Semyon Der-Arguchintsev is the Leafs 14th ranked prospect

The Leafs selected SDA in the 3rd round in 2018, Kyle Dubas’ first draft as GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs. SDA came with an odd amount of hype right off the bat, as many prospect gurus were quick to point out that he was a small, skilled player that had a chance at being a high-end skilled player, or having almost no shot at all, quite similar to Jeremy Bracco when he was drafted in 2015. Bracco didn’t work out, but SDA still has plenty of years in him to show that he can be an impact player.
His play since has been somewhat inconsistent, a big part as to why this hype has since gone down a bit. His draft +1 season was disappointing, but he also followed it up with a stellar 2019-20 season playing alongside fellow Leafs prospect Nick Robertson. He’s likely to be staying in Russia where he’s currently playing, but there’s a chance he could end up coming back to North America and play somewhere in the Leafs system once the season resumes, either with the Newfoundland Growlers or the Toronto Marlies, so his first full professional season might be the most important …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Filip Kral is the Leafs 17th ranked prospect

The Leafs selected Filip Kral in the 5th round in 2018, the first draft under Kyle Dubas as GM. He is the first (and only) Czech the Leafs have drafted since Jiri Tlusty in 2006. He has a late birthday, so he was selected after his 18 year old season in the WHL. To that point Kral had already dressed in 27 games for Kometa Brno at the Czech pro level, before coming to Canada and playing in the top 4 D for Spokane.
Kral would spend the next two seasons with the Spokane Chiefs after being drafted, but could never work his way up to the top pairing. Anyone familiar with the WHL may know that’s because he was stuck behind Devil’s 2018 1st rounder Ty Smith, one of the WHL’s top defencemen during Kral’s tenure. Still, Toronto’s pick found a way to improve every year in the role he was given, eventually wearing the “A” for Spokane in 19-20.
Rank – Grade – NHL Readiness
17TH – C – 2-4 YEARS
Position: LD
Age: 21
Height: 6’1″
Weight: 172 lbs
Drafted: 2018 5th round, 149th overall
What kind of player is he?
In the 2018 draft, Kyle Dubas made clear he was targeting players with “Hockey IQ”. …

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Author: Earl Schwartz / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: The top unrestricted free agents to sign

The Toronto Raptors recently lost in the second round in game seven to the Boston Celtics. With the off-season slowly approaching, the Raptors need to turn their focus towards adding to their already talented roster. Although this free-agent class is not nearly as star-studded as next year, the Toronto Raptors can build on their current […]
Toronto Raptors: The top unrestricted free agents to sign – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jeremy Wilks / Raptors HQ

In Rod the Leafs trust

After sitting out the first round of the 2019 draft, the Leafs had a chance on Tuesday night to make significant addition to their prospect pool thanks to a deal in which they acquired Pittsburgh’s 15th overall selection. There was plenty of speculation leading up to the draft that the Leafs would move the pick for immediate help, and it seems they may have been close to doing so after GM Kyle Dubas said they used the entire clock because they were in trade talks for the pick right down to the final second. He made sure to clarify the reasoning for them going down to the wire, stating there was no debate about who they were choosing if they kept the pick.

Kyle Dubas says Leafs went to time limit because trade discussions were ongoing. Leafs were not debating whom to pick at 15.
— luke fox (@lukefoxjukebox) October 7, 2020

Following an unusual scene where commissioner Gary Bettman stepped to the podium to announce that Toronto’s time had run out and they needed to call a timeout or make the pick, Mitch Marner stepped in front of the camera in the Leafs’ makeshift war room to welcome Russian winger Rodion Amirov …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

Travis Dermott and Ilya Mikheyev have received qualifying offers from the Leafs

Less than 24 hours after the first round of the 2020 NHL Draft ended, the Leafs made the expected move of retaining two key players that were RFAs.

Ilya Mikheyev and Travis Dermott have received qualifying offers from the #leafs ahead of today’s 5 p.m. ET deadline, as expected.
Mikheyev’s camp expects to resume contract talks after the draft.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) October 7, 2020

This is a decision that I’m sure a lot of you expected to see but it is still relieving nonetheless. Mikheyev’s party has confirmed they will resume negotiations after the draft is finished and while Dermott’s camp hasn’t mentioned their plans, my best guess is that they will likely do the same thing.
Prior to a wrist injury that kept him out of the lineup for months, Mikheyev scored eight goals, 15 assists, and 23 points in 39 games. Dermott missed the first part of the season and managed to produce four goals, seven assists, and 11 points in 56 games played.
The number of Leafs RFAs the team has to deal with was shortened following today’s announcement. Denis Malgin was given a one-year extension less than a week ago and Kyle Dubas revealed yesterday that the team has …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

NHL Draft moved up to Oct 6/7 and who the experts think the Leafs could take at 15th overall

The Leafs first round pick and our new favourite son will arrive three days earlier than originally expected, as the NHL has announced Tuesday, October 6th as the opening night of the entry draft.

NHL Draft is being moved ahead a couple of days. First round Oct 6, rest on Oct. 7.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) September 8, 2020

Breaking with the tradition of having the event on the weekend, the NHL is looking to maximize the potential for a little down time and have a true offseason by moving the draft forward. It’s entirely possible we see a similar move with free agency as well.
One of the other drivers behind this decision is probably to move the draft off of a holiday weekend, as it allows the league to shutdown for Canadian Thanksgiving as well as Columbus Day in the US.
So we are now officially less than one month to the entry draft. Cool. To celebrate, here’s a rundown of the TLN draft content for you to consume…
From Erik Karlsson to Cody Ceci — A look at recent No. 15 overall picks from the NHL draft

Should the Leafs lean towards drafting more players from European …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Should the Leafs lean towards drafting more players from European leagues this year?

Now that the Leafs are back in the first round of the draft (although the ownership of the pick might be temporary) it’s about time we started talking about the draft a bit more. And one of the first things that comes to mind with this years draft is that there is rare opportunity to draft players who will be in the middle of their season, if teams look to the European leagues.
While most North American junior leagues have deferred their start times until December (with the exception of the QMJHL), players are presently reporting to European clubs and in the case of the KHL, they are playing their first games of the year today. It’s a rare opportunity to draft based on their post draft year, what a luxury.
Of course there are issues with this, as NHL teams are loaning players to any European team that will take them, likely bumping top prospects down the lineup or into European Junior leagues, removing the opportunity to see how players match up against veterans. There’s also the fact that if I’m writing about this, there are plenty of NHL teams that …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The Longer the Walk, the Farther you Kral

Toronto Maple Leafs 2018 5th round pick Filip Kral is headed to the Czech Republic’s 2nd pro league for the beginning of the 2020-21 season:

The @MapleLeafs have loaned defenceman Filip Kral to HC Prerov (Czech) and defenceman Jesper Lindgren to Modo (SHL).
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) August 12, 2020

Kral is a 6’1″ LD who amassed 27 games with HC Kometa Brno in the top Czech league before coming to the WHL in his draft year. He was signed to an ELC April 1st, after recording 49 points in 53 WHL games in 2019-20. He represented the Czech Republic in the past two World Junior Championships.
It is somewhat surprising that Kral landed in a lower league, on a team he has not played for in the past. Prerov is over an hour from Kral’s home town of Blansko, perhaps it was just an opportunity to play big minutes on a top team in the league.

The anticipated start date for the 2020-21 AHL regular season has been moved to December 4, 2020.
Further details regarding the 2020-21 schedule are still to be determined.
— AHL Communications (@AHLPR) July 30, 2020

When the …

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Author: Earl Schwartz / The Leafs Nation

Now is not the time to move on from Mitch Marner

Another year, another first round elimination for the Toronto Maple Leafs, technically.
Every season, this team surprises us. This year, it was the highs of a three-goal comeback against the Columbus Blue Jackets to the lows of losing to David Ayres, who practices with the Maple Leafs and was also a zamboni driver — it was all weird.
Don’t forget that we’re still going through a pandemic, which there won’t likely be a vaccine for until early January, according to science.
Beyond all of that though, the Maple Leafs, again, were ousted out of the first round for the fourth straight year, which is disappointing.
“It’s hard to put it all into words.” Said Morgan Rielly after the game, and I think we can all agree with him there. I’m sitting here trying to write this and have struggled to put five sentences together in the first hour.
It’s definitely disappointing, but I wonder, did people really expect anything different?
I feel comfortable saying I did after game four. The thought from me was that the win would spark change in this group for the better, …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Setting Sights on a 2 to 1 Play-in Series Lead

The 2020 play-in round series between the Blue Jackets and the Maple Leafs continues tonight with Game 3. The play-in series’ are just five-game series, so the winner of tonight’s game puts themselves one win away from the true 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs.
Story lines going into this game are aplenty, as is usually the case in a competitive series like this one has been.
Primarily on most fans’ minds will be the effects of the injury to Jake Muzzin and how the lines will have to change because of his absence. Some will seek revenge against the prime mover of the collision that caused the injury, Pierre-Luc Dubois. Some will seek to get revenge by burying the Blue Jackets behind a 2-1 series lead. Some inevitably just want to watch the blue-and-white win a “playoff series” for the first time since 2003.
Another story line has been the epic goaltending/defensive battle between Frederik Andersen and the Leafs, and Jonas Korpisalo and the Blue Jackets. Each goaltender has a shutout in this series, and both have save percentages above 95%, which is ridiculously good. Both teams have had a game where they absolutely drowned any offensive hopes of …

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Author: Ryan Hobart / The Leafs Nation