Toronto Maple Leafs Prospects: Risers and Fallers 2023

TORONTO, ON - APRIL 13: Nick Robertson #89 of the Toronto Maple Leafs warms up prior to playing against the Calgary Flames in 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 warms up prior to playing against the Calgary Flames in 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
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – JUNE 28: General manager Brad Treliving of the Toronto Maple Leafs is seen prior to round one of the 2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft at Bridgestone Arena on June 28, 2023 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Braeden Kressler, C

DOB: 01-05-2003

Drafted: Undrafted (CHL Free Agent)

Last team: Flint Firebirds (OHL)

After an unfortunate injury that derailed his campaign in 2021-22, Kressler has bounced back in a big way.

Before the 2022-23 season, Kressler had played a total of 74 games in the OHL, scoring 14 goals and 20 assists.

This past year he hit a major stride, scoring 25 goals and 27 assists in only 47 games. Next season, he will likely make his professional debut with the Toronto Marlies where he will hopefully carry this momentum.

Looking ahead, he should benefit from a lot of the recent moves made by thee Leafs/Marlies. Due to cap implications, the Marlies will likely have more high-end prospects from the Leafs, giving Kressler better linemates to play with as a result.

As well, there have been moves made with the departure of Semyon Der-Arguchintsev to the KHL and Mikhail Abramov at the deadline, opening up spots at the centre ice position for someone like Kressler to slot in. These conditions should afford him the best opportunities to make an impact and progress at the pro level.