Rumours: Campbell can be moved for an asset, Sandin speculation, and the Fiala fallout

This week seems like Jack Campbell rumours are front and center so that’s going to make up the meat of what we’re dealing with here. The Leafs goaltender seems to be awfully close to being referred to as the Leafs former goaltender as none of the talk seems to be about him returning to Toronto.
via Larry Brooks
We’re told by one informant that New Jersey may attempt to jump the process by dealing for the 30-year-old’s rights if the Maple Leafs cannot or will not extend the netminder, who started more than 26 games (47) in a season for the first time in his career.
The idea would be to move Mackenzie Blackwood, whose career has somehow careened off course during a couple of drama-filled seasons this fragile team does not need. It also does not need an older veteran coming off injuries to serve as the backup; e.g., Corey Crawford; Jonathan Bernier.

via Mike Harrington
There’s no real sense the Sabres have any interest in Kuemper but that’s not the case when it comes to Jack Campbell of Toronto.

Kuemper, meanwhile, could be a fit in Toronto going forward if Campbell goes elsewhere. Campbell may want a deal of 3-4 years and the Sabres aren’t all that interested in that kind of term. Maybe they can get it down with a bigger offer in dollars, but the Sabres can’t leave themselves vulnerable either.

Alongside Darren Dreger’s statement of “he will probably get $6M” and we are clearly in the final days of Jack Campbell. Still. Let’s break down some of what is going on here.
Let’s start with what Mike Harrington said and couple it with Dreger’s statement. There is absolutely the possibility for an overpayment coming out of a team like Buffalo and relatively speaki …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Trade Deadline Primer: Looking for teams that can give the Blue Jays pitching depth and make them more left-handed

Last year around this time the Blue Jays’ trade deadline needs were shaping up to a left-handed bat, relief pitching help, and arguably another starting pitcher.

Funny enough, those are the same things the team could stand to add as this year’s trade deadline approaches. But what teams could represent an opportunity for Blue Jays to address two, or maybe all three, needs in one fell swoop? Well, that is what we are going to investigate here. Hopefully, these names could coalesce in a package that provides the kind of impact more in line with the Adam Cimber-Corey Dickerson trade than the Rowdy Tellez deal.
For example, former Blue Jays assistant general manager, and current general manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Ben Cherington probably still has a good handle on the Blue Jays prospect pipeline. But the Pirates also have players that could fill all three of the Blue Jays’ needs, making them a good match for each other at the deadline. To start, David Bednar is a monster out the bullpen, using a blistering fastball to put up elite strikeout rates. When hitters do make contact against him they tend to do damage, but he profiles as the kind of force the Blue Jays could stand to add to lock up games la …

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Author: Noah Vande / Blue Jays Nation

Risk vs. Reward: The Ville Husso question

This year’s crop of pending free agents features roughly five goaltenders who have managed a starter’s workload in recent years. The youngest and perhaps most intriguing option is St. Louis’ Ville Husso.
NHL general managers have a notoriously short memory when signing free agents. This seems especially true when looking at goaltending. Look at Sergei Bobrovsky for instance. His career has alternated between near-Vezina quality play and borderline unplayable on almost a yearly basis, and Florida still saw fit to sign him long-term at $10 million per year.
Keeping that in mind, (and what was written in my piece yesterday about goaltending being random and voodoo,) Ville Husso’s next contract brings with it the potential for huge risk or great reward, probably both. Is that something the Toronto Maple Leafs can really consider?
Let’s look at Husso’s career so far. 64 total NHL games (57 in the regular season, 7 playoffs) a career average .910 save percentage. Breaking that down a little further, Husso played 17 games in the 2021 shortened season and posted nine wins with a sub-.900 save percentage.
This past season is generally regarded as his emergence. He played 40 games and won 25, the most of any goaltender for the Blues this year, he essentially usurped Jordan Binnington as the starter, put up a 9.19 save percentage that placed him among the league’s best, and …

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Author: Dylan Murphy / The Leafs Nation

Looking back at the Toronto Maple Leafs’ 2018 draft

Over the course of this week, I’ve been looking back at each of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ four draft classes under the tenure of GM Kyle Dubas, reviewing how the selections were viewed at the time, how they have panned out to date, and noting what talent they missed out on (if any) in the immediate picks following.
Today, we finish off the series by reviewing the 2018 draft class for the Toronto Maple Leafs, the first draft overseen by Kyle Dubas as general manager. With a fairly shallow prospect pool having seen major pieces graduate to the NHL roster in the two years prior to this draft, Dubas and the rest of the Leafs staff needed to hit on at least some of the picks to begin to restock the cupboards.
1st Round, 29th Overall – Rasmus Sandin, LD, OHL
At the time
Firstly, Kyle Dubas traded down from the 25th overall slot, adding a third-round pick by moving down four positions in the draft order.
Then, upon selecting Rasmus Sandin, many were thinking “here we go again” as Dubas’ first draft pick came from non-other than Sault Ste. Marie, the very OHL team Dubas had been the general manager of prior to his time with the Maple Leafs.
It was a bold move for Dubas to put aside the optics o …

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Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation

The Blue Jays need to get some bullpen help

Around this time last year, the Blue Jays were losing games that features implosions from the likes of Tyler Chatwood and Rafael Dolis.

Everyone was shouting “Get bullpen help!” and the front office did exactly that by acquiring Adam Cimber from the Miami Marlins on June 29 and Trevor Richards from the Milwaukee Brewers on July 6. While Richards has fallen off a cliff this season, he and Cimber helped solidify the Blue Jays’ bullpen last summer and the team did much better from July onwards than they did in April and May.
The bullpen isn’t quite as much of a mess this year as it was last but the cracks are very clearly showing and the Blue Jays are again in need of some reinforcements.
This week’s series in Chicago was a difficult one for the ‘pen as Toronto’s relievers got tagged in all three games against the White Sox…
The Blue Jays nearly pulled off a comeback on Monday after a terrible start from Jose Berrios but the difference wound up being two runs that the White Sox scored off of David Phelps in the fifth inning.
Tuesday’s game featured three blown saves by the Blue Jays. Jordan Romano couldn’t hold a two-run lead in the ninth inning, Tim Mayza allowed the ghost runner to score in the 1 …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Looking back at the Toronto Maple Leafs’ 2019 draft

Over the course of this week, I’ll be looking back at each of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ four draft classes under the tenure of GM Kyle Dubas, reviewing how the selections were viewed at the time, how they have panned out to date, and noting what talent they missed out on (if any) in the immediate picks following.
Today, we continue on by reviewing the 2019 draft class for the Toronto Maple Leafs. This was the first time in nine years that the Leafs did not have a first-round pick, so the pressure was on Toronto’s staff to find some gems with the later picks they did still hold.
Toronto had six picks during the 2019 draft, and while none have become full-time NHLers just yet, we will be getting to the first two prospects that have actually made their NHL debut in today’s article.
2nd Round, 53rd Overall – Nick Robertson, LW, OHL
At the time
Heading into the 2019 draft, Nicholas Robertson was an interesting prospect to keep an eye on. While he was consistently ranked inside the first round by public rankings, including those released by the likes of Craig Button, Sam Cosentino, Chris Peters, Corey Pronman, Cam Robinson, and Scott Wheeler, Robertson’s lack of size meant he was a prime target to fall down draft boards.
T …

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Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation

Looking back at the Toronto Maple Leafs’ 2020 draft, Part 2

Over the course of this week, I’ll be looking back at each of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ four draft classes under the tenure of GM Kyle Dubas, reviewing how the selections were viewed at the time, how they have panned out to date, and noting what talent they missed out on (if any) in the immediate picks following.
Today, we continue by taking a look at the rest of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft after reviewing the first six selections Toronto made in yesterday’s look back.
As mentioned in the first part of the 2020 draft look back, the Maple Leafs were active on the trade front during this draft. As such, they held three picks in both the sixth round and eventually the seventh round, which we will take a look at in today’s article.
6th Round, 168th Overall – Veeti Miettinen, RW, Finland U20
At the time
A record scorer at the Finnish U20 level, Veeti Miettinen’s path to eventually play in the NCAA meant he could not play professional games prior to coming over to North America to join St. Cloud State. This meant that despite Miettinen’s dominant performances at the U20 level in Finland leading up to his draft year, he would have to remain at that level if he was to maintain NCAA eligibility.
He aga …

