What would Franz Wagner bring to the Toronto Raptors in NBA Draft?

What would Franz Wagner bring to the Toronto Raptors in NBA Draft?

The Toronto Raptors draft plans got even more interesting this morning, as Michigan star Franz Wagner announced via The Players’ Tribune that he is going to forgo his final year of eligibility and declare for the 2021 NBA Draft. Wagner was one of the most instrumental pieces in Michigan’s rise to the top this season, […]
What would Franz Wagner bring to the Toronto Raptors in NBA Draft? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Leaflets: Some Leafs thoughts as we run out the final days of the regular season

I think the only hockey I dislike more than preseason hockey is the hockey played between the time that the Leafs clinch a playoff spot and the actual start of the playoffs. Other than Matthews hitting the 40 goal mark, there isn’t a storyline left, and we’re left collectively holding our breath whenever we see something like the Nick Foligno injury last night. At least with the preseason we’ve been deprived of hockey so long that we’ll take what we can get, but here we are 52 games down, and nothing left to do but clinch first in the North, which should happen soon. Anyways, here are some stray thoughts in the dog days of May.
Nick Foligno needs to sit
I don’t know the extent of his injury, whether he was held out precautionary, or whatever, but the time is now to get Foligno as close to 100% as possible before the playoffs. Shutting him down now would give him close to weeks to rest up for the playoffs, and even if he requires a game or two to start the playoffs off, I think you give it to him. There are plenty of players like Engvall …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors draft: 5 best international prospects to look at

Toronto Raptors draft: 5 best international prospects to look at

The Toronto Raptors draft plans are much more interesting this season. With multiple second-round picks, taking a swing on high-upside players is a useful tactic. Overseas players often boast the kind of skills and unique quirks that turn out insane talents, like Nikola Jokic and Marc Gasol, but they also pose a greater risk of […]
Toronto Raptors draft: 5 best international prospects to look at – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Avishai Sol / Raptors HQ

AHL postpones more Marlies games due to league COVID-19 protocols

The AHL announced today that three more Toronto Marlies games will be postponed “due to league COVID-19 protocols affecting the Toronto Marlies, as well as Toronto Public Health workplace guidelines,”.
These three games are against the Belleville Senators and were supposed to be played on Friday, April 23rd and Saturday, April 24th in Belleville and then in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28th.
It’s not known how much longer the situation will go on, but The Leafs Nation will provide more information once it becomes available. Stay tuned.

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Weird Weekend in Dunedin! The bats finally wake up, Tanner Roark gets relegated to the ‘pen, and more!

Has there ever been a more welcomed rain-out in Blue Jays history?

The Blue Jays series with the Angels came to an end early on Sunday when the finale got postponed due to rain. The game will be made up as part of a double-header when Toronto heads out west in August, but the Blue Jays will play as the home team on the road.
Now, look, you generally don’t wish for a Sunday afternoon baseball game to get rained out, but I don’t think many of us wanted to see what happened when Tanner Roark went up against Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, and Anthony Rendon. That simply wouldn’t have ended well and the baseball gods spared us.
Also, shortly after it was announced that Sunday’s game would be postponed, we learned that the Blue Jays are activating Robbie Ray from the 10-day Injured List and that be taking Roark’s spot in the rotation.
This news is certainly surprising but in a good way. Roark, as we know, had a nightmare season in 2020 but there was some reason to believe that it was the result of not having a normal spring training to get warmed …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Scouting New Maple Leafs Prospect Alex Steeves

 
The Toronto Maple Leafs are usually one of the more active teams in NCAA free agency thanks to the fact that they seldom blink at the thought of opening up their wallets and their penchant for exploiting the ‘untapped markets’ of the NHL prospect pipelines. They have been fairly quiet the last few years, however, signing only two NCAA free agents in the past four years. This year they kick off their activity by signing Notre Dame forward Alex Steeves, a junior who has steadily improved every year with the Fighting Irish.

We’ve signed forward Alex Steeves to a three-year entry level contract for the 2021-22 season.
Details » https://t.co/f8MS3Ejlc9#LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/PZNbFxY2SV
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) March 28, 2021

 
The Scouting Low Down
One of the first things that become evident when watching Steeves is that the combination of puck skill and creativity is quite high. There are moments in games when the New Hampshire native seems to have the puck on a string and he is teasing defenders by pulling the puck in and out, evading the defensive stick, and creating space for himself. The ability to manipulate a defender’s positioning …

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Author: Tony Ferrari / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors trade Terence Davis and Matt Thomas: Reaction and Analysis

Toronto Raptors trade Terence Davis and Matt Thomas: Reaction and Analysis

The Toronto Raptors made one of the more show-stopping moves at the NBA Trade Deadline, trading away Norman Powell to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for a package headlined by Gary Trent Jr. While most of the conversation surrounded Kyle Lowry, that didn’t stop Terence Davis and Matt Thomas from getting tossed in the […]
Toronto Raptors trade Terence Davis and Matt Thomas: Reaction and Analysis – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Scott’s Thoughts: Mid-season report cards

We’re more than halfway through the season, and with that means we can start to hand out some report cards for the Leafs players based on their performance so far. Their grades will be waited by a combination of their performance, but also their expectations going into the season. The evaluations will be based on a combination of my own opinion as well as the numbers they’ve put up, so there’s a very good chance that you aren’t going to agree with every grade.
We have a lot to get through, so let’s get started.
Auston Matthews: A
Matthews had the expectations of the best player on our team, and he has performed as such so far this season, especially before his injury. He had a massive lead in goals before his injury allowed McDavid to catch up, and is also still an incredible playmaker. His underlying numbers are spectacular as well, with a 54.16% CF% and a 59.15% xGF% this season, and a 6.9 GAR (nice) this season. The only thing holding him back from getting an A+ is that his defensive game has taken a slight step back from last season, but that hasn’t hindered …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors draft: 3 prospects not in NCAA Tournament to watch

Toronto Raptors draft: 3 prospects not in NCAA Tournament to watch

The Toronto Raptors draft just got much more interesting over the last few weeks, as Masai Ujiri went from one first-round pick that as rooted firmly in the 20s to a selection that could end up giving the Raptors the top pick in the entire draft if the ping-pong balls bounce their way. Could the […]
Toronto Raptors draft: 3 prospects not in NCAA Tournament to watch – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Trade Targets: Three goaltenders to consider and Jonathan Bernier

When it comes to polarizing Leafs no one has been more polarizing of late than Frederik Andersen. It’s somewhat odd since up until last December he was without debate the best goaltender the Leafs have had in their net since the 2005 lockout (though I’m sure revisionist Reimer fans will try to debate it.) Unfortunately when Babcock left, he seemed to take Andersen’s game with him, and we’ve seen it with other players too, as Morgan Rielly was another player who thrived under Babcock, but has taken a step back under Keefe. Neither of these players have been bad, just not as good as they’ve been, and Mark Norman recently did a great job of exploring Andersen’s okay-ness. 
Given that Andersen’s playoff performances are at the heart of the concern for many, and his 2021 performance hasn’t inspired confidence, it makes some sense to consider who is available, but in the event that the replacement is under contract or a restricted free agent, that also means that a decision would need to be made about whether the Leafs would protect Jack Campbell or the new guy in the upcoming expansion draft.
Just yesterday, when …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation