Raptors: Top 5 power forwards in franchise history

Raptors: Top 5 power forwards in franchise history

Throughout the history of the Toronto Raptors, there has always been a correlation between team success and having a great power forward on the roster. Remember back to the Kyle Lowry/DeMar DeRozan days where the team was so close to getting over the LeBron hump (or at least the fans thought they were)?  All they […]
Raptors: Top 5 power forwards in franchise history – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Avishai Sol / Raptors HQ

A new theory has emerged about why the Leafs didn’t trade for Nick Jensen

Throughout the 2018-19 season, many Leafs fans were clamouring for the team to acquire then Red Wings defenceman Nick Jensen to help improve the backend. His playstyle appeared to match what Kyle Dubas was looking to add and the asking price was likely going to be reasonably low. A deal between Toronto and Detroit ultimately never materialized and Jensen ended up getting traded to the Capitals at the deadline.
There was a lingering doubt of wonder as to why the Leafs did not go through with a trade to acquire the American defender. Nearly two years after his initial trade to Washington, we now have a better idea as to why:

My third favorite Mike Babcock story:
At the 2019 trade deadline we were discussing bringing in RD Nick Jensen from DET to play on an active, puck-moving 3rd pair with Dermott.
MB essentially said fine, but if we get him then he’ll put Jensen in and sit Dermott.

— Jack Han (@JhanHky) February 24, 2021

Jack Han was formerly a Hockey Operations Assistant and a Player Development Analyst for the the Leafs, so he would have had the first-hand experience of what went on behind the scenes. The basic takeaway is that Mike …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

William Villeneuve is the Leafs 20th ranked prospect

The Leafs generally stayed clear of the CHL throughout the 2020 draft, and Canada in general. Two players from Canada were taken in the draft, and William Villeneuve was the sole QMJHL player, taken 122nd overall in the fourth round.
The high scoring, right shooting defender was all over draft boards, but as the top scoring defenseman in QMJHL he was certainly a worthwhile gamble for the Leafs, and now we’ll see what Toronto has in him.

Rank
Grade
NHL Readiness

20th
C
2-4 years

Position: Right Defense
Age: 18
Height: 6’1
Weight: 181 lbs
Shoots: Right
Drafted: 2020 4th Round, 122nd overall
What kind of player is he?
If you are looking for yet another source of offense from the Leafs blueline, then you probably like this pick a lot. If you are looking for a strong two way defender, well, Villeneuve isn’t your guy, but that’s not to say we aren’t incredibly early in his development process.
In addition to the concerns about Villeneuve’s defensive zone coverage, there are also issues with his skating. It’s not that he’s the slowest guy on the ice, he’s average by QMJHL standards, but the mechanics of his skating …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

How would an early June draft affect the Leafs?

Throughout the past two weeks there has been an idea floated that the NHL will move up it’s draft and hold it in early June instead of either late June (assuming they cancel the season and the offseason stays on schedule) or following whatever bizarre conclusion we receive for a playoffs this year, assuming they manage to pull it off (for the record, it seems logistically impossible to do, but I admire their moxie in trying to believe it can.)
The appeal of the early draft is that it can somewhat emulate the success of the NFL draft, giving the NHL as many willing sports viewing eyes as possible before other more appealing things start returning and limiting their potential audience. Once you accept the fact that the NHL is not the NFL, and they won’t get 15 million viewers, it is reasonable to thing they’d get somewhat of a bump up, and might draw casual hockey fans into the draft who would have previously rather spent a summer’s night grilling, watching baseball, or doing absolutely anything other than watching boring old dudes call out the names of teenagers, have them walk to …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Marner Marner is Not (and Has Never Been) Disrespected

Throughout his first three seasons as a Toronto Maple Leaf, Mitch Marner accrued a level of goodwill amongst the fanbase that has rarely ever been seen. This Marner praise was practically universal in its scope, too. And why wouldn’t it be? The kid was so easy to love.
Within a city so acutely well-versed on eating its own, Marner was different. He was untouchable.
Not anymore, that is. That goodwill is gone.

Listen, we could argue for days over whether Marner is truly worth the outlandish price he’s asking for (spoiler alert: he isn’t), but that wouldn’t really accomplish much, would it? It’s a point everyone has hammered home all summer long. What more is there really left to say?
So, rather than banging my head against a wall for the *checks calendar* sixth month in a row, I instead want to delve into the reported foundation of “disrespect” the Marner camp has built their negotiating platform upon.
And by “delve into”, I mean “explain how it’s entirely fictional”.
Schedule B
Contract negotiation has never been easy for Marner. Not even from the beginning.
Once brushed off as pure speculation, the reported anger felt …

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Author: Mike Stephens / The Leafs Nation