we await the next NHL season. Let’s get to it.
Rodion Amirov – LW/RW – Salavat Yulaev Ufa
The Leafs’ most recent first round selection has predominantly played right wing on Ufa’s first line in the early part of the season but found himself on the left side of the third line for yesterday’s game. Just barely 19 years old, Amirov has been playing big minutes in a prime role against more mature players and has not looked out of place. His three goals and three assists through the first 14 games of the KHL season have already tripled his output from the 21 games he played …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

The Leafs sign Zach Bogosian to a 1-year, $1 million contract

Hours after Kyle Dubas said he was looking to add physicality on the blueline, he did just that by signing a recent Stanley Cup champion.

Welcome to Leafs Nation, Zach!
We’ve signed Zach Bogosian to a one-year contract. #LeafsForever
Details: https://t.co/DMGoBfo66E pic.twitter.com/5k5WCoSlV5
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) October 11, 2020

According to the Leafs, the deal has an average annual value of $1 million for the 2020-21 season.
More to come.

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Marlies sign Riley McCourt

Kyle Dubas wasted no time taking advantage of the opportunity to bring in an OHL overage defenseman who went undrafted this week.

#Marlies have signed D Riley McCourt to a two-year AHL contract. The 20-year-old was fifth in OHL scoring among defencemen last season with 62 points in 63 games for Flint. #Leafs
— Terry Koshan (@koshtorontosun) October 8, 2020

So that’s a lot of points for the 5’11 defender. And it savvy move by the GM in adding him. While the deal is an AHL one, you can likely expect to have McCourt spend most of his season in Newfoundland for the Growlers.

SEASON
TEAM
LEAGUE
GP
G
A
TP
PIM
+/-

2014-15
 Niagara North Stars U16 AAA
SCTA U16
8
0
0
0
0

2015-16
 Niagara North Stars U16 AAA
SCTA U16
33
9
11
20
20

 Ridley College
CISAA
6
1
7
8
6

 Ridley College
MPHL
2
0
0
0
0

 St. Catharines Falcons
GOJHL
2
0
1
1
2

2016-17
 Ridley College
CISAA
3
0
1
1
4

 St. Catharines Falcons
GOJHL
42
10
22
32
54

 Hamilton Bulldogs
OHL
9
1
0
1
6
2

2017-18
 Hamilton Bulldogs
OHL
26
1
8
9
12
-2

 Flint Firebirds
OHL
30
4
9
13
16
-11

2018-19
 Flint Firebirds
OHL
47
6
26
32
36
-38

2019-20
 Flint Firebirds
OHL
63
18
44
62
44
-4

data from eliteprospects.com

Odds are this won’t be the last deal we see like this in the coming days. Restocking the AHL/ECHL rosters might not be a priority, but it’s something that …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Overage standouts in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft

When Kyle Dubas was hired by the Toronto Maple Leafs in July 2014, he made clear that his draft philosophy was one of exploiting inefficiencies. He was not in charge of the draft at that point, but it seemed pertinent that Brendan Shanahan’s first major hire was eager to go against conventional draft logic.
In the 2015 NHL draft, the Leafs targeted undersized and European skaters that they felt provided greater value than what should have been available at that point. Travis Dermott and Dmytro Timashov were the successes of that strategy, Jeremy Bracco and Nikita Korostelev the failures at this point.
In the 2016 NHL draft, they targeted overage players such as 20 year old Egor Korshkov at 31st overall. They also selected Adam Brooks and Jack Walker from the WHL, both of whom had been through the 2 previous drafts, plus Nikolai Chebykin and Vladimir Bobylev who were 19.
In the drafts since they have selected Vladislav Kara (19), Sean Durzi (19), Mac Hollowell (19), Pontus Holmberg (19), and Nicholas Abruzzese (20). The Leafs have selected an overage player every draft since Dubas was hired, and there is no reason to believe that should stop now. Draft experts may say this is not a great year for …

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Author: Earl Schwartz / The Leafs Nation

What do the Leafs have in prospect Filip Hallander?

We all knew changes were coming and Kyle Dubas wasted little time getting to work reshaping the Leafs roster. On Tuesday, he made his first move of the offseason and shipped Kasperi Kapanen back to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Leafs and Penguins exchanged multiple pieces in the deal but the key components of the trade were Kapanen for Pittsburgh, and the Penguins 2020 first round pick along with Swedish prospect Filip Hallander for Toronto. We’ll have to wait and see what the Leafs decide to do with that pick. Do they use it in another trade to add help on the blue line or do they keep the pick and add to their prospect pool with the 15th selection in what many analysts have referred to as a deep draft?
While we aren’t sure what will become of that draft pick in the coming weeks, months, or even years, Filip Hallander is more of a known quantity even at just 20 years of age. He’s a player that the Leafs have kept close tabs on going all the way back to before he was selected by Pittsburgh in the second round of the 2018 draft. 
Dubas …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

Update: Nic Petan added to phase 3 roster

General manager Kyle Dubas has announced that forward Nic Petan will replace defenceman Mac Hollowell on the Leafs phase 3 training camp roster.

