Leafs Prospect Roundup: Robertson on WJC roster, high-danger Hallander, overpowering Ovchinnikov

We might not know exactly when we’ll see the Maple Leafs playing hockey again, but the organization is sure to be well represented at the upcoming World Junior Championships. Despite having no players suiting up for the Canadian squad, the Leafs could have anywhere from six to eight players representing their respective countries in the tournament.
Most of those players have found their way onto TheLeafsNation’s top 20 prospects ranking, which is set to begin winding down with the top five prospects in the organization next week so make sure to keep following along as we complete our countdown. Until then, let’s check out some of the latest news and highlights from the Leafs prospect pool.
Nick Robertson – LW – Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL)
Robertson has his sights set on a spot in the Leafs’ opening night lineup, but with more questions than answers regarding the 2020-2021 NHL season right now, he will shift his focus towards representing his country at the upcoming World Junior Championships after being named to USA’s preliminary roster. Whether he remains with the team through camp and into the tournament will depend largely on when NHL training camps finally get going, as the …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

What are the expectations for the Toronto Maple Leafs next season?

If you told me in September that there might not be hockey until February, I would’ve laughed and cried at the same time. But every day, it looks like that’s more and more likely.
Let’s say though that the season starts in mid-January and the NHL gets 50-70 games in. The Maple Leafs are in the so-called Canadian division and they end up coming out on top. How far do they go in the playoffs? Even if they don’t win the division, how far do you think Toronto can go?
An early first-round exit? A second-round playoff berth for the first time since 2004? Eastern Conference finals? Heck, even the Stanley Cup Finals? That would be the dream but it’s so hard to judge especially with a team like the Maple Leafs.
However I think I’ve got it right:

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: With Daryl Morey leading the 76ers, is Lowry a target?

Toronto Raptors: With Daryl Morey leading the 76ers, is Lowry a target?

Daryl Morey might be on the lookout for a former Point Guard of his and might give the Toronto Raptors a call. Daryl Morey is set to run the Philadelphia 76ers basketball operations and given his track record, we may be on the verge of seeing some aggressive trades. So what does that mean for […]
Toronto Raptors: With Daryl Morey leading the 76ers, is Lowry a target? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Alexandro Fidanza / Raptors HQ

Leafs to add Eric Joyce as Director of Hockey Strategy

While the Leafs might be done with the on ice moves for a while, they are apparently not done overhauling the hockey operations department…

Hearing former #FlaPanthers asst GM Eric Joyce is joining the #Leafs in a role expected to be Director of Hockey Strategy.
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) October 22, 2020

So a couple of questions come from this, and we’ll deal with them both.
First, who is Eric Joyce?
Well, good news, he’s got a LinkedIn page!
Eric has been an Assistant to the GM or Assistant GM with the Panthers organization for the past six years and 11 months (shame to leave right before celebrating his work anniversary on LinkedIn.) He’s been the GM of their Springfield AHL team for the past four years, and prior to that the Panther’s AHL teams in San Antonio and Portland.
Prior to Eric’s time with the Panthers, he’s spent a lot of time with in the military and security related fields, as an Army Captain and West Point graduate would. He’s also a graduate of Harvard, in case you were worried that the elitism ended with Vesey and Kerfoot.
In any sense, he seems qualified. And …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Ranking The Free Agent Goalies On Everything BUT On-Ice Performance

Friends, if you follow me on Twitter, you might know that I have a bit of a goalie thing. I love goalies. (almost) All goalies. They’re weird, and intense, and flexible, and fun.
This off-season is showing us an unprecedented number of free-agent goalies. Each time a new name enters the mix, my heart rate picks up a bit.

The NHL doing it’s best to make my dream of an almost entirely goalie Leafs roster a reality. https://t.co/JSz5mQGrtp
— Mer (@MerOutLoud) October 8, 2020

I was told I had to rank my “is for me?” goalie list:

we’re gonna need an “Is for me?” goaltender rankings from you.
— The Leafs Nation (@TLNdc) October 8, 2020

So here we go. My ranking of the free agent goalie list, going off of available information right now, and totally based on my personal opinion of these goalies and nothing analytic at all.
I’m using this list:

The available goalie market right now is pretty insane.
• Henrik Lundqvist• Braden Holtby• Corey Crawford• Anton Khudobin• Jacob Markstrom• Thomas Greiss• Cam Talbot• Jimmy Howard
Certainly isn’t making the Golden Knights job of shopping Fleury any easier. https://t.co/lPtgpv2N5f
— Jesse Granger (@ …

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Author: MerOutLoud / The Leafs Nation

Goal Analysis – Maple Leafs vs. Blue Jackets Play-In Game #2

Tonight’s game against the Blue Jackets might have been the Leafs first or second best playoff game in the Shanaplan era. The Leafs thoroughly outplayed the Blue Jackets from start to finish, outshooting the Blue Jackets 39-20. Joonas Korpisalo was stellar once again, but the Leafs stuck to their game plan and were finally rewarded.
Link to the post-game highlight package can be found here.
Maple Leafs 1st Goal – Auston Matthews (Assist Hyman)

Let’s goooooo #LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/u8yFj6qpKr
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) August 4, 2020

The Leafs gather up the puck in their own end after a scoring chance by the Blue Jackets and Matthews leads the three-on-two fast break the other way. As Matthews approaches the blueline, he sends the puck over to Hyman and then books it towards the front of the net. Hyman makes a hard pass back over to Matthews, who redirects the puck past Korpisalo’s blocker.
This was one of the rare times where Seth Jones was not on the ice against the Matthews line. The Blue Jackets instead had Murray-Werenski out, but on this goal, Oliver Bjorkstrand (#28) ends up having to play defense after Werenski pinched …

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Author: Brendan Mori / The Leafs Nation

Mitch Marner nominated for King Clancy Memorial Trophy

It might not be the Selke Award he was going for, but Mitch Marner has the potential to take home some hardware this offseason:

A leader on and off the ice.
Congratulations to @Marner93 on being nominated for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy!#LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/KngeUkI6oK
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) July 27, 2020

On the award:
King Clancy Memorial Trophy
Description: First awarded in 1987-88, the King Clancy Memorial Trophy is presented annually “to the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community.”
Voting: Each NHL team submits a nominee for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy. The three finalists and ultimate winner are selected by a committee of senior NHL executives led by Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly.
The selection committee applies the following criteria in determining the finalists and winner of the award:
* Clear and measurable positive impact on the community
* Investment of time and resources
* Commitment to a particular cause or community
* Commitment to the League’s community initiatives
* Creativity of programming
* Use of influence; engagement of others
Marner has been one of the most involved Leafs …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Gone in November: Four more months until NHL free agency (but we’ll talk about it now)

This might have been one of those things that goes without saying given that all the talk has been about contracts being extended until October 31st, but Bob McKenzie has highlighted something we all assumed…

On critical dates, one we can pencil in — we are using @TSNquizmaster’s No. 2 pencil — is Free Agent Frenzy(?) on Nov. 1, 2020. We know this, for now, because 2019-20 contracts set to expire on June 30 have been extended to Oct. 31. So Nov. 1 would be Day 1 of 2020-21 contracts.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) July 2, 2020
Yep. It looks like NHL GMs will be making it November Rain for the 2020 crop of NHL unrestricted free agents. And for what it is worth, it will be very much a what we see is what we get group as no names will be added through amnesty buyouts…

Seeing all sorts of speculative chatter amongst fans discussing possibility of new CBA amnesty buyouts to help clubs manage flat cap. Amnesty buyouts are NOT part of agreement. They might make a GM’s life easier but wouldn’t help owners/players navigate their troubled economy.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) July 2, 2020
Not that amnesty or compliance buyouts …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

How the Toronto Raptors’ injuries prepared them for the playoffs in Orlando

The Toronto Raptors might lose players to COVID-19 during the postseason. Their continued success despite multiple injuries during the regular season has prepared them for that. There are many concerns about returning to finish the NBA in the midst of a pandemic with cases surging in Florida, where the league is set to play the […]
How the Toronto Raptors’ injuries prepared them for the playoffs in Orlando – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Louis Pavlakos / Raptors HQ

Scott’s Thoughts: It’s probably better if the Leafs get swept by Columbus

Is this a hot take? I mean, it might have been a lot hotter of a take in previous years, but I think a Leafs fan saying they want the Leafs to lose when it doesn’t involve tanking is still kind of a hot take.
I feel like this will be a lot less of a hot take once you hear my reasoning, but yeah, when the Leafs go into the first round of this weird playoff set-up against the Columbus Blue Jackets, I want them to get swept. Here’s why.
You know there will be an asterisk
I’m just going to get this one out of the way because it’s probably the reason you all think I’m saying this, even though it isn’t really that high on my actual list of why. But, it’s probably true.
Now, I definitely don’t think that there should be one. This is one of the weirdest seasons we’ve had in a while, and there’s the potential that a team could have to win five playoff rounds to win the Cup this year. If …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation