Raptors: Goran Dragic thinks Scottie Barnes is destined for stardom

Raptors: Goran Dragic thinks Scottie Barnes is destined for stardom

The Toronto Raptors are leaning into their youth movement this season, putting players like Scottie Barnes and Precious Achiuwa squarely in the spotlight. In fact, newly acquired veteran Goran Dragic is the only player on the team that is over 30 years old, making him the veteran mentor of the group. During Toronto’s preseason exhibition […]
Raptors: Goran Dragic thinks Scottie Barnes is destined for stardom – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors: 3 takeaways after preseason loss to Celtics

Toronto Raptors: 3 takeaways after preseason loss to Celtics

The Toronto Raptors marched into TD Garden with the intent of showing up the rival Boston Celtics and taking home their second win in three preseason games. Thanks to a strong offensive performance early on, Jayson Tatum and the Cs were able to secure a very narrow 113-111 win. While they did have to put […]
Toronto Raptors: 3 takeaways after preseason loss to Celtics – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

All or Nothing executive producer discusses his year with the Leafs

The ‘All or Nothing’ series offers a glimpse into the Toronto Maple Leafs’ lives. You get to see the good, the bad, and at some points, the ugly. But what was it like being around them at every breathing moment?
Rob Worsoff, the showrunner and executive producer for the ‘All or Nothing’ series, had the privilege of being around the Leafs daily. He followed the team wherever they travelled. Worsoff was on the plane, the bus, the trainer’s office — he was everywhere.
“I was there every single day, in the bubble with the Leafs.” Worsoff said. “Dream of a lifetime.“
He and the rest of the crew were able to get access to almost everything. During every game, they had Sheldon Keefe, a player, and one referee wearing microphones. Everything — Worsoff heard. He was even in the dressing room before and after the games, as well as the intermissions.
The most significant thing, though, was there was only one camera.
“A lot of the ‘All or Nothing’ franchises are done with, like, 35 cameras.” Said Worsoff. “In COVID, we really only had one camera and one audio inside the bubble, obviously because of the restrictions. Our coverage was way limited.“


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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Burning Questions: If the Leafs play a more physical game, will they go further come playoff time?

Burning Questions: If the Leafs play a more physical game, will they go further come playoff time?

Heading into the regular season we are regularly going to be running some of the burning questions asked by our TLN contributors. The biggest burning question of course is whether or not this is the year the Leafs finally play a game in the second round of the playoffs. We’ll tackle our takes on that a little later. So far we’ve had Ryan Hobart exploring whether Jack Campbell is for real in net. Today is our second kick at this series with my burning question, if the Leafs play more physically, will they have better playoff results?
I feel like the physicality question is a divisive one in Leafs land and it absolutely doesn’t have to be. There is certainly a corner of Leafs internet that wants physicality above all else, and anecdotally the success the Leafs had with a Wendel Clark and Doug Gilmour led team, than the success the Leafs had with a Gary Roberts and Darcy Tucker led team would certainly support the notion that physical players have help provide the Leafs with their best playoff runs in the past 50 years. The problem with that argument has always been that all the players I …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Burning Question: Can Jack Campbell’s success continue?

Last year, Jack Campbell soared into the hearts of Leafs nation as he fairly won the starting goaltending position from Frederik Andersen. His rise to that role was entrhalling, and will certainly earn him the chance to keep that role, despite the Leafs bringing in an established goalie into the fold in Petr Mrazek.
However the workload is shared between Mrazek and Campbell, it’s obvious that everyone involved is hoping that Campbell can build on what he did last year and continue to have excellent results in the 2021-22 season.
Unfortunately, goaltending results can be quite volatile year-over-year. It has been shown in research by people smarter than I am that save percentage is mostly a team stat, and isn’t really representative of goalie quality.
Even when someone like DTMAboutHeart breaks it out into save percentages from different zones, or using those zones to make an “adjusted” save percentage, it’s really hard to repeat results year-over-year. This goes for good and bad results.
Essentially, the team’s system and quality of team defense, after being tested repeatedly over 82 games, can be repeated year-over-year. For goalies, this isn’t so much the case; it’s hard for a …

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Author: Ryan Hobart / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: Predicting Malachi Flynn’s stats in 2021-22

Toronto Raptors: Predicting Malachi Flynn’s stats in 2021-22

The Toronto Raptors have leaned into their desire to develop and cultivate young two-way talent, and 2020 first-round pick Malachi Flynn is the epitome of this philosophy. While it took the San Diego State product some time to get going in the NBA, the last two months of the season showed us all the type […]
Toronto Raptors: Predicting Malachi Flynn’s stats in 2021-22 – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

TLN Top 20 Leafs: #17 Ilya Mikheyev

Ilya Mikheyev came into the Leafs’ organization as a relative unknown after signing as an undrafted free agent out of the KHL in the 2019 offseason. It didn’t take long for him to endear himself to the Leafs faithful, however, due in large part to his up-tempo style of play and his famous plea for more soup during his early days in Toronto.
His strong play prior to a scary injury that derailed his rookie season brought on increased expectations for Mikheyev in the 2020-21 season but he was unable to take a step forward in terms of his offensive production. Following a bit of a down year, an offseason that saw the Leafs add multiple depth forwards to the roster, and a trade request spurred by frustration with his usage, Mikheyev lands at #17 on our countdown.
Five Interesting Stats
5v5 TOI/GP
ixG
ixG (Penalty Kill)
Sh%
5v5 GA/60
12:02
11.28
1.71
6.54%
1.75
Mikheyev’s complaints about his role and ice time don’t hold much water when you consider that he played the seventh most minutes at 5v5 among Leafs forwards (excluding Nick Foligno who played just seven regular season games with Toronto) but his concerns likely stem from his lack of …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

The 2021 Top 20 Leafs Prospects: #16 Semyon Der-Arguchintsev

Coming into the 2020/21 season, Semyon Der-Arguchintsev had a lot to prove in regards to his legitimacy as an NHL prospect.
His Draft+1 season in 2018/19 was disappointing as he stagnated offensively but found his groove again the following year. Questions were yet to be answered about his skillset and whether he would be able to translate to the next level as he entered his first season of professional hockey.
While we didn’t get the sample size we may have wanted, as his season was impeded by the AHL’s delayed start and an injury suffered while on loan in the KHL, we did see a glimpse of Der-Arguchintsev’s capabilities at the professional level this past season. The limited sample has still resulted in Der-Arguchintsev dropping slightly down the rankings, but his 2020/21 campaign showed promising signs that could have him shooting back up the list in a year’s time.
Position: Centre
Age: 20 (will be 21 when the 2021/22 season begins)
Height: 5’11
Weight: 170 lbs
Drafted: 76th Overall, 2018 NHL Draft by Toronto
2020-21 Team: Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod, KHL & Toronto Marlies, AHL
2020 Prospect Ranking: #14
Semyon Der-Arguchintsev style made his transition to the professional game this past year so interesting to watch. His vision …

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Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation

The 2021 Top 20 Leafs Prospects: #17 Pontus Holmberg

Pontus Holmberg burst into the consciousness of Leafs Nation during the SHL playoffs in May, playing his way to a league championship, playoffs MVP, and earning an entry-level contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Despite this fantastic run to end the season in which he won multiple accolades and a vote of confidence from Leafs management in the form of a contract, Holmberg only rises two positions from last year’s prospect rankings.
Let’s dive into the latest potential Swedish late-round gem the Leafs have found.
Position: Centre
Age: 22
Height: 5’11
Weight: 179 lbs
Drafted: 156th Overall, 2018 NHL Draft by Toronto
2020-21 Team: Växjö Lakers HC, SHL
2020 Prospect Ranking: #19
Holmberg’s career has been a fascinating one to this point.
He spent his first draft-eligible season primarily in the Swedish U20 league, where he scored at less than 0.5 points per game and went undrafted. The following season, a strong start to the year in the U20 league resulted in a call up to his hometown team, VIK Västerås HK, who play in the Swedish third tier.
Scoring 20 points in 36 games, his play was good enough to catch the attention of the Växjö Lakers, one of the top …

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Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation

Checking in on the Toronto Maple Leafs depth chart

We’re officially into the dead of the offseason. Just about every notable free agent has signed for next season and the last trade was almost three weeks ago. Any news coming across the timeline is incredibly minor with maybe the exception of arbitration settlements, of which the Toronto Maple Leafs have none to deal with.
Though the depth chart is not complete yet with plenty of time for more moves to be made, the general outline of the Leafs organization to begin the 2021/22 season is set. So today, let’s take a look at where things stand from a projected Leafs roster all the way down the organization.
If you follow me on Twitter (@Kyle_Cush), you’ll be familiar with the organizational depth charts I put out fairly regularly. I’ll still be putting them out frequently on Twitter, but I’ll also be diving into more detail with updates on the organization here throughout the season.
As of August 18, here is where the Toronto Maple Leafs organizational depth chart stands:
Currently, the Leafs can only afford one extra skater while remaining cap compliant. Toronto would need to shed about $1.4M in cap space to make room for …

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Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation