The Toronto Maple Leafs have been ranked #15 in the 2022 NHL Prospect Pool Rankings by Scott Wheeler of The Athletic.
Some may say that being ranked 15th out of 32 teams isn’t very good, but when you consider that the Toronto Maple Leafs are Stanley Cup contenders that are far from a rebuild, the Leafs are doing extremely well to be ranked #15.
Obviously, rebuilding teams are going to have a greater prospect pool as they bottom out and move veterans to collect high picks and prospects, while Cup contenders trade picks and prospects to bolster their rosters for their playoff runs.
If you look at the teams ahead of Toronto on the prospect pool rankings, there are only five teams currently in a playoff spot: the Los Angeles Kings (#2), Minnesota Wild (#3), Anaheim Ducks (#5), Carolina Hurricanes (#9), and Nashville Predators (#12).
Of those teams, Anaheim and LA are barely hanging on to playoff spots in the worst division in the NHL, and the only team ahead of the Toronto Maple Leafs in the standings is the Carolina Hurricanes.
The Toronto Maple Leafs Prospect Pool
Honestly, kudos to the Hurricanes for being true Stanley Cup contenders and having a prospect pool with such a high ranking. It’s not a knock to the Toronto Maple Leafs to have one team ranked ahead of them in both the standings and prospect pool rankings.
The Colorado Avalanche and the Florida Panthers are the only teams besides Carolina with a higher point percentage than the Leafs, and the Avalanche are ranked #21 and the Panthers are #23 in the prospect pool rankings.
The Tampa Bay Lightning, winners of the last two Stanley Cup Championships, are ranked #30 on the prospect pool list.
Toronto Maple Leafs Top Prospects
In Wheeler’s article, he lists the Toronto Maple Leafs Top 5 Prospects as:
- Nick Robertson
- Matthew Knies
- Topi Niemelä
- Rodion Amirov
- Nick Abruzzese
I think it’s pretty cool that the Toronto Maple Leafs can have an above average prospect pool with only one first round pick in their Top 5 (Rodion Amirov). Especially considering that they graduated Timothy Liljegren and Rasmus Sandin, two of their top prospects heading into the seaosn.
The fact that their prospect pool is led by two second rounders and a third rounder with a fourth rounding out the Top 5 shows the Leafs ability to draw quality out of later rounds.
One of the most comparable teams in regards to positions in the standings and prospect pool rankings is the Colorado Avalanche and in comparison have all first round picks in their Top 3: Alex Newhook, Oskar Olausson and Justin Barron.
Even the Carolina Hurricanes who are ranked a little high than the Toronto Maple Leafs in both the standings and prospect pool rankings don’t have anyone drafted later than the second round in their Top 5.
In conclusion, I’m just saying that the Leafs prospect pool is impressive, all things considered. Compared to other Cup contenders or even playoff teams, the Leafs have one of the best prospect pools around.