Mikko Kokkonen is the Leafs 8th ranked prospect

I guess we’ll stick with the theme from yesterday and keep on talking about Finnish defensemen. A lot of the same things can be said about Niemela and Kokkonen, so excuse me if it looks like I plagiarized Nick Richard’s article, but that doesn’t change that like Niemela, Kokkonen is smooth skating defenseman with a good head on his shoulders that isn’t overly flashy and the Leafs were fortunate that he slid to the 3rd round of the draft.

RANK
GRADE
Time until NHL ready

8
C
2-4 YEARS

Position: Defense
Height: 5’11
Weight: 198lbs
Shoots: Left
Drafted: 2019 3rd Round, 84th Overall
What kind of player is he?
I’m going to jump straight to a player comparison. Player comparisons are generally terrible, and never accurate, but that’s not going to stop me from repeatedly going back to that well, and say the kind of player that the Leafs will get in Mikko Kokkonen is a player who plays a very Carl Gunnarsson style of hockey. That’s not to say he’ll be as good or as bad as Gunnarsson, depending on your opinion of Gunnarsson, but simply it speaks to Kokkonen being a steady kind …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Hockey community rallying around 15 year old with serious injury

Anthony MacDonald is a 15 year old hockey player from Nova Scotia who suffered an unfortunate and very severe head injury on the ice earlier this week. Anthony happens to be the son of a friend of mine, so this is personal to me and to The Leafs Nation team. The outpouring of support so from the hockey community has been overwhelming and heartwarming. The GoFundMe page has been shared by hundreds of people, including some prominent members of the hockey world such as Bob McKenzie, Pierre LeBrun, and David Amber.

Anthony is a young hockey player who needs our help. If you’re able to, click on the link below. Our thoughts are with Anthony and his family. https://t.co/WMRpw3V3Pt
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) November 12, 2020

Anthony is currently being cared for by the incredible doctors and nurses at the IWK in Halifax, but his family is sure to incur many unexpected expenses during his recovery and the days ahead, which is the last thing they should have to be concerned with at this time. I, along with Anthony’s loved ones, would greatly appreciate any support you might be able to provide in this very difficult time. …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

Leafs players who have a realistic shot at representing Canada at the 2022 Olympics

It feels like I’m a month removed from being annoyed by TSN and Sportsnet filling time during the draft and free agency discussing their mock rosters for the 2022 Canadian Olympic Men’s Hockey Team. Alas, there are no more draft picks, free agents, or trades incoming at the moment, so it’s time that I too take a trip to that content well, and consider what Leafs could be representing their country at the Olympics.
Rather than start with the international players and work towards Canada, it seems much more fitting to kick this off with the country most of our readership will be excited about. Latvia. Canada. And while the Leafs haven’t been fond of drafting Canadians in the past couple of seasons, there are a number of Canadians on the Leafs, and many of them play at a high enough level to be considered.

So both Craig Button and Mike Johnson weighed in with their rosters, and to the joy of Leafs fans it appears that both Morgan Rielly and Mitch Marner would be on their Team Canada rosters. And why shouldn’t they be, statistically the case for both of them is sound.
Morgan Rielly …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The Leafs have re-signed Ilya Mikheyev to a two-year, $3.29 million deal

Less than 24 hours removed from their scheduled arbitration hearing, Ilya Mikheyev and the Leafs agreed to an extension.

Soup’s back on the menu for two more years!
Ilya Mikheyev has signed a two-year contract extension. #LeafsForever
Details: https://t.co/awTa3TDZff pic.twitter.com/0QhV48B46p
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) October 20, 2020

His agent, Dan Milstein, first broke the news on Twitter with a photo of a young Mikheyev.
The terms of the deal were reflective of the arbitration rules, given that players heading for a hearing usually get no more than two-year contracts. It’s at a cap hit they are happy with and, most importantly, he will be exempt from the Seattle Kraken expansion draft next year.
More to come.

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

RUMOUR: Leafs interested in MacKenzie Weegar

We are still an hour and half away from all hell breaking loose and free agency opening up, but we have a new name (well not completely new) to add to the list of potential targets for the Leafs today.

And, one name that isn’t the biggest — but will is gaining traction — is FLA’s MacKenzie Weegar. Right-shot D who is arbitration eligible. I think there is interest, and he is exactly the type of player TOR would look at. Enjoy the day!
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) October 9, 2020

Wow. MacKenzie Weegar has been an analytics favourite, as well as a Leafs twitter favourite for a while based on his strong defensive numbers, and the Leafs appear to looking hard at the 6’0 right shooting defenseman from the Panthers. Given the fact that Florida added Nutivaara last night, it seems reasonable that they were preparing to move out Weegar and backfilling him early.
Weegar’s numbers are impressive:

He compares quite favourably to Jake Muzzin, and Weegar was regularly seeing top pairing minutes as the season ended for Florida last year.

Month
GP
G
A
PTS
PIM
S
S%
ATOI

October
13
3
6
9
11
29
10.3
20:36

November
5
0
1
1
4
5
0
18:14

December
10
0
2
2
7
12
0
19:01

February
13
2
2
4
9
19
10.5
20:20

March
4
2
0
2
2
12
16.7
22:58

via hockey-reference.com

He would certainly address …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

With the 44th overall pick the Leafs are proud to select…

We are now just a day away from the draft, and while the attention is always focused on the surefire first round prospects, every GM knows that finding NHL players beyond the first round is key to sustaining a successful organization. Over the last few weeks, the team at The Leafs Nation has been previewing potential options for the 15th overall pick but the Leafs have an opportunity to add another high end prospect to their system with the 44th pick as well.
Keep in mind that Toronto drafted Nick Robertson – arguably the top prospect in the organization – with the 53rd pick just last year, and he is already looking poised to be a contributor on the Leafs roster. Now, we shouldn’t expect every second round pick to break into the NHL so quickly but there should be plenty of talent and potential left on the board when it’s the Leafs’ turn to make their selection in the second round.
Many of the names on this list could be gone before the Leafs pick, but players slide down draft boards for a variety of reasons every year. Let’s take a look at some players ranked in the …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

News and Notes: Tyson Barrie and Cody Ceci will not re-sign, Joel Ward considered for a coaching spot, and more

Two defencemen without a new contract won’t be getting one from the Leafs this October.
Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic went on First Up 1050 and revealed that both Tyson Barrie and Cody Ceci will be testing the free-agent market in a few week’s time.

Pierre LeBrun on First Up 1050: “This won’t shock anyone, I’m not dropping any news here … I was told by a source yesterday that Tyson Barrie and Cody Ceci know that they’re headed to market and not re-signing with the Maple Leafs.” #LeafsForever
— NHL News (@PuckReportNHL) September 30, 2020

This is not a shocking revelation since it appeared to be heading in this direction for the last few months, but I’m sure a bunch of Leafs fans are relieved to hear it nonetheless. Both players were brought in last July 1st with good intentions but neither of them were able to make it work in Toronto.
Ceci was acquired in the Nikita Zaitsev trade and had a tumultuous relationship with the fanbase, most notably frustration over him continuously being paired with Morgan Rielly (although Kyle Dubas did come to Ceci’s defence a lot throughout the season). He produced one goal, seven assists, …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: Is Victor Oladipo a realistic offseason target?

Oladipo is looking to move on from Indiana. With cap space and the Toronto Raptors being one piece away, does it make sense for Masai Ujiri to go after him? We know Masai Ujiri likes to gamble and we just witnessed the Toronto Raptors being one-shot creator away from beating the Celtics. And with Victor […]
Toronto Raptors: Is Victor Oladipo a realistic offseason target? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Alexandro Fidanza / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors: 3 Priorities for the Toronto Raptors This Off-Season

  The Toronto Raptors are now eliminated from the 2020 NBA playoffs and all eyes are now shifting to the off-season with this team. With the Toronto Raptors being eliminated by the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals in seven games, all eyes are now shifting to the off-season. There are a lot of […]
Toronto Raptors: 3 Priorities for the Toronto Raptors This Off-Season – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Joseph Zita / Raptors HQ

Last night, the Toronto Maple Leafs made me cry

That game, was well, unbelievable. From start (okay, maybe not start) to finish, the Maple Leafs had us, the fans, on edge. It might’ve finally gave me the sense that it may be okay to believe in this team now.
And as much as people think, “oh it was one good four-minute span,” I don’t think you put it that way. They made a statement. In a playoff game, which was also an elimination game.
Here’s my reaction:

From start to finish, this video has a lot of yelling and crying, so be ready. Oh and also, if the Leafs win the series, when should I eat the Carolina Reaper?
Because apparently, now, I have to eat three (which seems like a death sentence to me). All because the Maple Leafs won, and you know what? I couldn’t be happier.

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation