The Maple Leafs Draft Pick Cupboard is Bare and That’s Okay: A Letter from a Draft Guy

 
Hey Leafs Nation,
It’s me, you’re favourite bald draft analyst. It’s been a busy week. The Leafs made a few trades to bolster their lineup. The additions of Riley Nash, David Rittich, Ben Hutton, and the key piece of the deadline, Nick Foligno will all go a long way to ensuring the Buds are good to go should injuries strike. The team added depth, a key piece, and an NHL calibre goalie who helps make sure things don’t go awry in the crease. Overall, I’d say it was a pretty good deadline for Kyle Dubas and the Toronto Maple Leafs. One thing that seems to be bugging everyone is the lack of draft picks going forward with just six picks in the next two drafts combined. As a draft guy, I have one thing to say about that. Who cares?
Hear me out. Of those six picks, they have their 2021 second-round pick as well as their 2022 first and second-rounders. That means most of their truly premium assets are still in the fold to add good talent or use them next year to bolster the roster again. As I explained before, this year’s first-round is …

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Author: Tony Ferrari / The Leafs Nation

Rumours: Quick isn’t going to happen, cold water on Palmieri, paying teams to retain salary, and a wild Bertuzzi appears

One of my favourite parts of rumour season is when you come across something so incredibly stupid that you worry that it has to be true because no one is just going to create it out of nothing.                            So goes the Jonathan Quick to Toronto rumour.
The Leafs are on the verge of losing their declining starter and his $5M at the end of this season to free agency, a move to bring in Quick would be one to bring in an older starter, with more term, more cap hit, and even worse results. The argument for Quick being that he got along well with Jack Campbell. You know who gets along with Jack Campbell? Everybody.
The idea of Quick coming in would be based on the Kings retaining salary, and that really doesn’t make it much more enticing. It still results in the Leafs paying over 3x the cost of Michael Hutchinson for essentially the same results. Even if the goal was to trade Frederik Andersen for Quick, and have half of Quick’s cap hit retained, I’m not sure the $2.1M cap savings now vs. the extra two years of having a $2.9M mediocre backup make …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Hey Toronto Raptors, bring back our boy Rondae Hollis-Jefferson

Hey Toronto Raptors, bring back our boy Rondae Hollis-Jefferson

The Toronto Raptors 2020 fan favourite was recently released by the Minnesota Timberwolves. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson was recently released by the Minnesota Timberwolves in a surprising move. Hollis-Jefferson had some fairly impressive pre-season performances including a 17-point outing against the Memphis Grizzlies. Nonetheless, the Timberwolves made the questionable decision to release the veteran swingman. The Toronto Raptors […]
Hey Toronto Raptors, bring back our boy Rondae Hollis-Jefferson – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jack Long / Raptors HQ

NHL Draft moved up to Oct 6/7 and who the experts think the Leafs could take at 15th overall

The Leafs first round pick and our new favourite son will arrive three days earlier than originally expected, as the NHL has announced Tuesday, October 6th as the opening night of the entry draft.

NHL Draft is being moved ahead a couple of days. First round Oct 6, rest on Oct. 7.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) September 8, 2020

Breaking with the tradition of having the event on the weekend, the NHL is looking to maximize the potential for a little down time and have a true offseason by moving the draft forward. It’s entirely possible we see a similar move with free agency as well.
One of the other drivers behind this decision is probably to move the draft off of a holiday weekend, as it allows the league to shutdown for Canadian Thanksgiving as well as Columbus Day in the US.
So we are now officially less than one month to the entry draft. Cool. To celebrate, here’s a rundown of the TLN draft content for you to consume…
From Erik Karlsson to Cody Ceci — A look at recent No. 15 overall picks from the NHL draft

Should the Leafs lean towards drafting more players from European …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Scott’s Thoughts: Game 1 vs. Columbus Edition

That’s right, everybody’s least favourite column is no longer weekly during the playoffs. Instead of every Friday, I’m now going to be doing it after every playoff game, so that you all know exactly what I’m thinking going into the next playoff game, because I know you all care about my opinion.
The Leafs had a fine showing in Game 1 of the playoffs, but unfortunately for them, one bounce went for Columbus, and it was basically over. It was certainly disappointing, but the series is far from over.
We made their worse goalie look good
While this may seem like a bad thing, because it means that the Blue Jackets worse goalie shut us out (which is bad), but on the bright side, it means he’s probably going to be playing for the rest of the series.
That bodes well for the rest of the series, as Elvis Merzlikins has been the better goalie of the two this year, and probably should have gotten the Game 1 start.

Player
Save %
5v5 dFSv%
GSAA
GAR

Merzlikins
0.923
0.2
10.56
11.8

Korpisalo
0.911
-0.23
4.76
6.9

Andersen
0.909
-0.59
-6.04
9.8

Merzlikins is significantly better than Korpisalo in every regard, and while …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Announcing the Absolutely, the Leaf’s Madness” bracket

In case you were wondering what your favourite Leafs blog was going to do for content during this hiatus, look no further. Well, keep looking, we’ll have other stuff too, but also look at this. It’s our official March Bracket…
ABSOLUTELY, THE LEAF’S MADNESS!!!!
Okay, so you aren’t particularly excited about this yet, but hopefully you will become very invested in this because you have absolutely nothing else to going on regarding sports outcomes.
We’re starting off by asking you, our valued reader to submit your 5 favourite Leafs from 5 distinct eras of the team that will make up our regions. It’s going to be those votes that influence who winds up on the bracket and establish the seeding. And you know because it’s the Leafs, we can’t just go with 64 player bracket, IT’S 67, BABY!!! WOOOOOOO!!!! There will be three play-ins so we can do this right.
Here are the regions:
Your Grandpa’s Leafs region: This covers off everything 1967 and earlier. The glory years when a team didn’t really need to be good, you just needed …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Guest Post: How Garret Sparks Helped Me Love Hockey

As absurd as it is to say, Garret Sparks is my favourite hockey player. 
That statement demands some qualifiers. I should stress that I do not believe Sparks is above criticism for his performance last season, nor do I see him as some paragon of goaltending that is unfairly viewed by Leafs fans. Instead, I would like to share my story of how my love of hockey evolved, and how Garret Sparks unwittingly played such a central role in helping me get to where I am today. 

To put it bluntly, I have lived a fairly privileged life.
I am an LGBTQ+ person, but I live in a country where I am not punished for being honest about who I am (it helps that I am “straight passing”, I am aware). I struggle with my mental health, but I have access to resources that allow me to manage my situation without financial penalty. Most importantly, though, I have had amazing educational opportunities, culminating with my enrollment at the University of Toronto as a Masters candidate in 2016.
These opportunities also brought their challenges; leaving home while my parents dealt with my grandmother’s Alzheimer’s was a heartbreaking choice, and I …

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Author: Dan William / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: Where does the Dino jersey rank in the NBA?

A familiar favourite in Toronto Raptors folklore, the Dino jersey is finally back in the spotlight. Where does it rank as one of the best jerseys in the NBA this season? Nothing feels fresher than new uniforms. One of the nuances that make the NBA one of the best leagues in the world is the […]
Toronto Raptors: Where does the Dino jersey rank in the NBA? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Thomas Valentine / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors ultimate fan favourite tourney winner: Jonas Valanciunas

As we finish our fan favourite week, we decided to ask you, the fans, who was the Toronto Raptors All-Time Fan Favourite? After eight rounds and thousands of votes, Jonas Valanciunas walked away as the winner. The fans have spoken. Five rounds, thousands of votes, and many eliminations later, Jonas Valanciunas is officially the Toronto […]
Toronto Raptors ultimate fan favourite tourney winner: Jonas Valanciunas – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Bossetti / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors fan favourite week: Jerome Williams

Next up on our fan favourite week is Jerome Williams, who became one of the earliest fan favourites in Toronto Raptors history. Jerome “Junkyard Dog” Williams was a Toronto Raptors fan favourite before he even set foot on the court, something not many players can attest to. Williams enthusiasm was evident from the moment he […]
Toronto Raptors fan favourite week: Jerome Williams – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Thomas Valentine / Raptors HQ