The 2021 Top 20 Leafs Prospects: #2 Nick Robertson

Coming second on this year’s Top 20 Leafs Prospects list is last year’s #1, Nicholas Robertson.
Robertson, who torched the Ontario Hockey League for more than a goal-per-game in 2019-20, came into the 2020-21 season with a lot of hype and excitement surrounding him. Leafs fans were encouraged to see him keep his head above water in his first NHL stint as he joined the Leafs for their play-in series against Columbus.
Evaluating Robertson’s 2020-21 campaign was challenging, as he had a tough time stringing together long stretches of play between injuries, the Marlies’ COVID hiatus, and spending time watching the Leafs from the press box. When he played, his talent was still noticeable, the work ethic was still abundantly apparent, and he still showed a knack for blowing pucks past goaltenders. However, he played just 27 games of professional hockey last year, which did not give us much runway to work with to assess his progression.
Position: Left Forward
Age: 19 (20 on September 11)
Height: 5’9
Weight: 164 lbs
Drafted: 53rd Overall, 2019 NHL Draft by The Toronto Maple Leafs
2020-21 Teams: Toronto Marlies, AHL (21GP) | Toronto Maple Leafs, NHL (6GP)
2020 Prospect Ranking: #1
Overview
Robertson, an undersized forward at 5-foot-9, was selected midway through …

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Author: Mark Norman / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: 3 biggest strengths of the Raptors roster

Toronto Raptors: 3 biggest strengths of the Raptors roster

After years of contending for a championship, the Toronto Raptors may take a slight step backward this season, as their roster of young players will likely not have the firepower to compete with elite teams like the Nets, Bucks, or 76ers. However, Masai Ujiri has been very open and upfront about the fact that this […]
Toronto Raptors: 3 biggest strengths of the Raptors roster – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Leafs development camp and rookie tournament: What we know so far

It’s been two years since the Toronto Maple Leafs were able to get a bulk of their prospects together on one rink for what is usually their annual development camp and rookie tournament. With COVID restrictions preventing both offseason fixtures a year ago, next month will be the first time selections across two entry drafts will have the opportunity to work directly with the Leafs development staff all at once.
Normally, development camp takes place the week or two following the draft, right at the end of July and beginning of August. Later in the offseason, just before training camp starts, a rookie tournament is held featuring much of the same group. Obviously, this isn’t the case this time around. Rather than hosting a separate development camp and rookie tournament, it appears the Maple Leafs staff is looking to streamline the process and make things as easy as possible with the COVID restrictions.
It’s confirmed that Toronto will be participating in the Traverse City rookie tournament hosted by the Detroit Red Wings from September 16-20, where they will also face prospects from the Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, and St. Louis Blues.
A schedule is available on …

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Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation

The Toronto Raptors are embracing the positionless basketball movement

The Toronto Raptors are embracing the positionless basketball movement

In the last couple of years, the NBA is slowly transitioning to positionless basketball. After all, if DeMar DeRozan played power forward position last season with the San Antonio Spurs, anything is possible. One team that is fully embracing this trend is the Toronto Raptors. The Raptors have built a roster full of players that […]
The Toronto Raptors are embracing the positionless basketball movement – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Pirasanth Gunasekaram / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors: 3 things Raptors players must work on this summer

Toronto Raptors: 3 things Raptors players must work on this summer

It’s been two years since the Toronto Raptors won the championship. Kawhi Leonard, Serge Ibaka, and Marc Gasol are all in Los Angeles, and Kyle Lowry might be joining them soon. If the Raptors are committed to rebuilding with the guys left on the roster, the players will have a lot of opportunities to prove […]
Toronto Raptors: 3 things Raptors players must work on this summer – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Kahfeel Buchanan / Raptors HQ

This day in Toronto Raptors history: Masai Ujiri lands Kawhi Leonard

This day in Toronto Raptors history: Masai Ujiri lands Kawhi Leonard

There are few anniversary dates as significant as three years ago today, July 18, 2018, in Toronto Raptors history, as the one and only Kawhi Leonard started upon what would be his legendary, albeit brief, time in Canada. Certainly, November 4, 1993, when the NBA Expansion Committee announced Toronto would get a future franchise, was […]
This day in Toronto Raptors history: Masai Ujiri lands Kawhi Leonard – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jason Mills / Raptors HQ

Joe Thornton’s Leafs tenure was long overdue, but hopefully is at it’s end.

After years of pleading with the universe, Leafs fans finally had their wish granted when the team announced the signing of veteran centre Joe Thornton to a one year league minimum contract last October. After what felt like decades of hoping only to see the man they call Jumbo re-up with the team he carved out the bulk of his (potential) Hall of Fame career with, it was announced on October 16th that when Thornton would eventually leave his stint in Switzerland with HC Davos to return to North America, it would be to play with his “local” boyhood team in Toronto rather than the Golden Coast.
However, within nine months, the Toronto Maple Leafs decision to bring in Joe Thornton went from “long overdue” to “three years too late” to outright lamenting ever doing it in the first place. After visions of Thornton, a man (fairly or not) maligned for his own personal shortcomings in the postseason, teaming up with the Leafs to shake their long drought of not only a playoff series win, but hopefully a Cup win as well, were conjured up amongst fans, we find ourselves here, in a familiar spot. Lamenting another lost season, and …

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Author: Brian Reid / The Leafs Nation

Revisiting how the Blue Jays turned Drew Hutchison into Teoscar Hernandez

Teoscar Hernandez is a starter in this year’s All-Star game.

While I believe Cedric Mullins should have gotten the nod above him, I also believe that Teoscar Hernandez is a very good player. How did we get our all-star right fielder? Well for that, we will have to go all the way back to what I believe is the greatest Toronto Blue Jays trade tree in history…

Drew Hutchison…
First, we’ll need a back story about the former Jays pitcher named Hutch. Foolish Baseball recently produced a great video on why the pitcher record is so useless. In this video, he used Hutchison as an example. Why? Well because even though Drew has been a subpar pitcher in the MLB (5.10 ERA), he has a lot more wins than losses (32-23).
This includes one of the wildest splits I have ever seen. In 2015, Hutchison started in 13 away games, had an ERA of 9.83 and finished with a record of 2-3. However, at home, he was what you would call an ace. In 15 home starts, he had a 2.91 ERA with a record of 11-2! Is this important to the trade tree? No, I just find this utterly bonkers.
He only played …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Auston Matthews cemented himself as one of the best in the league

For years, Leafs fans have been singing the praises of Auston Matthews, the big star on the team, and how he should be considered one of the best in the league, both for his insane shooting and finishing ability, but also for the rise of his all-around game over the last few years.
This year was finally the year he got the recognition as one of the best in the league. He exploded for 41 goals in a shortened season, leading the league by 8 goals and finished tied for fifth in points despite missing four games as well. He ended up with the Rocket Richard trophy, and nominations for the Lady Bing, Ted Lindsay, and Hart Trophy.
He was on a whole other level that even Leafs fans hadn’t seen, and finally got the recognition he deserved from outside of Toronto, after years of being “overrated” because he was on the Leafs. He’s the best goal scorer in the league, and he’s one of the best players in the league right now.
And he’s a Toronto Maple Leaf.
Season Recap
It was a “slow” start for Matthews by his own standards, as this was actually his first …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Former Toronto Raptors coach Phil Handy speaks on time with Nick Nurse

Former Toronto Raptors coach Phil Handy speaks on time with Nick Nurse

The success of the Toronto Raptors over the last few years has been due, in part, to some of the assistant coaches that Nick Nurse has populated his bench with. Even though he was only in town for one season, Phil Handy made quite the impact on the squad. The current Los Angeles Lakers assistant […]
Former Toronto Raptors coach Phil Handy speaks on time with Nick Nurse – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