Toronto Maple Leafs: Realistic Expectations For The New Guys

Michael Bunting, Arizona Coyotes (Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports)
Michael Bunting, Arizona Coyotes (Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Toronto Maple Leafs
TORONTO, ON – FEBRUARY 7: Ondrej Kase #25 of the Anaheim Ducks battles against Jake Muzzin #8 of the Toronto Maple Leafs  (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

Ondrej Kase

When Ondrej Kase signed this summer, everyone knew it was a very high risk signing.

Kase played 3 games last year due to injury and has never played more than 66 games in a single season. However, in the games he has played, he’s typically produced at a very high rate. Since his rookie season, he’s scored 82 points in 154 games played with the Anaheim Ducks and Boston Bruins. This puts his career average at 0.53 points/GP or a 44 point pace over his career. He’s shown flashes of even better production as well, in 2017-18 and 2018-19, he produced at 0.58 and 0.67 points/GP pace respectively.

On top of his production, he’s been able to drive play at a really good rate as well. Over his career he’s generated a high amount of shot attempts with an average of 56%, while also generating 55% of expected goals.

The real difference is shown when you see that he generates shot attempts 8% higher relative to his teammates. He’s clearly pushing play in a positive direction when he’s on the ice which could help the team a lot, especially if he’s playing in the bottom 6 at 5v5.

It’s safe to assume that Kase will play a prominent role in the middle-6 as a play-driver, while also getting prominent minutes on the second powerplay unit. He’s also probably the first player to slot up the lineup on both the powerplay and at 5v5 in case of injury to one of the “Core Four” in the top-6.

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Keeping this all in mind, it seems plausible that a healthy Kase could produce between 45-50 points over an 82 game schedule.

Prediction: 48 Points