3 Raptors who must step up during challenging five-game stretch

3 Raptors who must step up during challenging five-game stretch

The Toronto Raptors were handed quite a brutal schedule to start the season, as Nick Nurse’s team was pitted against three squads that are widely expected to be playoff contenders. Considering how the early returns have looked so far, the Raptors have to feel good about their performances against elite teams. The Raptors are 3-2, […]
3 Raptors who must step up during challenging five-game stretch – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Wild Card Notebook: Phillies comeback, Bieber dominates, Jays’ bats are stifled and more!

The first day of wildcard action didn’t quite end the way Jays fans would’ve liked.
Before we look into the Jays game, we’ll look at how the other American League Wildcard series started, as well as a miraculous comeback from the Phillies. As I write this, the Mets and Padres game is set to get underway soon, so I’ll leave a section open for that as well.
Tampa Bay and Cleveland:
The first game featured the Cleveland Guardians and the Tampa Bay Rays. it was a pitcher’s duel, which saw Cleveland’s Bieber finish with a line of 7.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, and 8 K. The only blemish came from a Jose Siri homer. 
To his credit, American League Cy Young candidate Shane McClanahan has a line of 7 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, and 5 K. His only blemish came on a Jose Ramirez homer, which the Rays challenged due to the runner at first potentially missing second base. Thankfully, they lost the challenge, and the homer and score stood. This is such a Rays thing to do, stay petty, Kevin Cash.
Another note from this game is the fact that I said that I would have preferred that the Jays play the Guardians. After watching this game, I’m glad Toronto dodged that bullet. Are they better than Seattle? No idea, but I think those games would b …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Jose Berrios throws up a dud in an ugly 10-5 loss to Rays

For any Blue Jays fan who didn’t quite understand the curse of playing at Tropicana Field, I hope they took notes tonight.

The Rays took the first of a critical four-game series with the Jays, winning 10-5 on a night in which Jose Berrios threw 74 pitches in two innings of work. Berrios put the Jays in an early hole, which was a recipe for disaster facing the Rays, who threw a seemingly unlimited amount of left-handers out of their bullpen to slow the offense down.
The game actually started great. Following a tough loss last night, it seemed like Toronto had brushed it off and kept their heads high, as George Springer led off the game with a triple. Bo Bichette doubled him in and it was 1-0 right away. Berrios failed to establish any kind of rhythm, however, as Jose Aranda homered on the second pitch of his night. He didn’t record an out until his 19th pitch of the game, and allowed three runs in the first inning.
The Blue Jays would tie the game in the 2nd inning, as feared lefty Ryan Yarbrough allowed solo home runs to Teoscar Hernandez and Whit Merrifield. Even with the Jays tying things up, Berrios allowed another three runs in the bottom half …

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Author: Evan Stack / Blue Jays Nation

2022 TLN Prospect Rankings: The AHL-signed prospects

No organization in the NHL uses their affiliates quite like the Toronto Maple Leafs. Where some teams don’t even have an ECHL affiliate, the Maple Leafs use the Newfoundland Growlers as if it were a AA baseball team.
Every year, numerous NCAA and CHL graduates are inked to contracts with the Toronto Marlies. While they technically are not Maple Leafs property, and thus not included in our TLN Top 20 Prospect Rankings, these players are still in the organization and actively working alongside the development staff, just as any directly affiliated Leafs prospect would.
In being as active in the AHL signing market as the Leafs are, they essentially add 15-20 extra prospects to their system without spending a draft pick or SPC slot. These prospects are almost exclusively long shots, which is why they are available on AHL contracts in the first place, but Toronto has seen success stories already.
Since Kyle Dubas joined the Leafs organization in 2014, seven players that developed with the Marlies originally on an AHL contract later went on to be signed by the NHL club. Those players are:
Byron Froese
Justin Holl
Mason Marchment
Kristians Rubins
Pavel Gogolev
Curtis Douglas
Bobby McMann
The last two, Douglas and McMann, were inked just this past season. At least one player signed by the Marlies has gone on to be signed by the Maple Leafs in six out of the past eight years. Only …

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Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation

Maple Leafs prospect Fraser Minten added to Team Canada’s World Junior summer camp roster

It’s been quite the week for Fraser Minten. On Saturday, he was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs with the 38th overall pick, their top selection in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, and earlier today he was added to Team Canada’s summer development camp roster for the 2023 World Juniors.

UPDATE | Dylan James and Fraser Minten have been added to ’s National Junior Team summer development camp.
ROSTER https://t.co/C0zzE2GguC pic.twitter.com/kLa3Sx427b
— Hockey Canada (@HockeyCanada) July 12, 2022

From Vancouver, British Columbia, Minten has yet to represent Canada at the international level in his career, due in large part to the awkward schedule of IIHF events over the past two years due to COVID. Minten would have been on Team Canada’s roster for the World U18s had Kamloops, his WHL team, not still have been in action during the WHL playoffs.
Minten scored 20 goals and 55 points in 67 games with Kamloops this past season, elevating his game as the season progressed. He played his best hockey in the postseason, scoring six goals and 16 points in 17 playoff games.
As a 2004 birthdate, Minten will battle for a spot on the 2023 World Junior roster for the tournament in December but is also eligible for the 2024 tournament. A responsible, two-way centre, Minten could very well push for a depth spot on the 2023 roster if he has a strong showing at camp and a first half in the WHL.
Minten is the only Toronto Maple Leafs prospect at Team Canada camp and the lone member of his WHL team as well (although Logan Stankoven is already on the 2022 roster for the August tournament).
It will be a busy time for Minten, as Maple Leafs’ development camp will bring him right into Team Canada’s summer camp. Leafs development camp is anticipated to start on Friday and run through to early next week, while Team Canada’s camp is July 23-27 out in Calg …

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Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation