#1 Joseph Woll
Height/Weight: 6’3 203 LBS
Draft: 3rd Round, 62nd Overall, 2016 NHL Entry Drafty
The Toronto Maple Leafs top prospect is Joseph Woll, and the reason for that is because goaltending is, by far, the most important position in the NHL.
Even though Connor McDavid is the best player in the NHL, and even though Sidney Crosby and Mario Lemieux were before him, whoever ends up being the NHL’s best goalie every season is worth more.
You just never know who it will be.
If goalies were as consistent as skaters, the biggest star in the game would always be a goalie. Is consistantly awesome, and almost everyone would say he’s the best goalie alive. He has just two NHL seasons were he finished above a .920 save percentage. He has more Stanley Cups than Vezinas, and there are 10 different Vezina winners in the last ten years.
But, last year, split between the AHL and NHL, Joseph Woll had the kind of season that gets you mentioned with the best players alive.
With the Marlies he stopped 92.7 % of all shots.
With the Leafs, he stopped 93.2% of all shots.
Do that for a full season in the NHL, you get the Vezina Trophy and an $8 million dollar contract. We have no idea if the Joseph Woll we saw last year is the one we will see this year.
But, you can’t just ignore that either. And if he does it again, he’s the most valuable prospect the Leafs have developed since Auston Matthews.
To put it a different way, Auston Matthews could win the Hart Trophy, but if Joseph Woll posts a .930 save percentage for 45+ games, he would technically be the more valuable player.
Since no one else on this list has that kind of upside, Joseph Woll has to be considered the Leafs top prospect at the moment.