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Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation

Matthew Knies and Ty Voit have been invited to the USA Hockey World Junior evaluation camp

Some Leafs news popped up this afternoon as USA Hockey has made their announcement of who will be attending their evaluation camp that will serve as the final look for the World Juniors tournament this summer and the first look for the World Juniors tournament around Christmas.

The 60 players that will attend the 2022 USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp have been announced!
Details → https://t.co/WHs3tb7xSG pic.twitter.com/LxbK7PlOJH
— USA Hockey (@usahockey) June 21, 2022

To the surprise of absolutely no one, Matthew Knies finds himself on this list. The highly touted prospect was selected to the Olympic team so the World Juniors are a virtual lock for him this summer, but his age will make him ineligible for the winter tournament.
Enter Leafs up and comer Ty Voit, who is coming off a big year with the Sarnia Sting. Voit might be a long shot for the summer team as much of the players who were originally slated to attend the tournament last Christmas are likely to return, but Voit is one of the more interesting options for this December and should get a strong chance to make his case.
The camp also has the potential to include a future Maple Leaf as there isn’t any shortage of 2022 draft eligibles on the invite list.
The evaluation camp runs from July 24th-August 3rd, and will immediately be followed by the 2022 World Junior Tournament in Edmonton from August 9th-20th. The 2023 tournament is slated for December 26th-January 3rd in Halifax and Moncton.
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Looking back at the Toronto Maple Leafs’ 2020 draft, Part 1

Over the course of this week, I’ll be looking back at each of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ four draft classes under the tenure of GM Kyle Dubas, reviewing how the selections were viewed at the time, how they have panned out to date, and noting what talent they missed out on (if any) in the immediate picks following.
Today, we continue by taking a look back at the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. As the Maple Leafs made a whopping 12 (!) selections in that draft, I’ll be splitting this one into two articles, beginning with the first six picks today.
Toronto was active during the 2020 draft, making three trades during Day 2 of the draft to trade up and down the board. Unlike yesterday’s look back at the 2021 draft, we do begin on Day 1 with the first round.
1st Round, 15th Overall – Rodion Amirov, RW, KHL
At the time
While the Leafs did trade their first-round pick to the Carolina Hurricanes in order to shed Patrick Marleau’s cap hit the previous summer, Toronto was able to recoup a first-round pick when they traded Kasperi Kapanen back to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The highest pick the Leafs had held since drafting Auston Matthews first overall in 2016, there was a lot of pressure on Toronto’s staff to hit on the 15th overa …

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Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation

Looking back at the Toronto Maple Leafs 2021 draft

Over the course of this week, I’ll be looking back at each of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ four draft classes under the tenure of GM Kyle Dubas, reviewing how the selections were viewed at the time, how they have panned out to date, and noting what talent they missed out on (if any) in the immediate picks following.
Today, we begin with the Maple Leafs’ most recent class, taking a look back at the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. Toronto entered the 2021 draft with only three picks, in the second, fifth, and sixth rounds. Numerous picks had been traded at the deadline and with a lack of draft capital, many expected the Leafs to trade down once or even twice to recoup assets.
Instead, as the picks slowly ticked off the board on Day 2 of the draft leading up to the Maple Leafs’ first selection at 57th overall, they did not trade down. Rather, with a player their scouts were very high on still available, they made the pick.
2nd Round, 57th Overall – Matt Knies, LW, USHL
At the time
When the pick was made, many were surprised first that the Leafs did not trade down, but also that Matt Knies was the selection.
On paper, Knies didn’t fit the characteristics of a typical Toronto dr …

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Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation