The Toronto Maple Leafs are full of prospects these days, so we’ve polled our writers to come up with the following:
Editor In Leaf’s 2nd Annual Top 20 Young Toronto Maple Leafs.
Scouts mostly agree that you don’t really know what kind of impact a player will have until he plays 250 games in the league, or just over 3 full seasons. Following that thought process, the writers here at EditorInLeaf.com have each voted for our top young Leaf players following that 250 game played cap as well as an age limit of 24 by the start of the season as our only rules.
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A ranking of the Top 20 young players in the Leafs organization as voted on by our writers at EditorInLeaf.com.
How did we come up with our rankings?
Each writer voted on the list of 43 eligible players and ranked them 1-20. A 1st place vote is worth 20pts, 2nd place 19pts, 3rd place 18pts etc. Then each players point totals were added up and ranked highest to lowest to give us our final Top20 tally.
How does a player or prospect qualify for the list?
- Have played less than 250GP at the NHL level
- Be under the age of 25 by start of the 2016-2017 season
- Have an NHL contract, or have been drafted by the Leafs in the 2015 or 2016 NHL Drafts
What did Editor In Leaf’s 2015 Top 20 Young Leafs look like?
Here is a quick recap of our rankings last year and corresponding links:
No.20 – Richard Panik (Traded to Blackhawks)
No.19 – Carter Verhaeghe (Traded to Islanders)
No.18 – Andreas Johnson
No.17 – Casey Bailey (Traded to Senators)
No.16 – Martin Marincin
No.15 – Dmytro Timashov
No.14 – Scott Harrington (Traded to Blue Jackets)
No.13 – Travis Dermott
No.12 – Viktor Loov
No.11 – Jeremy Bracco
No.10 – Peter Holland
No.09 – Zach Hyman
No.08 – Stuart Percy (Un-Signed by Leafs as an RFA, Signed with Pittsburgh as a UFA)
No.07 – Brendan Leipsic
No.06 – Frederik Gauthier
No.05 – Connor Brown
No.04 – Kasperi Kapanen
No.03 – Mitch Marner
No.02 – William Nylander
No.01 – Morgan Rielly
As you can see, 5 of last years Top20 are no longer with the team, traded away as part of Shanahan’s house cleaning over the last 12 months.
To kick off this season, ESPN’s Prospect Guru Corey Pronman released ESPN’s organizational prospect pool rankings, and the Maple Leafs finished 1st.
Toronto has the best farm system in the NHL and it isn’t close. Based on my prospect definitions, there are zero reasonable arguments for anyone to even be in the same conversation. Not only do they have a ton of elite talent in players like Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander, but their depth is elite too. There are at least 20 prospects in this system that would fit in many other teams’ top 10. – Corey Pronman, ESPN
If that doesn’t get even the most cynical of Leafs fans pumped up for what this organization is doing under the Shanaplan, nothing will. Now, turning to take a look at this years Top 20 Young Leafs; here are some fun and interesting stats that came out of our rankings for the 2016/17 edition:
- 43 players were eligible to receive votes from our writers
- 31 different players got a Top 20 vote by one of our writers
- Only 10 players received a Top 20 ranking from each one of our writers
- 8 New Players to the rankings, that either were not with the Leafs last year at this time, or didn’t make the Top20 cut
- 2 Players on last years list, that are still with the organization, did not make this years
- The farthest any returning player dropped was 17 spots
- The highest any returning player gained was 18 spots
- 5 of our Top 20, and 19 of the 43 players eligible were not part of the MapleLeafs organization this time last year
- 11 of the Top20 were drafted by the Leafs
- Only 1 player drafted in 2016 made the Top 20
- 6 players were acquired via trade or the waiver wire
- 2 players via free agency
- 0 Goalies, 8 Dmen, 1 Center and 11 Wingers make up the list
- 6 players were drafted in the 1st round
- The CHL was the most represented as a talent producer for the Leafs as 10 players were drafted from the CHL
We can’t wait to share our official rankings with you and get some discussion going about who exactly our top young players should be? Who made our rankings that didn’t deserve too? Who was left off that should have made it on? A lot of opinions to be shared and a lot of discussion to be had is coming up over the next few weeks. Please feel free to join in on the discussion on Twitter @TorrinBatchelor @EditorInLeaf or in the comment thread below!