Leafs to be well represented in the World Junior Tournament

MY STARS! There are no Leafs prospects at the Canadian World Junior camp. While understandably disappointing as Canadians are likely to be cheering for Team Canada, the Leafs have put us in a situation where Leafs fans will have a vested interest in the Russian, Finnish, and American teams as well.
Nick Robertson
Robertson may or may not be on Team USA’s roster. It’s going to come down to when NHL training camps are going on and if the Leafs see having Robertson with the Leafs or whether giving him the opportunity to play with Team USA is the better option for him.
Robertson would be a very welcome addition for the Americans and given the Leafs depth on wing, sending him to play at a competitive best on best tournament might be a better use of his time than skating on depth lines in Toronto.
The Russian Three
Without a doubt the team that Leafs fans should be watching the most, it’s probably Russia. Rodion Amirov has shown the potential to be every bit the elite prospect that Robertson is, and he will be playing for certain. Mikhail Abramov has the potential to be a first …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

3 Toronto Maple Leafs players that are NHL ready right now

There could be training camps for NHL teams within the next month. That means there also could be some tough decisions looming for the Toronto Maple Leafs and some of their prospects. Especially for three of them, who I believe are ready to enter the NHL. Yet they may be roadblocked due to the crowded forward and defence group.
I believe these three players all have chances and are ready for the NHL. It’s just a matter of showing how good they are and whether or not they can play consistent minutes in the league.
If they don’t make it, the prospects would likely either be a part of the Maple Leafs’ possible taxi squad or get sent to play somewhere else (AHL for two, OHL or Europe for the other).
But if you don’t know who they are by now — here’s a video explaining why I, Nick Barden believe these three prospects are ready to take the next step in their professional careers:

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

What will the Leafs reverse retro jersey look like?

There are few times the NHL gets something right. The early days of the Winter Classic, the bubble approach to the Return to Play this summer, and now we might be able to add fun jerseys to that list. The teases and leaks we’ve seen from other teams so far have been encouraging, but that leaves us with an important question, what will be done for the Leafs?
Based on the image above, we can assume two things.

It will be based on the 1970 jersey design.
It will be blue, with either white or grey accents.

The first is appealing because the Leafs haven’t done much with the Ballard era jersey design, likely because of its connection to the Ballard era. The second, at least for me is decidedly less appealing since it’s the same colour scheme we’ve had since the beginning of time. It might not exactly lend itself to a fun design.

Rather than focus too much on what it will probably look like, we’ve asked the writers of The Leafs Nation to tell us what they want the Leafs reverse retro jersey to look like. Remember to tell us who got it …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Prospect Roundup: Rodion rises, the call of Karjala, Ovchinnikov on fire

There is still no concrete date set for the return of NHL action, but the next big event on every hockey fan’s mind is the World Juniors which is scheduled to get underway on Christmas day. The entirety of the hockey world will be ultra focused on the annual holiday tournament as there will be no NHL games competing for viewers’ attention, and it will be a great chance for organizations and their fans to get more familiar with some of their team’s top prospects. The Canadian selection camp will get underway on November 16th, and while there are no Leafs prospects expected to factor into their plans, there are some recent Leafs draft picks representing their countries at the Karjala Cup which got underway yesterday.
Rodion Amirov – LW/RW – Salavat Yulaev Ufa (KHL)
Amirov’s role with Ufa has diminished in recent weeks, to the point where he’s been seeing minimal ice time as their 13th forward in the last few games. It doesn’t look as though that will be a problem at the Karjala Cup, where he played the second most minutes of any Russian forward in their first game yesterday. He started the …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

Looking at the Leafs competition in an All Canadian Team Division

More and more it seems like there will be an all Canadian team division this season. That could be fun. Canada’s team in Canada’s division, what’s not to love? Well, there might be some stuff, like Oilers fans, Canucks fans, the second hand sadness when the Leafs need to go on the long bus ride to Winnipeg.
As a refresher, here’s how those Canadian teams finished last season:

W
L
OL
PTS
RW
RGREC
RGPT%

EDM
37
25
9
83
31
31-25-15
0.542

TOR
36
25
9
81
28
28-25-17
0.521

WPG
37
28
6
80
30
30-28-13
0.514

VAN
36
27
6
78
27
27-27-15
0.5

CGY
36
27
7
79
25
25-27-18
0.486

MTL
31
31
9
71
19
19-31-21
0.415

OTT
25
34
12
62
18
18-34-19
0.387

At a first glance the main takeaway should be that none of the Canadian teams did particularly well. The Oilers put together the 9th best record in the league last season while playing in a criminally easy division. A division that the Canadian division would inherit three teams from.
Throw in the fact that the Senators were one of the worst teams in hockey, and the Habs made the cutoff for the return to play strictly for the television ratings, and we’re given a division that has maybe two legitimate playoff teams last season (that quickly underperformed in the …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: What if DeMar DeRozan came back to Toronto?

Toronto Raptors: What if DeMar DeRozan came back to Toronto?

DeMar DeRozan is apparently unhappy in San Antonio and there are two ways he can change that feeling. It’s possible the Toronto Raptors’discarded son could return home. The Toronto Raptors drafted DeMar DeRozan in 2009 ninth overall at the NBA Draft. In terms of linking team success to player development, he was the most significant […]
Toronto Raptors: What if DeMar DeRozan came back to Toronto? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jason Mills / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors: Fred VanVleet or Norman Powell as the shooting guard?

There are significant issues to address this off-season for the Toronto Raptors. One problem is what to do at the starting shooting guard where Fred VanVleet is a free agent, and Norman Powell has two years left on his contract. A significant question the Toronto Raptors need to address is whether Fred VanVleet or Norman […]
Toronto Raptors: Fred VanVleet or Norman Powell as the shooting guard? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jason Mills / Raptors HQ

It looks like the Canadian Division could happen, and the Leafs (Canada’s team) will own it

There are few things the NHL does or even considers that could benefit the Leafs. In fact things like revenue sharing, salary caps, putting the Leafs in the same division as the Lightning are signs that the NHL has no interest in doing right by the team that props it up the most. Canada’s Team has been done dirty, but there are signs that could be changing.

Golden Knights owner Bill Foley to @BrianBlessing on Vegas Hockey Hotline on facing Nate Schmidt/Canucks: “Yeah, but they’re going to be in the Canadian division.”
Oh.
— David Schoen (@DavidSchoenLVRJ) October 14, 2020

Buried at the bottom of that quote about two teams that no one cares about is something that directly impacts the Leafs. The assertion by an NHL owner that there will in fact be a Canadian division next season.
You might need a refresher on what teams those are because they either suck or don’t matter, but here is how those teams finished last season:

W
L
OL
PTS
RW
RgRec
RgPt%

EDM
37
25
9
83
31
31-25-15
0.542

TOR
36
25
9
81
28
28-25-17
0.521

WPG
37
28
6
80
30
30-28-13
0.514

VAN
36
27
6
78
27
27-27-15
0.5

CGY
36
27
7
79
25
25-27-18
0.486

MTL
31
31
9
71
19
19-31-21
0.415

OTT
25
34
12
62
18
18-34-19
0.387

At first glance it might be appalling …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The Leafs more serious about Thornton than originally thought

Things are heating up. There is both chatter AND rumblings. It seems the Leafs really want Joe Thornton to be a Leaf, even if he did shave that magnificent beard.

To follow up on @mirtle’s piece, my understanding is that both Kyle Dubas and Sheldon Keefe have talked to Joe Thornton about the Leafs’ interest. So let’s see where this goes. Feels like the Sharks or Leafs at this point. I do think Jumbo would be a terrific fit in Toronto. https://t.co/3jZwu8r4x8
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) October 14, 2020

That’s pretty interested.
“Hearing several core Maple Leafs have personally pitched Joe Thornton on going to Toronto. The courtship is on and the interest is real. But one thing I’ve always been told about the future Hall of Famer: do not underestimate his loyalty to San Jose.”- Elliotte Friedman’s 31 Thoughts

How interested are the #Leafs in Joe Thornton?@FriedgeHNIC breaks down the latest with @JeffMarek, @Burkie2020 & @StuMunrue.#LeafsForever
Full chat https://t.co/6hcY8bwcLg pic.twitter.com/RDirqg5MRF
— Sportsnet 590 The FAN (@FAN590) October 14, 2020

Yep, there’s definitely a lot of interest and desire for Thornton to be a Leaf on Toronto’s …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

4 years later the Leafs finally sign Jimmy Vesey

If you travel back to the spring of 2016 there was a name on the tip of everyone’s tongue, and it was Jimmy Vesey. The star NCAA player wasn’t interested in playing in Nashville and was going to hit free agency. The Leafs were interested and just so happened to employee his Dad and have his brother as a prospect in the system. In case you don’t remember, the Rangers ended up landing Vesey, and Jimmy didn’t exactly go onto the stellar career that was promised. Fast forward to today…

We’ve signed Jimmy Vesey to a one-year contract! #LeafsForever
Details: https://t.co/H6dzk1gSdh pic.twitter.com/AjK4bcWkRR
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) October 12, 2020

Vesey is finally ours. For one year. At low, low price of $900k.

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation