With the season over for the Toronto Maple Leafs, most Leaf fans are now looking toward the future. Part of that future is looking at the status of prospects.
Now, the Maple Leafs prospect system isn’t the best in the NHL, far from it in fact. However, the system has improved since the days of John Ferguson Jr. The Brian Burke and Dave Nonis eras have fixed that somewhat.
But who is the Leafs top prospect?
That can be answered in many different ways. Some people view the Leafs top prospect as the player that is closest to playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Others view the top prospect as the player that has the brightest future no matter where they play.
The Leafs have plenty of players on the Toronto Marlies that will be candidates to make the Leafs next season. Some of them made their debuts with the team this season. Players like Peter Holland, Josh Leivo and Jerry D’Amigo all were productive during their stints with the Leafs. You then have players that maybe only played a game or two like Petter Granberg and Greg McKegg.
Then there are players in the juniors that the Leafs are waiting on. The Leafs prospect that made the most noise this season was Connor Brown of the Erie Otters. He had 128 points in 68 games this season. Then there is Guelph Storm captain Matt Finn, a promising Leafs defensive prospect. There’s also Carter Verhaeghe, who had a 82-point season with the Niagara IceDogs. All this and I haven’t even mentioned Frederik Gauthier, the Leafs first-round pick last season.
Some might look at the Leafs future and don’t see a light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully these prospects will change their minds.