General Manager Kyle Dubas announces that forward Nic Petan will replace defenceman Mac Hollowell on the Phase 3 Return to Play roster. https://t.co/udF4o2yCkT
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) July 12, 2020

The Leafs will now carry 19 forwards, 11 defencemen, and 4 goaltenders into camp. The timing of this roster change is peculiar, given the initial roster was announced just hours earlier, but these are peculiar times. Things are subject to change at any minute as the NHL moves forward with it’s Return to Play plan.
Stay tuned.

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

What to expect from Jake Muzzin this summer

When Kyle Dubas acquired Jake Muzzin from the Los Angeles Kings in January of 2019 it changed the makeup of not only the Leafs’ blue line, but their entire roster. Muzzin immediately added some nastiness and championship experience to a Leafs team that was short on both, becoming a stabilizing presence on the way to another hard fought playoff series against Boston.
Entering his first full season as a Leaf, Muzzin was slotted in for duty alongside newly acquired Tyson Barrie on a revamped Toronto defensive unit but much like the rest of the team, the pairing struggled to begin the season. Justin Holl eventually took Barrie’s place forming an effective shutdown duo with Muzzin as the Leafs began to turn their season around with Sheldon Keefe at the helm. With Barrie taking a while to adjust to his new surroundings and the pairing of Rielly and Ceci struggling against top competition, Muzzin was the Leafs’ most reliable defenceman for the early part of the season until injury struck at the end of December. He would return after missing a month with a foot injury only to get hurt again 15 games later and was on the injured …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

News and Notes: Kyle Dubas talks about facing the Blue Jackets, whether this year’s Stanley Cup will have an asterisk, and more

Kyle Dubas appeared on Sportsnet’s Tim & Sid and TSN’s Overdrive on Wednesday in order to discuss various Leafs’ related topics in the wake of the NHL officially announcing its plan to move forward with a 24-team playoff this summer.

On how he feels about how the Leafs stack up against the Blue Jackets…
DUBAS: I haven’t really spent a ton of time yet focusing on the matchup precisely. I think our focus right now has to be on our own team and what we can do to control everything that we do. The one thing that we have stressed has been that there is going to be a massive advantage and edge to the teams that come back in great physical condition and great shape and are able to guard against injuries and all of the other things that are going to crop up as we do something that is unprecedented — which is return right back into the heat of competition.
They’re obviously a very, very well-coached and well-managed team and have a great identity to them. We are certainly not taking them lightly and we know what …

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Author: Cam Lewis / The Leafs Nation

Nick Robertson will be a part of the Leafs’ expanded roster

According to James Mirtle, Kyle Dubas confirmed today that if/when the NHL resumes play this summer, Nick Robertson will be a part of the Leafs’ expanded roster.

Kyle Dubas confirms Nick Robertson will be part of the Leafs expanded roster when / if play resumes.
— James Mirtle (@mirtle) May 27, 2020

The second-round pick of the Leafs from the 2019 draft, Robertson demolished the OHL this season, scoring an absurd 55 goals over the course of 46 games. His 55 goals were the most of any skater in the league, three clear of 2020 top prospect Jack Quinn, who played in 16 more games than Robertson did.
Given the nature of these playoffs, with teams going into quarantine for the duration of the tournament, teams will be carrying more players with them than usual, so it really isn’t shocking at all to see that Robertson will be in the mix. The more interesting question is whether or not he’ll suit up for the Leafs during their play-in series against the Blue Jackets.
His play in the OHL suggests that he’s ready to handle NHL competition, but having Robertson make his debut in such a situation would certainly be throwing him …

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Author: Cam Lewis / The Leafs Nation

Adam Brooks has been re-signed

Kyle Dubas continues to keep himself busy on what he can and today he’s locked up a little depth for the Leafs for the next couple of years.
From the Leafs press release:

The Maple Leafs announced today that the hockey club has signed forward Adam Brooks to a two-year, two-way contract. The NHL salary of the contract carries an average annual value of $725,000.

Brooks, 24, has registered three assists in seven games with the Maple Leafs this season. The Winnipeg, Manitoba native also appeared in 29 games with the Toronto Marlies, recording 20 points (9 goals, 11 assists). In 147 career AHL regular season games, all with Toronto, Brooks has registered 79 points (38 goals, 41 assists) while adding 14 points (8 goals, 6 assists) in 33 playoff games and won a Calder Cup championship in 2018.
Brooks was originally drafted by the Maple Leafs in the fourth round (92nd overall) of the 2016 NHL Draft.
After the recent praise from the Greg Moore and Laurence Gilman of the Marlies, it’s not too surprising that Adam Brooks will be returning. The guy oozes the hockey sense and work ethic that coaches love, and at $725k on a two-way deal he will fit easily into the depth of the organization, and …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation