Leafs sign Pavel Gogolev to an entry level contract

Last season Pavel Gogolev was the most promising prospect playing in the Leafs system without actually having a commitment to the Leafs. That changed today…

We’ve signed forward Pavel Gogolev to a three-year entry level contract. #LeafsForever
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) July 29, 2021

SEASON
TEAM
LEAGUE
GP
G
A
TP
PIM

2016-17
 Peterborough Petes
OHL
53
5
6
11
20

 Russia U17
WHC-17
6
1
0
1
4

2017-18
 Peterborough Petes
OHL
66
30
17
47
41

2018-19
 Peterborough Petes
OHL
29
7
12
19
20

 Guelph Storm
OHL
8
3
6
9
4

2019-20
 Guelph Storm
OHL
63
45
51
96
66

2020-21
 Väsby IK
HockeyAllsvenskan
12
2
1
3
4

 Toronto Marlies
AHL
13
6
6
12
4

via eliteprospects.com

From Elite Prospects:
Gogolev is such a dexterous puck-carrier. He plays the puck within a defender’s triangle, with his elbow free from his body, and fluid wrist movements throughout. His ability to corral the puck and swiftly transition into a curl-and-release shot makes him a legitimate two-touch threat every time he secures the puck in the offensive zone.
By now you’re probably assuming that Gogolev is 5’7 and weighs 140 lbs soaking wet, but fear not enemies of short kings, Gogolev is 6’1 and 179 lbs. He can certainly add to that frame, but I’m betting he’ll be here to score not crush souls.
Getting a 21 year old for free certainly makes up (a little) for …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Bob McKenzie has the Leafs as a front runner for Michael Bunting

You know it’s free agency season when you have Bob McKenzie stepping away from the lake to chase down rumours about a player with 26 NHL games to his name.
Nevertheless, Michael Bunting has been a favourite free agency target of the writers on this site, and Leafs nation at large so news like this is encouraging…

Michael Bunting — 10 G in 21 GP with ARI this season — is the rare Group VI free agent. All the logical speculation is on him being reunited with his Soo Greyhound GM (Kyle Dubas) and head coach (Sheldon Keefe) in TOR but multiple teams interested. @TSNHockey
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) July 27, 2021

The fact that there is competition for Bunting is the first thing to take away from this. And there’s likely a lesson being learned from what Florida was able to accomplish by taking a chance on players like Duclair and Verhaeghe last season.
A lot of Bunting’s appeal, besides the fact that he isn’t going to cost a ton comes from the fact that he’s been considered a bit of a Brad Marchand lite. A skillset that hasn’t really been present on the Leafs since Nazem Kadri departed. There’s …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Raptors rumors: Toronto says no to crazy Ben Simmons offer from 76ers

Raptors rumors: Toronto says no to crazy Ben Simmons offer from 76ers

Toronto Raptors rumors season is in full swing, and the possibility of making an earth-shaking trade for a player like Philadelphia 76ers All-Star Ben Simmons remains very much in the realm of possibility, even if Daryl Morey is holding out for an insane offer. The latest reports seem to suggest that Philly wants an All-Star […]
Raptors rumors: Toronto says no to crazy Ben Simmons offer from 76ers – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Instant Analysis of the Toronto Maple Leafs 2021-22 Schedule

The NHL regular season schedules were released tonight, so let’s crack into it and see what the next 9 months have in store for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
As previously announced, the schedule that has been currently made public has both an All-Star Week break and a break for the 2022 Winter Olympics, if the IOC permits NHL players to attend. The league says talks on that matter are ongoing and that an alternate schedule has been prepared if the NHL does not go to the Olympics.
The league returns to an 82-game schedule (oh joy) and will revert to the old division and conference format, with the addition of Seattle of course. The Leafs will return to a stacked Atlantic Division that features the repeating Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning and their unlikely Finals opponent, the Montreal Canadiens. The Leafs will also deal with familiar rivals in Boston, Florida and Ottawa teams that are slowly on the rise, and also Detroit and Buffalo…. who are Detroit and Buffalo.
And with the return to a normal schedule comes a (thankfully abbreviated) preseason that will see the Leafs play six games between September 25 and October 9. Exact dates and opponents are listed below.



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Author: Dylan Murphy / The Leafs Nation

Less than a week until we know which Leaf will be Kraken Seattle’s roster

We are now in the thick of expansion draft season. The Suter and Parise buyouts are a clear sign that things are getting real and that the Kraken have no interest in making it easy on the NHL when it comes to the players they intend to select.
The deadline for requesting players with no movement clauses has passed and by Friday those players will have to identify if they will waive or not (giving the teams a chance to complete their buyouts).
Saturday marks the roster freeze for the NHL as well. Given that the Kraken are being difficult, it’s entirely possible more teams turn to each other in order to manage their assets. By Saturday that opportunity will be gone, and by Sunday we’ll know who is available around the league before the Wednesday announcement of the initial Kraken roster.
The Leafs have some options on how they’ll approach their expansion draft decisions. The writers of TLN have weighed in on what the Leafs will do as far as protecting players:
Jori Negin-Shecter
The Maple Leafs don’t really have five forwards that are really worth protecting in my view, especially if they don’t …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: 3 players that could win award races next season

Toronto Raptors: 3 players that could win award races next season

Looking ahead to next season, the Toronto Raptors have a couple of players on their current roster with the capability to potentially take home some hardware next season. The Raptors didn’t have the best 2020-21 season, I think we all can agree on that. However, they landed a lottery pick in this year’s draft, and […]
Toronto Raptors: 3 players that could win award races next season – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Joseph Zita / Raptors HQ

Denis Malgin is cheap, good depth that the Leafs could surely use

As the Leafs prepare their roster for the upcoming season, they have an option for very cheap and pretty good forward depth, and that is Denis Malgin.
We haven’t seen Malgin play a game for any Toronto club, Leafs or Marlies, since before the pandemic. During the bubble play-ins/playoffs, he was added to the Leafs’ taxi squad, but he didn’t get into any of the games. They were relatively healthy throughout the play-in series, which meant Malgin wasn’t needed then.
This season, since the AHL wasn’t starting right away, the Leafs did what many teams did with their European fringe players and loaned him back to Europe to keep playing hockey. Malgin spent his time in the National League of Switzerland, his home country, both before the play-in series and during the 2021 NHL regular season and playoffs, and both counting towards the 2020-21 season in the Swiss league.
During that season, Malgin played 45 games for the Lausanne Hockey Club, scoring 42 points in those games and finished 13th in points per game (very slightly ahead of Joe Thornton) of players who played at least 12 games, per QuantHockey (there’s some fun former NHLers in here, including …

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Author: Ryan Hobart / The Leafs Nation

Meet the Sellers: Detroit Tigers

The Detroit Tigers are a sub .500 team again this season.

In 2019, the Tigers were an abysmal 47-114 on the season, and struggled again last year, finishing 23-35. The Tigers have improved subtly this season, but still hold a record of 38-46.
Surprisingly, they have been better than the Kansas City Royals (future article) and the Minnesota Twins. The Tigers are currently in a great spot, as they have the second-best farm system in baseball according to MLB.com. A few trade deadline deals could help improve an already loaded organization.
The three players I envision being available and worth trading for are all arms. One is a former Blue Jay, and the other two have been valuable bullpen arms this season. As mentioned in previous articles, the Jays still need bullpen help and starting pitching help if want to take the next step. There is no such thing as too many arms. Acquiring a legitimate starting pitcher could help shift Ross Stripling (who has been great) back to the bullpen where he has thrived in the past with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Doing such would help the Blue Jays’ bullpen even more.
Here are some players that would fill the …

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Author: Eric Lightfoot / Blue Jays Nation

Alex Galchenyuk is the Maple Leafs most intriguing pending free agent

The season that was for Alex Galchenyuk had been one defined by renewed excitement. The former 3rd overall pick had already been cast aside by several teams by the time he had made his way to the Toronto Maple Leafs, yet his role in the top six had been overall very successful as Jimmy Vesey’s midseason replacement. Galchenyuk had been contributing on the scoresheet while also doing work under the hood in more intangible ways. On May 27th, however, less than a minute into the first overtime of game 5, Galchenyuk made an errant pass that would mark the beginning of the end of Toronto’s season.

That brief moment in time in Alex Galchenyuk’s season is perhaps the greatest encapsulation of what made him both so successful and how his play carried certain drawbacks as he settled in beside the rest of the Toronto Maple Leafs elite top 6.
Galchenyuk’s Arrival 
The Maple Leafs acquired Alex Galchenyuk last season during a mid-February stretch that saw him dealt from Ottawa to Carolina two days prior, then flipped directly to Toronto to avoid the quarantine rules that constipated the trade market this past campaign. Toronto sent over 2016 second-round pick Egor …

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Author: Jori Negin-Shecter / The Leafs Nation

Meet the Sellers: Minnesota Twins

After a successful 2020 shortened season, it is surprising to see the Minnesota Twins in a seller’s article in 2021. The Twins went 36-24 in 2020, finishing atop the AL Central. In 2021, the team has done a complete 180 and have found themselves near the bottom of the division. They are 12.5 games back of the leading White Sox, struggling with a record of 33-44.

The Twins could have some higher-end players available for trade at this deadline, including their ace. They also have a couple of bullpen arms potentially on the market. Despite the recent deal for Adam Cimber, I think the bullpen could still be addressed. You can never have too many reliable late-inning arms or starting pitchers. The Twins could also have some valuable bats on the market, specifically Nelson Cruz, but I do not see a fit for any of the bats the Twins could trade. 
According to MLB.com, the Minnesota Twins still have the 12th best farm system in baseball and getting more impact prospects will improve an already young nucleus that includes Byron Buxton and Alex Kirilloff, just to name a couple.
Here are some players that fill the Blue Jays’ needs…
Tyler Duffey
The first reliever …

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Author: Eric Lightfoot / Blue Jays Nation