Toronto Maple Leafs Top Prospects, Honorable Mentions:
The Toronto Maple Leafs have had a kind of perfect storm in terms of improving the quality of their top-ten prospects list.
- They didn’t graduate any prospects into full-time bona fide NHL starters last year.
- They had several prospects rise in the standings significantly after strong years.
- They picked in the first round.
It would have been better to get a blue-chip prospect, but Joseph Woll and Matthews Knies had such good years that the Leafs Prospect group is now seen much more favorably than it was last year.
Here are some of the players who won’t be making this list who are still decent enough prospects in their own right.
Now 24, Abruzzesse was picked in the 4th round of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. He’s looked fine as a 4th liner in 11 NHL games, but is a bit on the small side to be a grinder. I would rank him below Steeves but he’s still got a shot to be an NHL regular one day.
Steeves turns 24 this year, and he has played six NHL games over parts of two different seasons to date. He will be one of the Toronto Maple Leafs first call-ups this year, and he’s already good enough to be a 4th liner in the NHL, and while he does have upside it’s hard to know how much. He’s a 20 goal AHL scorer and maybe there’s a chance he becomes a Hyman/Bunting type guy, but not enough of one to rank him any higher.
Yeah, he played a 4th line role and was decent, but it’s not like he was crushing his minutes or anything. He is 24 and he scores at about the same rate as Steeves and Abruzzese. I think these three could form a better 4th line than the Reaves-Kampf-Gregor one we’re likely to see to start this season, so it’s not like they aren’t good prospects – they just lack a higher upside than everyone ahead of them on this list.
Other Honourable Mentions:
Forward: Semyon Der Arguchintsov, Bobby McMann, Joe Miller, Dmitri Ovchinnikov, Ryan Tverberg, Hudson Malinoski, Nikita Grebenkin, Brandon Lisowsku, Max Ellis
Defense: William Villeneuve, Michael Koster, Noah Chadwick
Goalie: Dryden McKay, Dennis Hildeby