Malgin qualified, Vehviläinen heading overseas, and other RFA notes

In a two week window filled with interesting events, restricted free agent qualifying day might not be the sexiest. It is underrated fun though, especially when most of the RFAs of significance have already been sorted out. Travis Dermott was signed pre-expansion draft so the Leafs had the opportunity to protect four defensemen and leave Dermott exposed. Now the Leafs have either a pretty good defenseman in Dermott, or a pretty decent trade chip.
Of their RFAs, Joseph Woll was likely the prospect of the most significance, and while people are starting to raise concerns about his AHL success, the slower development curve for most goaltenders makes adding Woll back a no brainer as well.
That brings us to today, and the remaining players, Denis Malgin, Nic Petan, Joseph Duszak, and Veini Vehviläinen. Taking a quick look at this list you can make a case for it being nice having any of these players back because they aren’t bad, but they aren’t players you are going to lose sleep over if Toronto moves on from them.
The first bit of news came today with Vehviläinen’s decision to return to Europe and play in the Swedish …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Raptors: Evan Mobley, Scottie Barnes both compliment Toronto’s culture

Raptors: Evan Mobley, Scottie Barnes both compliment Toronto’s culture

The Toronto Raptors looked like a lock to end up with Gonzaga point guard Jalen Suggs with the No. 4 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, but both USC center Evan Mobley and Florida State power forward Scottie Barnes have entered the mix over the last few days. Suggs looks like a point guard that […]
Raptors: Evan Mobley, Scottie Barnes both compliment Toronto’s culture – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Maple Leafs select goaltender Vyacheslav Peksa in the sixth round of the NHL Draft

With their third and (as of now) final pick in the 2021 NHL Draft, the Maple Leafs selected Russian goaltender Vyacheslav Peksa in the sixth round, 185th overall. Peksa went undrafted last season in his first year of eligibility and returned to the Kazan system where he got into 17 games for their MHL squad, posting a 2.57 GAA and .909 save percentage.

Welcome to Leafs Nation, Vyacheslav!#NHLDraft | #LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/iLGHNfbMYG
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) July 24, 2021

Peksa is athletic with good size for the position but he went unranked on most public draft boards after being passed over in last year’s draft. He will need to become more composed in his crease and improve the way he cuts down angles as he adds bulk to his frame in the coming years.
Peksa plays in the same system as fellow Leafs goaltending prospect Artur Akhtyamov who Toronto selected in the fourth round of the 2020 NHL Draft so the organization is familiar with both the player and the organization that will be in charge of his development in the immediate future.
 
(Statistics from EliteProspects.com)

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Author: Nick Richard / 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

McCann and Hyman are Leafs heading West

While we were all discussing our displeasure with the Seattle Kraken taking Jared McCann in the NHL Expansion Draft, there was more news for the Leafs. And no, it’s not good news.
According to Elliotte Friedman, who was on Sportsnet Central after Seattle’s draft, Zach Hyman is likely going to be traded to the Edmonton Oilers so he can sign an eight-year deal. He didn’t say when it would come, but Friedman said it could be on Friday.
I discuss that, and why it’s okay to lose McCann in the Expansion Draft. I hope you enjoy the video.

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Nate Pearson has been dealing with a sports hernia and is going to pitch out of the bullpen

We finally know what’s been up with Big Nate.

The Blue Jays’ No. 1 prospect has been on the shelf since mid-June with what was described at the time as another groin injury. Today, general manager Ross Atkins said that Pearson has been dealing with a sports hernia and the plan is for him to start throwing from the mound next week.
Given where we’re at in the season, there isn’t much time to get Pearson built up, so the team is going to use him as a reliever the rest of the way. I imagine this also partially has to do with the fact the team still desperately needs bullpen help and it’s much, much, muuuuuuuch more likely Pearson can help them there than as a starter.
We saw Pearson pitch out of the ‘pen a couple of times last season. He did so once in late September against Baltimore, in which he tossed one-and-two-thirds innings while picking up two strikeouts, and we saw him again in Game 2 of the wild-card series with Tampa, where he threw a dominant pair of innings with five strikeouts.
Pearson could be a game-changer for Toronto’s bullpen. If you …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Rumours: Bogosian and Foligno seem to be out, and expansion draft fallout

Last year the signing of Zach Bogosian was met with a lot of skepticism. He wasn’t expensive, he was coming off a Stanley Cup championship, but he’s a stay at home defenseman, and that generally doesn’t go over well, especially when he would be blocking the path of prospects like Rasmus Sandin and Timothy Liljegren, not to mention making it harder for Mikko Lehtonen to be an every day player in the NHL.
Well here we are a year later, and while I’m pretty sure Bogosian wasn’t anyone’s favourite Leaf, his hardnosed style of play and serviceable defending on the third pairing certainly earned him plenty of appreciators, and while fans still want Sandin and Liljegren, the safety net of having Bogosian still has a lot of appeal.
That’s why news like this isn’t ideal (from Terry Koshan):
The Leafs and Bogosian have talked about a new deal, but a source indicated the New York native is interested in “taking a peek” at offers in free agency.
“I would expect him to hit the open market,” the source said. “The expectations are that he will.”
The news comes following Bogosian’s concerns …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Leafs unlikely to bring back many of their remaining free agents

With the expansion draft roster freeze in effect for a couple of days, it’s time to take a step back and look at what the Leafs have remaining when it comes to free agency. There isn’t any shortage of either unrestricted free agents on the Leafs, and additionally there’s a handful of restricted free agents from the Marlies to consider as well. To figure out what should become of the free agents, I polled the TLN contributors to see who is staying, who’s going, and how much they are going to cost.

So there’s not a lot of love for bringing back the Leafs UFAs. I’m sure Zach Hyman would have received a bit more love, but the rumoured term and cap hits that are circulating certainly makes it understandable why 7 of our contributors had no interest in bringing him back and the other three were only considering Hyman if there is still the possibility of a hometown discount.
Alex Galchenyuk is far and away the favourite because of the price tag, upside, and his desire to continue growing as a Leaf. As one of the people who said let him walk, I’m …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

3 reasons the Toronto Raptors shouldn’t draft Scottie Barnes

3 reasons the Toronto Raptors shouldn’t draft Scottie Barnes

It’s long been an assumption that with the No. 4 overall selection in the 2021 NBA Draft, the Toronto Raptors will select one of either G League guard Jalen Green, USC center Evan Mobley, or Gonzaga point guard Jalen Suggs, who looks like the favorite. However, Florida State standout Scottie Barnes has slowly been gaining […]
3 reasons the Toronto Raptors shouldn’t draft Scottie Barnes – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors: Jalen Suggs is the betting favorite to go No. 4 overall

Toronto Raptors: Jalen Suggs is the betting favorite to go No. 4 overall

The Toronto Raptors went from a team with the seventh-best odds at earning the top selection in the 2021 NBA Draft to a squad in prime position to add a game-changer with the No. 4 overall pick. In all likelihood, Toronto will end up with one of either Jalen Suggs, Evan Mobley, or Jalen Green. […]
Toronto Raptors: Jalen Suggs is the betting favorite to go No. 4 overall – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