What Should We Expect From Toronto Maple Leafs Newcomers?

Nick Ritchie, Boston Bruins (Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports)
Nick Ritchie, Boston Bruins (Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Toronto Maple Leafs added a number of players this offseason and it’ll be interesting to see how they perform this year.

If the Toronto Maple Leafs are going to be successful this season, they’re going to have to relay on their depth. Obviously, the core-four is going to carry the ship in the playoffs, but their bottom-six and potential back-up goaltender is going to have to help them win games during the regular season.

Although the team’s top-four forwards, defensemen and number-one goaltender are all the same as last season’s, the rest of the team has dramatically changed. The bottom-six is going to look a lot different and the team’s top left-wingers will also be different.

As such, what should we expect from them? (All stats hockeydb.com).

Toronto Maple Leafs Newcomers Could Surprise Some People

Nick Ritchie:

  • 2020-21 season (with Boston Bruins)
    • 15 goals, 11 assists, 26 points (56 games played)
  • 2021-21 season projection:
    • 22 goals, 20 assists, 44 points

The Toronto Maple Leafs added Nick Ritchie as their Zach Hyman replacement and although he may not score as many goals as Hyman did, he should be a pretty good comparable.

At 6-foot-2, 230 pounds, Ritchie brings size and toughness, but also has a knack for the back of the net. As shown by his 15 goals in 56 games last year, Ritchie can score, even in a limited role.

Expect Ritchie to perform at a high-level beside Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner and be a fan-favorite right away.

Michael Bunting:

  • 2020-21 season (with Arizona Coyotes)
    • 10 goals, 3 assists, 13 points (21 games played)
  • 2021-21 season projection:
    • 18 goals, 25 assists, 43 points

Bunting is also a local kid who could surprise many fans. If you’re unaware of his skillset, that’s okay. With only 26 NHL games of experience, the 26-year-old is a late-bloomer.

After scoring at an incredible pace last year, the Leafs took a a chance on Bunting, as the more than likely left-winger beside John Tavares and William Nylander. With an opportunity like that, I expect Bunting to flourish and to be one of the team’s best offseason signings.

David Kampf:

  • 2020-21 season (with Chicago Blackhawks)
    • 1 goal, 11 assists, 12 points (56 games)
  • 2021-21 season projection:
    • 6 goals, 15 assists, 21 points

If you look at Kampf’s career, just by his stat-line, it would scare you. However, he does way more than score.

He’ll be used as an effective penalty-killer and will be a shutdown centre on the Leafs third line. Although you may not see a ton of goals from him, he should do a good job at stopping the other team’s best players.

I’m not 100 percent sold that he’ll stay as the team’s third-line centre all year, but at the very least, he’ll be a useful piece on the team’s fourth line.

Petr Mrazek:

  • 2020-21 season (with Carolina Hurricanes)
    • 6-2-3 record, .923 SV%, 2.06 GAA (12 games)
  • 2021-22 projection:
    • 17-7-7 record, .915 SV%, 2.60 GAA

The biggest question with Mrazek this season is “how many games will he play” and “will he stay healthy?”

Personally, I think he’ll be the back-up to Jack Campbell and will play between 30-35 games. I don’t think he’s going to be as good as he was last season, but I do think he’ll be a pretty comparable player to Freddie Andersen, which is fine.

Next. 3 Urgent Questions Ahead of Regular Season. dark

If Campbell and Mrazek can stay healthy all year, the Leafs are easily going to make the playoffs, so let’s hope those things stay true.