Trading prospects over draft picks is the right move for Maple Leafs

Trading prospects over draft picks is the right move for Maple Leafs

There comes a time where winning is everything, especially for the Toronto Maple Leafs. And that time is right now.
Kyle Dubas sought to take a massive step at the trade deadline last season by giving up a first-round pick for Nick Foligno. It was okay to take that risk last year with such a thin draft class. This year, though, is a completely different draft. The first-overall pick for is likely going to be Kingston Frontenacs centre, Shane Wright. You don’t get a player of his calibre after that, but it’s still a deeper draft than in 2021.
Toronto had three picks in this year’s draft and could have the same next year. With that being the case, the Maple Leafs might want to think twice about trading their first-round draft pick. Even the second-round pick wouldn’t be worth risking at this point. The Maple Leafs don’t have the deepest of prospect pools and would miss out on a good player if a pick is traded.
Could it make sense to trade a younger player instead? Perhaps so.
Looking at Toronto’s prospects, only three are off-limits: Nick Robertson, Rodion Amirov and Timothy Liljegren. Obviously, …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

TLN Top 20 Leafs: #20 Pierre Engvall

It’s time to kick start our Top 20 Leafs countdown. And to start it off we’ve got a player that we as Leafs fans have generally underrated since day one. Pierre Engvall was a 7th round pick. He then took four years to make it North America, all the while he had a hard time cracking our top twenty prospect list. Now here he is coming in at the bottom of the Leafs roster rankings. On one hand it’s amazing that he’s here, but on the other hand maybe we’re still not giving him as much respect as he deserves compared to some of the other players on this list.
When it came to ranking Engvall, there was a pretty significant range on him. One of our contributors had him as the Leafs 13th best player, some had him ranked exactly where he’s at, and 4 contributors left him off their rankings completely. Somehow all of this seems fair.
Five Interesting Stats
S%
GF%
TOI w/Mikheyev
SH TOI
Career GWG/G
11.5
54.05
282.5
22:50
26.7%
So here’s the thing on Pierre Engvall, he’s billed as a defensive specialist. Still, his 7 goals in 42 games is solid offensive production …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: Best parts from Chris Bosh’s Hall of Fame speech

Toronto Raptors: Best parts from Chris Bosh’s Hall of Fame speech

For the first time in NBA history, a Hall of Famer who played the majority of their games in Toronto was inducted into the hallowed halls of Springfield, as former Toronto Raptors star Chris Bosh took his rightful place among the greatest to ever play this game. While he was inducted with some very noteworthy […]
Toronto Raptors: Best parts from Chris Bosh’s Hall of Fame speech – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Should the NHL abolish the dress code?

The NHL is a dress code league, but it’s time for a change.
Hockey has always been a sport where you dress nice walking into the rink. It started at the NHL level and has trended all the way down to children’s rep teams. Many people believe that if you show up to the rink donning a slick suit, you will have more success on the ice.
It’s similar to the rule that Lou Lamoriello has regarding beards — if you wake up and shave every day, it means you’re ready to work. While I agree with that, there’s a fine line between thinking that’s true and having that work mentality already.
Don’t get me wrong, the now-Islanders GM is a Stanley Cup Champion and you’ve got to give credit where credit is due. However, times are changing, people are changing — hockey is evolving.
Many players within the NHL are known to not show much personality, whether that’s in the way they dress, how they talk to the media or how they carry themselves on the ice. If the league wants to grow in areas that the NFL and NBA do, they …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Drew Hutchison is the Tigers’ scheduled starter against the Blue Jays on Sunday

It’s time for the Blue Jays to start winning some fucking games.

After putting together an amazing, seemingly season-changing stretch when they returned to Toronto, the Blue Jays hit the road to travel west and fell completely flat.
They split a four-game series with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, dropped two of three in Seattle and lost George Springer to an injury in the process, and then, worst of all, they capped the trip off by dropping both games in a two-game series with the lowly Washington Nationals, a team that traded away nearly everyone of note on their roster before the trade deadline.
At the beginning of September, the Blue Jays will play seven games that will ultimately go a long, long, loooooong way in deciding whether or not they’ll be able to make the playoffs. They host Oakland for three games and then they travel to the Bronx to play the Yankees four times.
These head-to-head games will be massive for the team to make up ground on two of the teams they’re chasing in the wild-card race. Before that, though, the Blue Jays have a prime opportunity to get hot and put pressure …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

The 2021 Top 20 Leafs Prospects: Honourable mentions

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It’s that time of year again. The dog days of summer are here and it’s time to take stock of the Leafs’ prospect pipeline before we ramp up for another busy season. The votes have been tallied and the countdown gets underway for real on Monday but we kick off the series today by looking at a few players that just barely missed the cut.
The Leafs’ prospect system might not have much star potential but they have drafted well in recent years, adding a number of very good mid-level prospects to the organization. That is evident here as each of the players on this list of honourable mentions has had success at lower levels and they all possess legitimate NHL upside, too.
Filip Král
Position: LHD
Age: 21
Height: 6’1″
Weight: 176 lbs
Drafted: 2018, fifth round, 149th overall
2020-21 Team: Kometa Brno (Czech), Toronto Marlies (AHL)
2020 Prospect Ranking: 17

Team
League
GP
G
A
P

Prerov
Czech2
7
2
8
10

Kometa Brno
Czech
48
2
15
21

Toronto Marlies
AHL
10
2
0
2

Král began last season in the second-tier Czech professional league, racking up 10 points in just seven games, before earning a call-up to the top Czech league. He got into 48 games with Kometa Brno, …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

All Aboard

No long time Blue Jays fan needs to be convinced of the appeal the 2021 Toronto Blue Jays bring to the field every single night.

Even if you only hopped aboard in 2014 with the acquisitions of R.A. Dickey, Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and the rest, or in 2015 when they finally made it back to the postseason. However, there could be a whole new generation of Blue Jays fans ready to hop on board and enjoy the ride over the next few years as this core group of players hurls itself towards contending, perhaps ahead of schedule. So, if you’re on the fence and thinking about giving Canada’s team a shot, here’s a few reasons why you’d be crazy not to.
1. You get to witness a historical MVP race.
While it’s true, Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels likely has the award wrapped up, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Marcus Semien will still receive a large number of runner-up votes. The Blue Jays have had MVP candidates before, George Bell won in 1987 and of course, Josh Donaldson won most recently in 2015. They’ve even had two players in contention before in 1992 Joe Carter finished 3rd and …

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Author: DeuceDoucette / Blue Jays Nation

A Fortnight On The Farm: Volume Six

This is a sort of fascinating time for a minor league check in, particularly with the major league squad considering themselves contenders. Five days remain in which there may be a flurry of trades which will potentially shuffle the situation of some of these teams. Those left standing a week from now may find that promotions are about to ensue (we’ve already seen a few) and the organization will be looking to see who needs a fresh challenge down the stretch.

Buffalo via Trenton (for the last time)
More and more Jays fans, quite rightly, are banging the drum for SS Kevin Smith to be promoted and while you have to give props to Santiago Espinal for his work at 3B, if the Jays are looking to add a bat (Ramirez, if I’m dreaming, or Bryant, Escobar, some such) and fail then a guy who can supplement 3B and had 18 homers in his 66 AAA games on the record already is hard to ignore. I’m assuming he won’t be added to the 40 before the trade deadline (if at all) but if he’s not part of a deal, there will be every reason to get him up …

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Author: Tammy Rainey / Blue Jays Nation

5 Potential Bargain Forwards the Leafs Could Pursue in Free Agency

Free agency is always a wild time in the hockey world, especially in recent years considering we’ve actually had a few big names make it, like John Tavares, Artemi Panarin, Alex Pietrangelo, and potentially Dougie Hamilton (technically Alex Ovechkin as well but I think everyone knows he’s going to stay in Washington).
It’s also a time for when teams can gain or lose a ton of value by bringing in players depending on the contract you sign them too. The latter happens more often, and we’re already lined up for a ton of those with the Barclay Goodrow contract, and the rumours surrounding Zach Hyman and Blake Coleman. Teams are overvaluing size again, and they’re going to hand out a lot of bad contracts to get what they want.
Because of that, it creates some smart opportunities for the former in bringing in good players on bargain deals, something that Kyle Dubas has done a pretty good job of in his tenure with the Leafs. Tyler Ennis was an effective player on the fourth line, Spezza has been great on his league minimum deals, and even Travis Boyd was pretty good in his brief time …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

For better or worse, Kyle Dubas is all-in on the Leafs’ core

Another offseason media availability, another time where Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas has laid down to block shots headed for the Maple Leafs’ core. Dubas held media availability today to discuss the team’s expansion draft decisions and the upcoming free agency period, as summarized here by our Jori Negin-Shecter.
Dubas dropped what is sure to be his most quoted line since “we can and we will” during a question about the 2021-22 season:

Judging by this quote from Kyle Dubas today, the 2021-22 Maple Leafs season will take on a “Last Dance” kind of vibe.
The vision isn’t changing.
It’s now or never for results. pic.twitter.com/FKspBo43Pl
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) July 22, 2021

That one’s going to get a lot of replay.
On one hand, it is admirable that Dubas is steadfast in his vision for this team in the face of an unreal amount of pressure and acrimony from a justifiably-on-fire fan base. The Leafs have been down this road before with more reactionary or emotional general managers and it has often led to calamitous knee-jerk mistakes with long-term negative impacts. As much as Leafs fans are angry with how things played out against Montreal, this …

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Author: Mark Norman / The Leafs Nation