Toronto Maple Leafs: Ranking Kyle Dubas Top 5 Moves as Leafs GM

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 4: Toronto Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas during interview with Bruce Arthur (Andrew Francis Wallace/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 4: Toronto Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas during interview with Bruce Arthur (Andrew Francis Wallace/Toronto Star via Getty Images) /
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Toronto Maple Leafs
Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Nick Robertson #16 of the Peterborough Petes (Photo by Chris Tanouye/Getty Images) /

Having been general manager of one of the most storied franchises in the NHL, Kyle Dubas has done a ton in his limited time with Toronto.

Hired in 2014 by President Brendan Shanahan to be one of two assistant general managers to then-Leafs GM Dave Nonis, people criticized Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment for the unusual move because, at the time, Dubas was 29 years old and was entering the 2014-15 season as one of the youngest members of an NHL front office.

It is quite remarkable how much fantastic work Dubas has done in five years. Ever since his hiring, Dubas has made 37 trades, fired a coach, hired a coach, won a Calder Cup, and made the biggest splash in free agency of the salary cap era. With all the excellent moves Dubas had made, it is very difficult to only choose a top five, but we are going to try.

Here we go.

Honourable Mention: Drafting Nick Robertson.

Having traded their first-round pick in a deal for a certain Los Angeles Kings defensemen – who we will touch on later – Dubas was tasked with finding serious talent in the later rounds of the 2019 NHL draft. In what is widely considered one of the steals of the draft, Dubas landed 5”9’ left-winger Nick Robertson 53rd overall.

Born just four days before the draft eligibility cut-off date, Robertson dominated the OHL this past season. Registering 55 goals and 86 points (stats, many suggest that had Robertson not been eligible for the 2019 draft, he would have surely been a lottery pick, maybe even a top 10 pick, in this years’ upcoming draft. Robertson finished the season with more goals than projected lottery pick Jack Quinn and more points than projected top-three pick Quinton Byfield.

PNHLe, a modern analytical prospect gauging tool, is a statistic used to measure all NHL prospects and balance the difference in their respective junior leagues to project their point totals in the NHL. Nick Robertson currently leads all NHL-affiliated prospects with a PNHLe score of 89, ahead of 2019 7th overall pick Dylan Cozens, 16th overall pick Alex Newhook, and 15th overall pick Cole Caufield (stats;

Similarly, at Dobber Prospects, their PNHLe rankings from one to five are as follows: Quinton Byfield, Alexis Lafrenière, Marco Rossi, Cole Perfetti, and Nick Robertson. Robertson ranks above 2020 projected lottery picks Seth Jarvis and Connor Zary and above potential top-five pick Jamie Drysdale.

Ever since the Stanley Cup was handed out, many were quick to point out Tampa Bay’s excellent drafting outside the first round as a big factor in their success. Brayden Point, 3rd round 2014 draft, and Anthony Cirelli, 3rd round 2015 draft, played critical roles in the Lightning’s cup run. Nick Robertson has a legitimate chance of being the Leafs version of those two.