Toronto Maple Leafs Top 10 Prospects at the Start of the 2021-22 Season

TORONTO, ON - APRIL 13: Nick Robertson #89 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates against the Calgary Flames during an NHL game at Scotiabank Arena on April 13, 2021 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Flames defeated the Maple Leafs 3-2 in overtime. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 13: Nick Robertson #89 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates against the Calgary Flames during an NHL game at Scotiabank Arena on April 13, 2021 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Flames defeated the Maple Leafs 3-2 in overtime. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Maple Leafs
OTTAWA, ON – FEBRUARY 15: Jake Muzzin #8 of the Toronto Maple Leafs ,  (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images) /

2. Rasmus Sandin

Age:  21

Height/Weight:  5′ 11″ 183 lbs

Position:  Defense

Shoots:  Left

Draft: 1st Round 29th overall, 2018

This is likely the last time that Rasmus Sandin appears on one of these lists.

He’ become one of the AHL’s best players, and has always showed himself well in his limited opportunities so far in the NHL.

This season he appears to go from prospect to pro, and is currently scheduled to play on the Leafs 3rd defensive pairing.  Is a the kind of player who can anchor an NHL blueline, or is he just a mid-level player?  So far, we don’t know.

What we do know is that he has great vision, and passing, and that he’s effective without being too fast or wowing you with a particular skill.

The Leafs have banked on a philosophy of taking smart players and hoping that they can learn everything else.  This is embodied by Rasmus Sandin, but it applies to just about every player on this list.

The knock on Sandin has always been that he doesn’t have the high end skill to compensate for his lack of size, so it will be interesting to see whether his intelligent game can make up for that at the NHL level.