There is no easy path to keeping Morgan Rielly beyond this season

The second Charlie McAvoy was signed today my mind went where any reasonable person’s mind should go, and that was to how it affects the Leafs. Contracts for Seth Jones, Darnell Nurse, Dougie Hamilton, and others already set the bar high for Morgan Rielly and should have essentially torched the idea of Rielly accepting a team friendly contract under the $7M mark. Now team friendly seems like $8M. The McAvoy contract makes that even harder…

Charlie McAvoy #NHLBruins8 yr, $76 mil$49.5m sal$26.5m sign bonus
22-23: $6m + $3.25m SB23-24: $7.75m + $3.25m SB24-25: $8.5m + $3m SB25-26: $8.5m + $3m SB26-27: $6m + $4m SB27-28: $3.75m + $4m SB28-29: $4.5m + $3m SB29-30: $4.5m + $3m SBFull NMC from 7/1/25 – 5/31/28
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) October 15, 2021

There is obviously a strong argument that McAvoy is better than Rielly. There’s a benefit to paying a younger defenseman throughout his entire prime rather than taking a chance on how the player will perform later in their career, but it doesn’t change that teams are paying legitimate number one defensemen over $9M, and Morgan Rielly falls into that category.
So the Leafs have the benefit of the salary cap possibly going up. …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Let’s take a moment to appreciate Marcus Semien’s season, which was one of the best in Blue Jays history

Marcus Semien is a shortstop. Yes he played all season at second base, but that doesn’t take away from the fact he spent the previous 6 seasons playing short. This is not a bad thing, in fact, it’s a testament to how insane Marcus Semien was this past season.

18 million without giving up a pick has never looked so good. The phrases “Semien was good this season” or “Semien will get paid” are both understatements. While I won’t speculate on the figures he’ll make this upcoming off-season, I feel the need to write about just how damn good he was. Yes, even better than Vlad or Ray.
Slash line:
I like using slash lines as it’s a good basic statistic to use. If you look at Semien’s, it doesn’t particularly stand out. If I said a .265/.334/.873 player should receive MVP votes, you may look at me and say “why?”. To that, I say, the stats, while a nice tool, doesn’t actually show how valuable the player is.
It’s the same as basic statistics for defensive play like fielding percentage. It looks great on paper, but it can be incredibly misleading. However, there …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Late goal from Amadio gives the Leafs another preseason win in Ottawa

For the second game in a row, we got some preseason action from the Leafs’ “best of the rest”, as the highlights of the roster featured Justin Holl and Alexander Kerfoot, while all the players on the fringes battled it out for the remaining spots in the lineup.
Unlike last game, the competition wouldn’t be quite as easy, as they’d be up against most of the Ottawa Senators NHL lineup. I mean, it’s still pretty easy, just not as easy as their AHL lineup like last time.
Not surprisingly, this group managed to hold their own, never really finding themselves hemmed in by Ottawa, and keeping the score close despite lacking the obvious finishing talent. From a long term perspective, it’s not a bad thing to have practice with if the Leafs get a couple injuries from the big guns. They kept it close and competitive, and capitalized on their chances when they got them.
The scoring didn’t open until the second, when Pierre Engvall of all people got a power play goal with a really nice shot. He also managed to get another shot off like that later in the period, but no goal …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

The NHL releases some key dates for next season/summer

Tonight is the second game of the preseason, and already the NHL is dumping some trade deadline, draft, and free agency news on us…

Key dates from the NHL’s 2021-22 calendar:
March 21: Trade deadlineMay 2: First day of Stanley Cup PlayoffsJune 30: Last possible day of Stanley Cup PlayoffsJuly 1: First buyout period opensJuly 7-8: NHL draftJuly 12: First buyout period endsJuly 13: Free agency opens
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) September 27, 2021

Those are certainly some important dates to remember, and even with the Olympic break the NHL seems to be moving up their schedule a couple of weeks compared to last season.
The March 21st trade deadline comes just one week (three games) after the Leafs outdoor game in Hamilton against the Sabres, and mercifully falls in the middle of three days off for the Leafs meaning plenty of time to make trades without worrying about players not being available for their next game and we might not see players held out for precautionary reasons. I’m the Leafs front office appreciates this scheduling.
The Leafs play 20 games after the trade deadline this season, so renting a player doesn’t seem like the colossal waste of resources like it’s been the past two seasons. Still, …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Day two of camp starts answering some questions about the Leafs direction

Day two of camp starts answering some questions about the Leafs direction

Second day of the on ice portion of training camp is now complete, and we are now ready to anticipate the first preseason game tomorrow. Maybe anticipate is the wrong word in a year when so many Leafs fans are already planning on treating the regular season like the preseason, but anyway, the point is (for good or bad) tomorrow we get to watch Leafs hockey again, even if it’s a Leafs/Marlies/etc. grab bag making up the lineup card.
As we did with Day one, we’ve got a few noteworthy things to takeaway from the day, and we’ll start with the line rushes:

#Leafs lines in Group 1:
Mikheyev-Kerfoot-NylanderRitchie-Brooks-MarnerRobertson-Amadio-Spezza Gabriel-Abramov/Douglas-Gogolev
Rielly-DermottDahlstrom-HollMenell-Rubins Hellickson-Hollowell
CampbellMrazek
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) September 24, 2021

#Leafs Group 2 lines:
Bunting-Tavares-Ho-SangGusev-Kampf-KaseEngvall-Semyonov-SimmondsClune/Seney-SDA-Anderson
Muzzin-LiljegrenSandin-BrodieKivihalme-VillenueveKral-Biega
HutchinsonWoll
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) September 24, 2021

