TLN Prospect Rankings: Where did we get it wrong?

We’re heading into the home stretch of our countdown of the top Leafs prospects, and as we near the end, it’s time to reflect on some of those we might have gotten wrong. Maybe we loved them too much or maybe not enough. Either way, some of our voters and some of our non-voters weigh-in on the TLN rankings.
Dylan Murphy:
Maybe it’s just recency bias seeing him at the World Juniors, but Roni Hirvonen looks ready to make the jump to North America, perhaps even ready to make his NHL debut in a depth role. I’ll admit to not seeing him play all that often, but from what I have seen, he’s a creative playmaker with a nose for the net. The Leafs are weak at the LW position, but between Robertson, Knies, and Hirvonen, the team’s future (at that position) is in good hands.
Ryan Hobart:
I’m continually surprised by how little recognition Axel Rindell gets from prospects people. He didn’t get into our top 20 prospects this year or last. While being an older prospect at 22 years old, his expected move to the Marlies this season could prove an excellent launching pad to the Leafs. If he can take over the Marlies’ powerplay as a quarterbac …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

How Rich Clune cemented his legacy in the Maple Leafs organization

When Rich Clune returned home to join the Maple Leafs organization, I’m not sure he’d understand the footprint he’d leave behind seven years later.
15 seasons, eight professional teams, 624 AHL games, 143 in the NHL — the 35-year-old is entering retirement with a legacy that’s going to be remembered forever.
We could say it began in 2015 when Clune returned to play for his hometown team in Toronto, but really, it started long before that. From the ages of 15-24, he faced the toughest battle of his life against alcohol and substance use disorder.
“I was such a mess that I was either going to wind up dead or kill somebody else.” Clune wrote in a Players Tribune article back in 2015.
He openly told his story — something that’s incredibly hard to do — to help others. Clune called it “The Battle”.
“As a hockey player, you’re constantly worried about what the boys think. What coach thinks. We have been taught to view words like “disease” as a weakness. I am an alcoholic. I have a disease. But I am stronger than I have ever been.” Clune wrote. “I blame nobody but myself for my past, and I realize that every day I wake up to a choice: How do I want to live? I still go out with my teammates. I go to weddings. I go to the beach. I dance and laugh and part …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Juan Soto upsets Julio Rodriguez to win 2022 MLB Home Run Derby

It just wasn’t meant to be.

Despite having a Home Run Derby for the record books, mighty Seattle Mariners rookie Julio Rodriguez was toppled in the final round by Juan Soto.
The Washington Nationals slugger, meanwhile, showed the world why he’s worth every penny of a $500-million deal smoking 19 home runs in the final round.

— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) July 19, 2022

As great as the comeback was for Soto, Rodriguez stole the show with a performance for the ages.
The rookie Seattle Mariner blew the doors off the derby cruising through the first two rounds.
Rodriguez bested Texas Ranger Corey Seager in the first round 32 to 24, then blasted another 31 in round two to beat two-time champion Pete Alonso.
Through two rounds, J-Rod totaled 63 home runs becoming the first to ever have two 30-run rounds in the history of the derby. Safe to say he, and his pitcher Franmy Pena, were absolutely dialed in.

Through two rounds, Julio Rodríguez’s 63 total HRs are already third-most in a single #HRDerby
He’s off to the Final
— ESPN (@espn) July 19, 2022

Come the finals, you could see some fatigue setting in, but Rodriguez still managed to put up 18 dongs. Soto, meanwhile, had a slow start, but turned it on in the end taking it to extra time to hit his 19.
In total, Rodriguez smoked 81 home runs through all three rounds — 10 back of Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who in 2019 smoked 91 (!) homers, but lost to Pete Alonso in the finals.
One has to wonder if this whole thing needs to be rejigged considering those performances.
Round one
The derby got started off in a big way as Julio Rodriguez stepped up to the plate mashing 32 dingers right off the top. He topped up  opponent Corey Seager, who st …

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Author: Zach Laing / Blue Jays Nation

Tuesday Rumour Report: Sandin and goaltending remain the priority, Aston-Reese looking like a lock, and “Malgin?”

It’s the home stretch of rumours and speculation and we’re a day from signing and trade announcements. That’s a bit of a relief. Soon we can stop guessing at who fits into the Leafs roster and instead spend the next couple of months creating Leafs line combinations in notes on our phone while sitting on the toilet (maybe that’s an oddly specific trait of mine that isn’t a universal experience.)
Anyways, Elliotte Friedman had a fair bit of Leafs information crammed into a tiny paragraph today, so we’re going to blow it up and turn it into a lot more.
Toronto will look for another goalie and try to sign Rasmus Sandin with their remaining cap room. One team indicated that even 1B or No. 2 goalies could still do very well in this market, so it won’t be as easy as it sounds. One potential depth target for the Maple Leafs: forechecker extraordinaire Zach Aston-Reese. They could also bring back Denis Malgin from Switzerland.
It really doesn’t feel like we can say a lot more on the first two things. The importance of getting Sandin figured out and fast is painfully clear. Having nothing to show for Sandin but a second round pick would be disastrous, but so would be paying a ransom for his contract. He’s kinda backed the Leafs into a corner and we’ve seen t …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation