Kirill Semyonov, the Leafs forgotten center

There have been a lot of small moves over the summer, a lot of change, and it’s easy to see how someone could get lost in the shuffle of the bottom of the Leafs roster. To some extent that is what has happened with Kirill Semyonov, who along with Brennan Menell, is one of the Leafs newest KHL imports. As we counted down the prospects, Semyonov was excluded on account of him being too old for our definition of prospects, and while we’ve just started our countdown of top roster players, I don’t think I’m being a particularly big spoiler by acknowledging that Semyonov failed to make the cut on that list as well, with our voting panel favouring players like Pierre Engvall and Adam Brooks to almost completely unknown asset that is Kirill Semyonov.
The Semyonov signing didn’t have a lot of the hallmarks of other Russian signings. He wasn’t exactly setting the KHL on fire. Sure, he just won a Gagarin Cup, and he was an All-Star in the KHL in 2019, but only twice in his career has he exceed a .5 ppg total for the season, and only once has he had …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Recapping TLN’s 2021 Leafs prospect rankings

Over the last few weeks, we here at The Leafs Nation have been counting down the top-20 prospects in the Leafs’ organization as voted on by our team of writers, as well as a couple of outside contributors familiar with Toronto’s system. Our countdown reached it’s conclusion on Friday with Rasmus Sandin taking over the #1 spot after Nicholas Robertson had held that honour a year ago.
A handful of players made their debuts in our prospect rankings this year, including 2021 second-round pick Matthew Knies coming in at #7 and undrafted free agent signing Pavel Gogolev landing the #15 spot. The Leafs’ didn’t graduate anyone from the 2020 list but last year’s #5 prospect Filip Hallander was dealt back to Pittsburgh earlier in the offseason, vacating a spot in the top-five.
Our biggest risers from a year ago include a pair of players who were honourable mentions for the 2020 list in St. Cloud State winger Veeti Miettinen and Sibir Novosibirsk forward Dmitri Ovchinnikov. Miettinen racked up plenty of accolades during a tremendous freshman season in the NCAA and Ovchinnikov torched Russia’s junior league, earning a look in the KHL as an 18-year-old. After impressive draft+1 seasons, Topi Niemelä and Roni …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

BJN Radio – Ep. 44: The brooms come out in The Bronx!

Eight in a row! Let’s go streaking!

That sweep over the Oakland A’s last weekend was great, but, oh boy, what the Blue Jays just did in New York was even better.
The Blue Jays rolled into The Bronx and just plowed through the Yankees, sweeping a four-game set without trailing once in any of the games. It was the first time Toronto had executed a four-game sweep in New York since 2003 and it was the first time the Yankees didn’t lead once in a four-game series since 1908.
Amazing stuff!
We talked about ALL of the good stuff from that series, going from Marcus Semien’s dingers to Vladdy’s bomb off of Aroldis Chapman to Alejandro Kirk’s big game to Hyun Jin Ryu’s masterclass to Jose Berrios’ best start as a Blue Jay. We also took an in-depth look at the schedules remaining for Toronto, New York, and Boston and what to expect the rest of the way.
Finally, I welcomed our good friend from New York, Neil Keefe, on to the show to talk about the Yankee fan perspective of what’s going on. He had a lot of good things to say …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Raptors: Fred VanVleet must become a facilitator in 2021-22

Toronto Raptors: Fred VanVleet must become a facilitator in 2021-22

The 2021 off-season is nearly over, with the NBA and Toronto Raptors looking to begin training camp in less than a month. It’s been eventful the past two months, as the selection of Scottie Barnes and trade Kyle Lowry transpired. Fred VanVleet has gone from a tertiary scorer to the featured point guard and ball-handler. […]
Toronto Raptors: Fred VanVleet must become a facilitator in 2021-22 – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jason Mills / Raptors HQ

Raptors: Nick Nurse brought his motivational skills to Iowa State

Raptors: Nick Nurse brought his motivational skills to Iowa State

The Toronto Raptors tried to finally get over the hump for years under Dwane Casey, but LeBron James repeatedly swatted them away in the postseason. After trading for Kawhi Leonard and installing Nick Nurse as the head coach, the Raptors finally unlocked their true potential and became champions. Before Nurse helped lead the Raptors to […]
Raptors: Nick Nurse brought his motivational skills to Iowa State – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Raptors: 1 advanced stat that proves Evan Mobley will be a star in the NBA

Raptors: 1 advanced stat that proves Evan Mobley will be a star in the NBA

The Toronto Raptors are still mulling over the options with regards to the best course of action with the No. 4 overall pick. As unlikely as it may be, the ideal scenario would be star USC center Evan Mobley slipping a bit and ending up in Toronto’s clutches given his potential to be a star on […]
Raptors: 1 advanced stat that proves Evan Mobley will be a star in the NBA – 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: 4 best free agents to target at small forward

Toronto Raptors: 4 best free agents to target at small forward

It has been over a week since the NBA Draft Lottery. And now that the Toronto Raptors will have the fourth pick, they will most likely pick either Jalen Green or Jalen Suggs. They could also pick Evan Mobley if he somehow drops at four or if the Raptors trade up. Since they will most […]
Toronto Raptors: 4 best free agents to target at small forward – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Pirasanth Gunasekaram / Raptors HQ

Meet the Sellers: Arizona Diamondbacks

Over the course of May and June, the Arizona Diamondbacks have been one of the most putrid baseball teams in history. They had lost 23 straight games on the road at one point, an MLB all-time high. They finished the month of May with a record of 5-24. This also set a new MLB record for most losses in a calendar month. 

Despite the horrible record, the Diamondbacks have some effective pieces that would fit the Blue Jays’ needs. One player being analyzed in this article has a bit of term and has been a star player in the past. Moreover, the Blue Jays have also recently expressed interest in investing in bullpen help and a left-handed bat. Well Blue Jays fans, how about a couple of switch hitters that have played more than one position in the past. As mentioned in previous articles, the value in versatility is important for Toronto, as it could help keep the current outfield unit stay healthy with DH time. 
Here are some players that fill the Blue Jays’ needs…
Joakim Soria
Joakim Soria has had a tough season this year, however, he does have a lot of recent success in previous years. He is …

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Author: Eric Lightfoot / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Raptors: 3 reasons Jalen Green should be the pick at No. 4

Toronto Raptors: 3 reasons Jalen Green should be the pick at No. 4

For the first time in over 7 seasons, the Toronto Raptors missed the playoffs, giving draft lottery night a whole new meaning for Raptors fans. Entering Tuesday night, the Raptors had a 31.9% chance at a top 4 pick, not bad, but not amazing. Surely no shot at landing someone like Cade Cunningham or Jalen […]
Toronto Raptors: 3 reasons Jalen Green should be the pick at No. 4 – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Matthew Chiu / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors free agency: 6 best free agents to target at center

Toronto Raptors free agency: 6 best free agents to target at center

NBA free agency is just over a month away, and the Toronto Raptors are going to have a busy offseason. Besides drafting a player in the lottery and their hopes to re-sign Kyle Lowry and Gary Trent Jr., One of their most important priorities is to get a center. The center position was the main […]
Toronto Raptors free agency: 6 best free agents to target at center – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Pirasanth Gunasekaram / Raptors HQ