The first thing to takeaway is that they are pretty much the same. The return of Wayne Simmonds meant that he needed to be inserted somewhere, but other than Simmonds joining the Engvall and Semyonov line, there isn’t a whole lot to see here.
Presumably one of these two groups will make up the lineup against Montreal tomorrow night, and as much as I’ …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The 2021 Top 20 Leafs Prospects: #2 Nick Robertson

Coming second on this year’s Top 20 Leafs Prospects list is last year’s #1, Nicholas Robertson.
Robertson, who torched the Ontario Hockey League for more than a goal-per-game in 2019-20, came into the 2020-21 season with a lot of hype and excitement surrounding him. Leafs fans were encouraged to see him keep his head above water in his first NHL stint as he joined the Leafs for their play-in series against Columbus.
Evaluating Robertson’s 2020-21 campaign was challenging, as he had a tough time stringing together long stretches of play between injuries, the Marlies’ COVID hiatus, and spending time watching the Leafs from the press box. When he played, his talent was still noticeable, the work ethic was still abundantly apparent, and he still showed a knack for blowing pucks past goaltenders. However, he played just 27 games of professional hockey last year, which did not give us much runway to work with to assess his progression.
Position: Left Forward
Age: 19 (20 on September 11)
Height: 5’9
Weight: 164 lbs
Drafted: 53rd Overall, 2019 NHL Draft by The Toronto Maple Leafs
2020-21 Teams: Toronto Marlies, AHL (21GP) | Toronto Maple Leafs, NHL (6GP)
2020 Prospect Ranking: #1
Overview
Robertson, an undersized forward at 5-foot-9, was selected midway through …

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Author: Mark Norman / The Leafs Nation

Maple Leafs select winger Ty Voit in the fifth round of the NHL Draft

With their second selection of the 2021 NHL Draft, the Toronto Maple Leafs selected winger Ty Voit from the Sarnia Sting with the 153rd overall pick. Voit didn’t play in his draft year as the OHL season never got underway, but he tallied eight goals and 20 assists in 49 games during his OHL rookie season in 2019-20.

The newest member of Leafs Nation: Ty Voit #NHLDraft | #LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/NdK5g3gpHR
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) July 24, 2021

Voit entered the season as a potential first-round pick, landing at number 27 on EliteProspects.com’s January draft rankings. He is a smooth-skating, shifty winger that uses his agility and quick hands to elude defenders along the boards. He plays a tenacious game, hunting pucks and engaging in board battles against bigger, stronger opponents. Voit has good vision and processes the game well, playing a give-and-go style on the offensive side of the puck. With the puck on his stick, he is able to fake out defenders to open up lanes and he can find teammates with slick feeds through traffic.
He lost a year of development already and his path could be a long one, but Voit is the type of prospect …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: Jalen Harris needs support, not scorn, from Raptors fans

Toronto Raptors: Jalen Harris needs support, not scorn, from Raptors fans

In the second half of the unlucky 2020-21 Toronto Raptors season, second-round pick Jalen Harris started to show signs that he could be an integral member of the rotation next season. His 7.4 points per game belie his play at the end of the season, in which he averaged 18.5 points per game in his […]
Toronto Raptors: Jalen Harris needs support, not scorn, from Raptors fans – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Later round selections for the Toronto Six: Leah Marino, Olivia Atkinson, Darya Teryoshkina

fter a busy first and second round for the Toronto Six where they made 5 selections, bolstering their roster with 3 forwards and 2 defenders, they had only one selection per round to make for the last 3 rounds of the draft.
Let’s get right into who they added.
Leah Marino
This pick was announced by NBC’s Kate Scott, who did play-by-play for the broadcasts of the semifinals and finals of the 2021 Isobel Cup. This was Toronto’s 6th pick of the night, coming in the third round, 16th overall.
Marino is a depth forward for the Robert Morris University ice hockey team. She scored only 11 points in her 3 seasons there. She stands a little taller than average at 5’9″. While depth is certainly an important role, her lack of production makes this a curious selection. However, the Six must have something planned with this selection that we’re not privy to. There’s very little you can get from just points per game.
Olivia Atkinson
The 22nd overall pick and Toronto’s 7th selection of the night was made by Canadian Olympians Carolyn Ouelette and Julie Chu.
Atkinson is a forward who played with Concordia University for this past hockey. She …

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Author: Ryan Hobart / The Leafs Nation

TLN Three Stars: SPOILER ALERT-David Rittich didn’t make the cut

The Leafs lost 6-3 to the Canucks. Their second loss to Canucks following their return from COVID. The Leafs five loss in a row. If you are looking for silver linings and optimism in this post, you’ll be disappointed. I mean, we still can scrape together three worthwhile Leafs for the three starts, but to say that goaltending was an issue was an understatement. To say I want to see Morgan Rielly and Justin Holl on the ice together, who be a damned lie. To say I understand what Alex Kerfoot does on a nightly basis and get why he’s on the second line, will only be met with a confused look, followed by my desire to curl up in the fetal position. This game was unfortunate from top to bottom, and the Leafs have not inspired much confidence after Kyle Dubas boldly went all in by trading draft picks for depth.
The Leafs did pick up a powerplay goal, and Marlies callup Adam Brooks picked up a short handed goal, but even the high points tonight were quickly deflated. So let’s get on with it. We can salvage three stars tonight, so let’s do it.
3 …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation