Marner and goaltenders have driven the Leafs success: December Leafs Power Rankin’s

Marner and goaltenders have driven the Leafs success: December Leafs Power Rankin’s

We’re back for yet another installment of the Leafs player power rankings. I have to say that I’m pleased that I’m not just writing Auston Matthews in at number one every month and I get to spice things up a little bit. That said, we can probably forget about a repeat of the Hart Trophy unless he finds yet another gear for himself. It’s not that he’s been bad, it’s that his supporting cast is sooo good.
Also of note is that most of this was written before Saturday night and it’s probably a good thing as recency bias could have impacted a few players both positively and negatively based on the game against the Flames.
Let’s kick things off with a new number one…
1. Mitch Marner (up from 6th)
For the second month in a row the top ranked player jumped from number six to number one. It’s interesting that when the Leafs have goaltending going their way it’s entirely possible for about 8 players or so to have a legitimate spot at number one.
Marner grabs this spot fairly easily, well… actually not that easily, it’s hard not to be impressed with what Matt Murray has done since he’s returned from injury and that’s why he’s at number two. Marner setting a franchise …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Ilya Samsonov was a bright spot, now he’s broken: The November Leafs Power Rankin’s

Marner and goaltenders have driven the Leafs success: December Leafs Power Rankin’s

Last month I dusted off a TLN staple of yesteryear, the TLN Player Power Rankin’s. The initial roster was ranked and now three of the players are hurt, and another has been claimed off of waivers. Good times.
Now we’re back for round two now that we’re into the second month of the season. Hot takes are incoming…
1. John Tavares (up from 6th)
Coming into the season thanks to his preseason injury the expectations for Johnny Toronto were significantly tempered. What ended up happening in October and early November was Tavares playing some of his best hockey since his first season in Toronto. The captain has been doing captain things like helping the Leafs snap out of a skid by scoring a hat trick against the Flyers and being the consistent power player they need him to be. So much for the final years of his contract narrative, now the Leafs will need to worry about how much he’ll cost to re-sign.

THIS JOHN TAVARES GOAL WAS UNREAL 🚨 pic.twitter.com/xpbGVvJoLU
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 3, 2022

2. Auston Matthews (down from 1st)
A slow start for Auston was unfortunate but seemed to be a lot more puck luck driven and his actual performance was still decent enough. Matthews has continued to use his size to create his own space on the ice and with five goals in his last five games, whatever busted takes were out there about his demise have been put on hold until the next time he dares go more than three periods without a goal.
3. Ilya Samsonov (up from 15th)
With Samsonov at 15th, I can certainly say I was und …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

3 legendary Raptors 905 success stories in recent history

3 legendary Raptors 905 success stories in recent history

The Toronto Raptors have a very unique player development system that has helped make them one of the most consistent winners of the last decade. Raptors 905 has been the starting point for several players that eventually become long-term contributors and stars in the NBA. While some contenders almost completely abandon using the G League […]
3 legendary Raptors 905 success stories in recent history – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Ilya Mikheyev will hit the free agent market

The Soup era in Toronto has come to a swift end as the other player with the namesake will become a UFA.

Coming off a career best season with 21 Goals in 53 Games, @MapleLeafs Mikheyev is headed to the UFA Market tomorrow , open to all offers, and will garner plenty of interest .@espn @NHL #HockeyTwitter
— Kevin Weekes (@KevinWeekes) July 12, 2022

It’s not all that surprising that Ilya Mikheyev did not get an extension with the Leafs as he priced himself out of Toronto. At the same time, it will be sad to see him go as he became a fan favourite and provided a ton of value in the middle-six.
This past season saw him rebound to his rookie season form as upon his return to the lineup in December, he registered 21 goals, 11 assists, and 32 goals in 53 games played. Mikheyev also registered his first playoff points during the Leafs’ matchup against the Lightning where he recorded four points.
His versatility and solid play at both ends of the ice made him one of the Leafs’ more reliable options in the forward unit, especially his play on the penalty kill. While his impending departure will no doubt sting, it is far from impossible to replace his services, especially in the wake of the non-tendered free agent list being revealed on Monday.
Related: 
Value to be found in non-tendered free agents once again for Maple Leafs
Recent reports suggest Mikheyev may net himself a multi-year contract with an AAV of as high as $5.5 million, which is too much for the Leafs to comfortably manage so it’s no wonder they have decided to let him walk. The reason why he has been put in this position was because of Kyle Dubas’ strong ability to unearth talent at an affordable price. Whether his successor is found on the open market or within the organization, replacing Mikheyev will not be a difficult task to pull off.
Best of luck to Mikheyev wherever he goes next!
More From TheLeafsNation.com:
Why the NHL Free Agent Market is Ripe for Deals by Earl Schwartz

Ilya Samsonov is heading for free agency and could be the best option for the Maple Leafs by Jon Steitzer

What do the Toronto Maple Leafs have in Fraser …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation