Top NHL Undrafted Prospects the Toronto Maple Leafs Should Sign

Toronto Maple Leafs have the opportunity to find players to add to the organization from around the globe who are undrafted prospects. (Photo by Linnea Rheborg/Getty Images)
Toronto Maple Leafs have the opportunity to find players to add to the organization from around the globe who are undrafted prospects. (Photo by Linnea Rheborg/Getty Images) /

We know that the Toronto Maple Leafs went all-in to win a title in 2021. We also know that it didn’t work out the way they had envisioned. Instead, it left the franchise with only three draft picks to help restock the farm system. If Kyle Dubas wants to find young talent, his next option is to look at free agency. (Though to be fair, the Leafs did stock up and make 12 picks in seven rounds last year).

NHL free agency opened on July 28 and Toronto is still looking to upgrade their roster this way but they should also consider trying to find undrafted players who have excelled since being passed over.

There isn’t much risk for the Toronto Maple Leafs to cast a wide net and sign players, other than financially. They can invest in players and hope that their development leads them into the organization. Otherwise, the athletes can return to their own leagues or play overseas while Toronto owns their NHL rights.

Here are four players that the Leafs should sign right away.

Colin Bilek

Colin Bilek is a 24-year-old, 5’11 forward from Brighton, Michigan. He is the captain of Army West Point who just finished a fantastic season in the NCAA. In 33 games, he notched 7 goals and 13 assists for a total of 20 points. Nationally, he finished tenth in points-per-game with an average of 1.18.

The season that Bilek had was good enough to shower him in honours. He was named to the First Team All-Atlantic Hockey, the Second Team All-American, the Third Team All-USCHO, a Hobey Baker Award Nominee, and a two-time Atlantic Hockey Player of the Month (Jan./Feb. 2021). Bilek is absolutely someone that Dubas should have a conversation with.

Jere Innala

The Toronto Maple Leafs should look to ink Jere Innala who plays professionally in Finland for HPK in Liiga. This 23-year-old left-winger is undersized at 5’8 and 182 pounds but can fly down the ice. He’s been dangerous on the powerplay this season, which is where he racks up most of his points. In total, this past campaign, Innala recorded 37 points in 42 games thanks to 20 goals and 17 assists.

With Innala’s experience in Finland, he could be an immediate fit with the Toronto Marlies with the potential of working his way up to the NHL.

Deni Goure

Deni Goure is a player who we have highlighted in the past. He didn’t get the opportunity to prove himself this year due to the OHL shutdown. Goure only got to play in the league as a rookie for the Owen Sound Attack but in that time, he demonstrated that he has the skill and potential to be a pro.

Goure is an offensive threat with a decent release but still needs work on defense. There were high expectations coming out of minor hockey but in his only season playing Major Junior, he had 11 goals and 14 assists in 62 games. In minor midget, he collected 53 points in 32 games on 22 goals and 31 assists, which suggests that he may still need to make adjustments to fit in the faster OHL style of play.

NHL rules say that a player who is returning to the CHL, which Goure will be doing next season, is eligible to be signed if they aren’t drafted. The Leafs should take advantage of the rest of the league’s miss and lock up the center.

Bobby Trivigno

Playing for the UMass Minutemen, Bobby Trivigno put himself on the radar due to his ability to put pucks past NCAA goalies. As a freshman, Trivigno scored 13 goals with 15 assists in 39 games. As a sophomore, he registered 9 goals and 11 assists in 34 games. This past season, as a junior, he put up his best numbers. He scored 11 goals and 23 helpers for a total of 34 points in 29 games.

The 22-year-old, 5’8, 152-pound left-winger finished this remarkable season being named to the CCM/AHCA Hockey First Team All-America. He also won the Walter Brown Award, presented to the best American-born NCAA Division I hockey player in New England. Trivigno was the first Minuteman to ever win the award.

The accolades continued in the form of being selected to the All-USCHO and the Hockey East All-Star First Teams. That is because Trivigno finished tied for sixth in the NCAA in points and tied for 11th in points per-game at 1.17. He was was even the Most Outstanding Player of the Frozen Four Tournament.

Ideally, the Toronto Maple Leafs could capitalize on Trivigno’s success by recruiting and signing him to join the organization.

Next. Grading the Maple Leafs 2021 Draft Picks. dark

Bringing in young talent is an important part of the general manager’s job. While the draft is the more traditional method to stock the cupboards, Toronto could find a player further along in their development through free agency. They should add any and all of these surging undrafted players.