The prospect pool for the Toronto Maple Leafs may be deeper than we think.
Over the past few seasons, the Toronto Maple Leafs have stockpiled draft picks and although many are not ready for the NHL, there are number flying under the radar.
Everybody knows the names like Nick Robertson, Ramus Sandin, Timothy Liljegren and recent 15th overall selection Rodion Amirov, but you may not be familiar with the late-round picks. As much as the First or Second Round picks are more well-known and hyped for success, it’s the diamonds in the rough that can make or a break a team.
Alex Kerfoot, Zach Hyman, Jake Muzzin and Freddie Andersen are just a few names of current Maple Leafs who were former late-round picks. Although they turned into everyday NHLers, it wasn’t always that way. For most of these players, it took between 3-5 years for them to make it to the best league in the world, so even players drafted as late as 2015 could still be considered solid prospects.
As an organization, it’s tough to wait forever for a prospect to develop. The Toronto Maple Leafs just went through this experiment with Jeremy Bracco, who was drafted in 2015. After three seasons in the AHL, the team decided to let Bracco walk in free agency instead of re-signing him and giving him a shot in the NHL.
For the past few seasons, Bracco has been the Toronto Marlies best offensive player, but the team refused to give him a shot at the next level. His offensive skills were NHL-worthy, but the Leafs felt his entire game wasn’t quite ready for the next step.
After what felt like a late second-round steal of the draft, it unfortunately turned into a bust as Bracco never played one NHL game. Let’s hope that’s different for these five prospects who are flying under the radar right now.